Rigorous test for place on nursing register

IN response to Donna Roche's letter headlined 'Red tape hampers nursing services' (August 6), An Bord Altranais would like to state clearly that our role is to ensure that all those entered on our register are deemed professionally qualified and competent for such registration.

Each application for registration is processed in a most rigorous and secure manner.

The protection of the public underpins this process. The function of An Bord Altranais in processing applications for registration is only one part of complex and extensive recruitment processes that are being undertaken nationwide this year.

We have received increased numbers of applications for registration this year, approximately 3,000 to date, and we are working closely with the relevant service providers.

All parties are engaging proactively and in a positive manner.

An Bord Altranais has already taken steps to manage the increase in the number of applications, with staffing levels in the registration department being significantly increased and a registration helpline being set up.

It is important to note that at the point where all documents required in support of an application are received, the reality is that approximately 50% of these files are found to be incomplete or to contain conflicting information. This necessitates An Bord Altranais seeking additional information or clarification from the applicant, or from referees, colleges or registration authorities, and may extend the registration process.

When applications are complete and do not contain conflicting information, the file is assessed and a decision letter issued within four to six weeks.

An Bord Altranais has not been made aware of difficulties such as ward closures in any Cork hospital that relate directly to nurse registration issues. We welcome queries from any individual, hospital or agency in relation to the registration process.

Deirdre Hogan

Deputy CEO

An Bord Altranais

31/32 Fitzwilliam Square

Dublin 2

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