15% Annual Increase in Supply of Nurses and Midwives as a result of New Nursing Degrees

Posted on: 25 September 2006

There will be an annual increase of 15% more nurses and midwives as a result of two new children’s nursing and midwifery degree programmes which were launched on September, 25 last by the Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern TD, on the occasion of the TCD School of Nursing and Midwifery’s 10th anniversary.

“This national increase in the provision of qualified midwives and children’s nurses will be of direct benefit to the Irish healthcare system,” stated the TCD Provost, Dr John Hegarty, at the launch. “One in four of these newly qualified nurses and midwives will be coming from Trinity College.”

There is currently an annual intake of 1,640 nursing entrants to third level which will increase by 240 nationally as a result of these new degree courses.*

Sixty new students commenced the two new degrees in children’s nursing (BSc in General/Children’s Nursing) and midwifery (BSc in Midwifery) in Trinity College on the day of the launch.**

Through the introduction of these degrees, students can now gain direct entry into these areas – children’s nursing or midwifery – without having previously done a degree in nursing.

The TCD School of Nursing and Midwifery piloted the direct entry midwifery degree in 2000 at the request of the Department of Health and Children.  This pilot programme not only forms the basis of the TCD degree in midwifery, but also the midwifery degree which has been launched nationally in a number of schools of nursing.

This year sees the first class of third-level students of nursing graduate.  The changes in nurse education and its entry into third level were made by the Commission on Nursing in 1998. Today’s new courses – in midwifery and children’s nursing – see the culmination of the Commission’s recommendations for the introduction of five new degree courses.   (The other existing courses are in general nursing,  psychiatric nursing and  intellectual disability nursing).

The TCD School which is the largest School of Nursing and Midwifery in the country has the highest numbers of undergraduate and research students.  The School has a total of 1,400 students with an annual intake of almost 300 undergraduates a year.

Commenting on its many achievements since its foundation ten years ago, the School’s  founding director, Professor Cecily Begley said: “It has developed an internationally recognised research profile in nursing and midwifery and has been awarded over €3m in competitive funding to conduct this research.”  Research areas of expertise include normality in childbirth, dementia in persons with intellectual disability and the measurement of the workload of public health nurses.

The Taoiseach launched the 10 year anniversary of the School and its two new undergraduate degree programme at the School of Nursing and Midwifery 24, D’Olier Street,  Dublin 2.

* The degree programme has been launched nationally in schools of nursing in universities across the country.

** The TCD degree in children’s nursing required 480 points and the degree in midwifery required  430 points in the first round.