Overseas recruitment drives by the HSE over the past two years have managed to attract just 130 nurses to work here, the Irish Independent has learned.
However, the HSE has insisted that this should be considered a “good success”, given how “extremely competitive” the European market is for nursing staff with specialist skills.
The most high-profile recruitment campaign was in the UK last summer, when the HSE sought to attract around 500 nurses home with a relocation package of €1,500.
Responding to questions, the HSE said it expected that further nurse-recruitment drives would take place in non-EU countries in order to secure more nurses to work in Ireland.
Nurses here can earn salaries of between €27,211 and €43,800 for a 39-hour week, with additional pay for shift and other differentials.
A HSE spokesman was not able to say how many doctors had been recruited internationally for Irish hospitals.