Simon Harris says the HSE scheme has received 420 applications to date
The HSE's international nurse recruitment campaign has brought just 83 nurses back to Ireland.
Minister Simon Harris confirmed the scheme had received 420 applications so far.
A recruitment scheme launched last year offers nurses benefits such as a relocation package that includes up to €1,500 tax-free removal & relocation expenses.
Minister Harris today told the Oireachtas Health Committee that there is work to do to restore nurse's confidence in the health service.
Simon Harris says they need to boost morale in the country's hospitals to attract people back.
"When I talk to healthcare professionals, when I talk to managers, when I talk to patients groups, I don't think it's fair to say people are fed up with reform in the health service," he observed. "But they're fed up with little bits of reform, and fed up of never getting to complete the journey.
"We've a duty to provide [staff and patients] with a sense of a forward-looking direction," he added.