Essene Cassidy, President of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) discussed the role of the regulator, modernisation and adapting during the global pandemic in the January edition of Eolas magazine.
Below is the text of that article in full.
A modern and dynamic nursing and midwifery regulator
As the regulator for more than 80,000 nurses and midwives in Ireland, NMBI’s mission is to protect the public and the integrity of the professions through the promotion of high standards of education, training and professional conduct. We maintain a Register of Nurses and Midwives and a Candidate Register for students.
As we enter the final year of our Statement of Strategy 2020-2022, we will continue to ensure we can adapt to the evolving global healthcare environment and regulate effectively, while upholding the highest standards. Our focus remains on professional development and competence, engaging more with registrants and stakeholders, and the continued digitisation of the organisation. We also remain committed to building trust and to ensuring our role as a regulator is understood.
Development of our new strategy will begin in 2022 and we are more aware now than ever of the need to provide leadership to registered nurses and registered midwives.
Modernisation at NMBI
NMBI is dedicated to the implementation of our digitisation agenda. Every nurse and midwife practising in Ireland must be registered with NMBI and the annual process of renewing registration is taking place online for the second year running.
As well as streamlining the process for registrants the new online portal MyNMBI also allows for the collection of data which assists us in our work to maintain standards and associated public safety and contribute to workforce planning. This is more relevant than ever with the roll-out of Slaintecare in the years ahead.
Since the start of the pandemic NMBI has moved speedily and dynamically to embrace new technology. As a Board we showed agility, as our meetings continued without disruption. Our complaint management process also moved online or hybrid format to ensure hearings could continue. Witnesses can give testimony from anywhere in the world now without having to get on a plane or into a car.
Embracing change for all stakeholders
Engagement with stakeholders, and in particular our professions, has never been better. NMBI does a huge amount of work in collaboration with key stakeholders around setting standards, supporting practice initiatives and promoting quality care provision by nurses and midwives. A key example I recall is the removal of the requirements for Collaborative Practice Agreements (CPAs) for nurse prescribers. This change has allowed our nurse prescribers to become autonomous practitioners. We also worked with the Department of Health on the advanced practice policy and revised the Advanced Nurse Practitioner pathways.
Pride in my colleagues
On behalf of the Board, I would like to acknowledge the challenges faced by nurses and midwives since the Covid-19 pandemic began and express our appreciation for the valuable contribution they have made in treating patients and maintaining ongoing healthcare services. Nursing and midwifery professionals in all their roles have always been able to adapt to change. For generations, new ideas have been embraced and welcomed, all with the sole aim of improving outcomes for our patients. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, once again we saw our nurses and midwives adapting to change in all care settings. It has been a difficult time for many but the dedication and compassion of our professions shone through and continues to do so. It fills me with enormous pride to witness this incredible commitment to care.