Fewer Leaving Cert students are pursuing a career in nursing than ever before
It was once a popular choice for school leavers, but the latest data from the CAO reveals that there's been a 10% drop in first preference applications for nursing courses this year.
It's believed that low pay (fourth year student nurses receive €9.48 per hour, moving to €29,497 after graduation) and poor working conditions may be behind the drop.
According to Liam Doran of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, the figures should be a concern for the Government.
"It's a trend that has to be recognised, addressed and reversed immediately," he told the Irish Examiner.
"We need a high quality number of people applying for nursing because we need to increase our supply of registered nurses and this drop-off is the very last thing we want at this time."
Applications for teaching courses were down 3% on last year, while science degree courses were up 4%.