The HSE had recently declared they are going to recruit 1000 newly graduated nurses under which they will be paid a salary that is 80% of an existing starting salary. We are seen only as a means to replace agency staff and cut spending money on overtime. When we graduate and register with An Bord Altranais we will receive a starting salary of €22,000 whereas previously new graduates were offered €26,400. Student Nurses, in particular the classes of 2012 onwards, have had to endure many cuts by the government. A major cut we have already suffered is our Intern salary dropping from €16,500 in 2011 to €9,387 in 2012/2013. At present, it is not the desire of some student nurses to emigrate however the way the government is treating our profession it may leave some with no choice. After studying and working hard for four years to earn our honours degree these students feel it is unfair and unjust we will have a starting salary that is less than that received by other occupations in the hospital which do not require a degree. Furthermore, when PAYE, PRSI and USC are taken into account there will not be much difference between the salary we are being offered and what we would receive if were on social welfare. If this continues, what incentive will future college students have to study nursing when there is so little recognition and appreciation of the work we do. Do you think this is fair? If not, please sign this petition asking the government to reverse these insulting cuts.