Postgraduate Courses in Nursing

By Gemma Creagh - Last update


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If you’re looking for a laid-back working environment where you have little responsibility and ample free time, look no further. At this article, I mean – there’s really no point in scrolling down. A career in nursing may be many things, but a one-way ticket to easy street is certainly not one of them. Working in this field is mentally challenging, emotionally rewarding, and very, very tough. Nursing is and remains a vocation only suited to dedicated, caring professionals. Meanwhile, postgraduate courses in nursing are perfect for anyone continuing on from a related degree, or a working nurse who wants to specialise in a dedicated field.

As a general rule, nurses work as part of a multidisciplinary team across a number of environments. They provide care and consideration to their patients, the hours are long, and although there is relative job security – society will always need nurses – this is not a section of the medical profession that’s renowned for its fiscal rewards.

Education & Skills Required

At the moment in Ireland, there are 13 Irish Higher Education Institutes which offer Nursing and Midwifery Degree Programmes. These generally cover general nursing, children’s nursing, intellectual disability nursing, midwifery, and psychiatric nursing. To be qualified as a nurse, you will need a Level 8 Honours Bachelor Degree. After you receive your academic award, a Bachelor of Science (BSc), you will be eligible to apply to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI), which is a legal requirement if you are a practicing. There are H-Dip training and conversion courses available too for people looking to transfer from aanother area of study.

Aside from academic training across all aspects of patient care and medicine, to be successful in a role like this, you’ll have to build a deep resource of skills. These include developing management skills, personal and interpersonal skills, an understanding of hygiene, and comprehensive health and safety knowledge. Also, working in many areas in this discipline can be quite emotionally taxing; practicing self care is essential if you want to do a good job.

Sounds tough? It certainly is. If you’re questioning if this is the right career for you, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland have a confidential Student Nurse / Midwife Self-Assessment Questionnaire online.

Postgraduate Training

There are postgraduate courses in nursing available across a multitude of disciplines. The programme you ultimately decide on will depend on a number of mitigating factors. Firstly, the grade you received at undergraduate level will be taken as representative of your academic ability. Certain specialities might require a referral letter for applicants to be elidable and for most, you will have to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.

If you are presently working in an organisation, a part-time postgraduate course in nursing is a great way to earn money and upskill. However, this is definitely a decision that will have to include your employer’s input. Will this work with your hours and workload? Have you budgeted enough time for study? Working in a nursing role carries a lot or responsibility, while a postgraduate programme of any description takes time and tenacity to complete. Make sure you have the resources to deliver on both.

Didn’t find the course for you in Ireland? Then don’t worry, there are many options in the UK and further afield too.

Career options

If you’re newly qualified, there is plenty of scope when it comes to choosing a job or focus. As a nurse, you could end up working in public and private hospitals, as home care, in nursing homes, for psychiatric facilities, for private organisations, in the prison service, for the defence forces, or you could even work through an agency. Nevertheless continuing professional development is essential for any nurses who want to deliver a high level of care in our ever-changing health care system.

Nurses can progress through promotions into management, move to teaching, become a researcher or continue on to study further. Many children’s nursing (not integrated with general nursing) programmes, midwifery courses, nurse tutor programmes, public health nursing programmes and nurse prescriber training are offered only at post registration level.

Further resources

There are a number of excellent resources available online. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) is a great source of news and opportunities for their members. The National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery have a database of options for nurses intending to engage in continuing professional development. Check out www.nmbi.ie for all the latest news and industry updates.

If you want to further your skills and increase your employability and earing power search postgraduate courses in nursing now.


Gemma Creagh

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