This extremely restrictive trade union practice above (see stats in Healthcare personnel statistics - nursing and caring professionals - Statistics Explained ) may be modified,likely at a snailpace to prolong registered nurses' closed shop in hospital jobs. The closed shop concept largely disappeared in UK factories in the 1980s. Where have hospital managers been on this issue which interferes with management's prerogative to manage?
After three years of bureaucratic shuffle on research, it was concluded that an 80/20 ratio of Irish nurses to nurses assistants is optimal for patient care. But is it 80/20 in all hospital departments?
In the private sector, managers would check with their contacts who have information on the various ratios in the best hospitals internationally and run with that. Maybe they would take a few months at most to decide,making a final decision based on trial and error.
Given that the UK employs about a million nurses assistants, that suggests Ireland could employ 72,000 of them instead of about 27,000 at present. Of course, that would make a big dent in recruitment of nurses. The UK also has about 98,000 associate professional nurses which is equivalent to about 8,000 for Ireland which has none.