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Higher Education Institutions and NMBI’s role

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) has a statutory responsibility to approve nursing and midwifery programmes leading to registration that are offered by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) such as universities, institutes of technology and third level colleges.

NMBI’s role in relation to the approval of professional nursing and midwifery education is distinct from the academic accreditation or quality monitoring of an HEI for subject quality purposes. NMBI works in collaboration with other statutory agencies that regulate higher education in Ireland:

NMBI uses a number of standards for the accreditation of an HEI and associated health care provider(s) to deliver a programme to prepare graduates for entry into the nursing or midwifery professions. More details are available in the Approval of HEIs and Sites section

Each standard consists of a criterion statement, standard statement and a series of indicators. Indicators assist the education providers, HEI and Associated Health Care Provider AHCP(s), to identify the evidence required to demonstrate that the programme is fit for purpose and for practice to meet the criteria for professional approval. 

Local working groups

The HEI should manage the programme efficiently and effectively through a Local Joint Working Group. The programme should be well organised, with clear managerial, operational governance and reporting structures. There should be robust and transparent systems for programme evaluation.

Each Local Joint Working Group represents the HEI and its associated health care provider(s) (AHCPs) through a spirit of partnership and collaboration. It respects the statutory autonomy of individual HEIs. It works on the basis of sound governance, self-assessment and monitoring of compliance with national and EU standards for nursing and midwifery education. NMBI engages with each Local Joint Working Group through site visits and through the compilation of annual reports.

Membership of the LJWG should be drawn from key stakeholders from the HEI and AHCP(s). These should include:

  • Student representatives.
  • Managerial, academic and administrative staff from the HEI.
  • Clinical and managerial staff from the AHCS hospital and community services, who are associated with its delivery.

Annual reports

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) requires the Higher Education Institution (HEI and Associated Health Care Provider(s)) to produce an annual report in April of each year to be produced jointly by the HEI and the associated health care provider(s). The report should include the following information:

  • An update on conditions and recommendations in respect of programme(s) approval and site visit report.
  • Evidence that programmes continue to meet NMBI requirements.
  • Information on the quality of and changes to the practice placement learning environments and the arrangements / structures that are in place to enable students achieve the learning outcomes.
  • Student numbers per cohort per programme, number of places available per programme, number of places accepted, attrition rates, current numbers.
  • Changes to curriculum structures or processes.
  • Changes to marks and standards / HEI academic regulations.
  • A list of the nurse lecturers to include division of the Register of Nurses and Midwives and the NMBI Personal Identification Number (PIN).
  • Change of External Examiner(s) including compliance with appointment standards and the NMBI / Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) PIN applicable.
  • The external examiner’s annual report or a summary.
  • Any significant changes that affect any aspect of compliance with the standards and requirements of NMBI.

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