The Tanaiste has stated that if student nurses are doing the work in the absence of fully qualified nurses, then they should be paid.
Leo Varadkar was responding to questions in the Dail from Donegal Deputy Pearse Doherty.
Deputy Doherty says students nurses are not exploited by other nurses but by the present system.
He's also calling for any decided pay increases to be backdated.
The Tanaiste said that the issue of student nurses pay cannot be decided in the Dail but rather through formal negotiations.
Listen to the full exchange here: