NMBI Education Department Working with Stakeholders on Return to Nursing Practice Programmes


The NMBI Education, Policy and Standards Department engaged with a number of key stakeholders who provided feedback on the updated Return to Nursing Practice Programmes Standards and Requirements.

“These are being updated in response to changing priorities for nursing services at a national level, and the high attrition rates reported by education bodies due to the current restrictive processes,” said Claire Nolan from the NMBI Education Department.

“This 2nd Edition aims to reflect current healthcare nursing needs and to widen out the range of opportunities for nurses to update their levels of competence, focusing on practice areas of interest to the nurse.”

Stakeholders were invited to return feedback and the response report was submitted for consideration to the NMBI Education, Training and Standards Committee, which recommended the revised programme standards for approval to the Board.

NMBI is delighted to announce that the 2nd Edition of the Return to Nursing Practice Programme Standards and Requirements was approved by the Board on 23 March.

The main updates to the Standards and Requirements are as follows:

Section 1

  • Legislation update included Nurses Rules (Education and Training) amended 2020

Section 2

  • Practice placement sites in acute, community and care of the older person to be considered, to reflect the intended practice area of participants
  • Participants undertake a self-assessment to inform their learning needs
  • Timeframe for the programme is based on minimum hours not weeks, consistent with EU directives for nursing education programmes
  • 45 hours minimum theoretical hours required, with option to provide additional hours depending on the participants needs
  • 150 hours minimum practice placement hours required to line up with future proposed Maintenance of Professional Practice annual requirements (can include simulation and clinical practice workshop hours as appropriate)
  • Maximum course duration capped at 12 weeks for final competency assessment, with NMBI informed of unsuccessful outcomes
  • Learning outcomes and indicative content is streamlined, duplications removed, appropriate skills incorporated within the domains

Section 3

  • Competency Assessment Tool incorporates the self-assessment step. Separate printable document available.

Section 4

  • Devised new section for ‘Requirements for Education Body Providers’ including submission of NMBI annual report
  • Incorporated use of the national Clinical Learning Environment Audit Tool
  • Clarified applicable for nursing divisions - general, mental health, intellectual disability, children’s and public health.

Claire Nolan added: “The new version provides a wider range of practice placements which can be targeted to the participants’ area of interest. It is hoped that this may lead to better completion rates with participants ready to take up employment in their chosen area of practice.

“Many respondents gave significant time and attention to provide input on improving the content, quality and usability of the standards and requirements, which was welcomed and strengthened the final version. The electronic version will be available from April on the NMBI website.”

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NMBI Guests of President Michael D Higgins at the Áras
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly Appoints New Members of NMBI Board
NMBI Board Approves Removals from the Register
NMBI Guest Speakers at All Ireland Nursing and Midwifery Festivals
NMBI Launches 5th Edition of Nurse Registration Programmes Standards and Requirements and Policy for Approval and Monitoring Processes
NMBI Education Team Reviewing Graduate-Entry Programme for General Nursing
NMBI Education Department Working with Stakeholders on Return to Nursing Practice Programmes
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Decisions Following Fitness to Practise Inquiries
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Board profile: Catherine Cocoman, Board Member and Member of the Fitness to Practise Committee and the Education, Training and Standards Committee
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