Firstly, I would like to say that I am privileged and honoured to be elected as President of NMBI.
Having served on the Board since 2015, I am immensely proud of the positive changes we have made to ensure NMBI is a modern and progressive regulator. As President, I am dedicated to performing this important role to ensure that the Board operates in line with best practice in all areas of our work.
I would like to welcome the new Board members who joined NMBI in January. Their diverse knowledge and experience will ensure they can contribute to the work of NMBI in a meaningful way, and that NMBI will continue to operate in line with best practice.
As a professional regulator, we will continue to deliver on our legislative mandate to protect the public and the integrity of the professions, while providing leadership for our registrants.
Our new strategy 2023-2025 aims to further support our registrants and I look forward to using my knowledge of the Board and my professional, academic experience and practice to further NMBI’s mission to protect the public and the integrity of the professions, and uphold the highest standards of nursing and midwifery education and practice.
As the Head of Department of Nursing and Health Care at Atlantic Technological University, Donegal I am passionate about educating the professions. As the roll-out of Sláintecare continues, we will not only need more nurses and midwives working in the Irish health sector, but need to ensure our education programmes are addressing any skills gaps as required. Over the next three years, part of our focus will be to review the curricula and number of places available in undergraduate programmes. NMBI is therefore focusing on reviewing curriculum content for programmes to ensure they are educating a future generation of nurses and midwives, but we also need to maximise the number of places and clinical placements in nursing and midwifery education. In addition, NMBI is developing new pathways to qualification.
This priority is evident throughout this issue of the eZine. Over the past month, our CEO Sheila McClelland has been working with the Higher Education Authority’s Expert Review Panel to identify and make recommendations on opportunities in higher education for new nursing education programmes to address national skills needs.
We are holding a public consultation on new standards and requirements to embed digital health competencies in undergraduate nursing and midwifery education programmes that lead to registration to ensure future generations of the professions are equipped to meet changing technologies.
I believe in the importance of continuing professional development (CPD), post-graduate education and research to inform the future of the practices. We value feedback from our registrants and nursing and midwifery students. NMBI is involved in a current research project to future proof undergraduate education programmes and I would encourage recent graduates to take part.
The Review of Undergraduate Nursing and Midwifery Education Programmes Leading to Registration in Ireland (RUN ME) will ensure that nursing and midwifery education is responsive to the changing needs, developments, priorities and expectations of healthcare. You can find out more about the RUNME survey here.
A recent survey of nursing and midwifery graduates by the Office of Nursing and Midwifery Services Director gathered important information about the factors that impact graduates entering employment. It highlighted a number of key recommendations in the areas of continuous professional development, funding for post-graduate education and supports for nurses and midwives to transitioning into the workplace.
Looking forward, we plan to continue our engagement with registrants. In the coming weeks we will be conducting a review of the Standards and Requirements for the Public Health Nursing (PHN) education programme. We will be inviting members of the public, especially our registrants, to have their say and I hope that you will take the opportunity to be part of this review.
Finally, I would like to say that I am very grateful and appreciative to be part of the Board. As President, with my Board colleagues and the executive, I look forward to working to achieve our strategic objectives.