The recruitment crisis in nursing: Placing Irish psychiatric nursing in context - A review

John S.G. Wells, C. Niall McElwee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


There is a decline in recruitment to pre-registration programmes in psychiatric nursing in Ireland. This article discusses factors that may relate to the Irish situation in the context of relevant international literature on nurse recruitment. It is noted that disciplines and courses in Ireland, such as social care, that engage in similar work to that of psychiatric nurses do not suffer from such a shortage of applicants. Whilst it is difficult to account for this difference, a number of factors identified from the literature are discussed. The need to highlight differences with general nursing and the importance of career guidance are seen as important in overcoming prejudices and stereotypes. From a review of the literature it appears that studies dedicated to recruitment to psychiatric nursing alone are notable by their paucity, and absent in the case of Ireland. Therefore, the available literature fails to fully explain the fall in psychiatric nurse recruitment compared to the robust recruitment position of social care. It is argued that dedicated research on recruitment to psychiatric nursing within an Irish setting is needed if a sustainable recruitment policy is to be implemented to reverse the long-term decline in recruitment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-18
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2000


  • Careers
  • Choices
  • Health policy
  • Information
  • Ireland
  • Mental health
  • Psychiatric nursing
  • Recruitment
  • Shortage
  • Workforce planning


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