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HomeNews Events Conversations on Nursing and Midwifery Regulation

Conversations on Nursing and Midwifery Regulation

On Tuesday, 2 May 2023 NMBI held a Forum called 'Conversations on Nursing and Midwifery Regulation' in collaboration with the Chief Nursing Officer in the Department of Health. 

The event was an opportunity to bring together international nursing and midwifery regulators, as well as members of the health and education sectors in Ireland to discuss our shared experiences in regulating and educating the professions. 

More than 75 colleagues were in attendance, including representatives from international regulatory bodies such as the National Council of State Boards of Nursing; the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta; the New South Wales Nursing and Midwifery Council; the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives; the College of Nurses of Ontario; the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador. The forum was also attended by our colleagues from the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), the Office of the Nursing and Midwifery Services Director in the HSE, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), as well as Directors of Nursing and/or Midwifery, Heads of School in education bodies and representatives from hospital groups across the country.

Opening the event, our President, Dr Louise Kavanagh McBride welcomed attendees and thanked the Chief Nursing Office for their support in hosting the event. She outlined how the forum presents an opportunity to reflect on the shared challenges that nursing and midwifery regulators are facing internationally.  

The Chief Nursing Officer, Rachel Kenna, spoke about the importance of having conversations like those taking place today. She set out the Chief Nursing Office’s (CNO’s) strategy and how they work with NMBI to progress the professions, saying “We have achieved a lot, but there is more to do”.

Our Director of Registration, Dr Ray Healy, set the scene for attendees by sharing the statistics and demographics of our registered nurses and midwives in Ireland, compiled as part of our State of the Register 2022 report. 

Attendees then heard from two panel discussions on ‘Evolving regulation internationally’ and ‘Best practice in educating the professions’. 

The ‘Evolving regulation internationally’ panel discussion was chaired by our CEO, Sheila McClelland. 

Panellists were Muireann Ní Shúilleabháin, President of Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland and NMBI Board member; Christine Penney, Chief Officer Regulatory Policy and Programmes, British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives and Maryann Alexander, Chief Officer Nursing Regulation, National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). The NCSBN is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that supports nursing regulators in their mandate to protect the public. It brings organisations together on matters of common interest and concern affecting public health, safety and welfare, including the development of nursing licensure examinations.
The panel discussed the regulatory model in their jurisdictions, outlining the standards and requirements to become a registrant and the main challenges they faced. The future of regulation was discussed, including the movement of nurses into the aesthetics industry and the growing telehealth industry where registered professionals are beginning to practise internationally. 

The second panel on ‘Best practice in educating the professions’ was chaired by our Director of Education, Policy and Standards, Carolyn Donohoe. 

Panellists were Dr Louise Kavanagh McBride, NMBI President and Head of the Department of Nursing and Healthcare at Atlantic Technological University, Donegal; Áine Lynch, NMBI Vice President and Interim Chief Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Dublin Midlands Hospital Group; Catherine Schofield, Practitioner Member (Tasmania), Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and Silvie Crawford, CEO, College of Nurses of Ontario.
The panel discussed the education models for nursing and midwifery internationally, including the various programme lengths, the entry pathways and the balance between clinical practice and theory hours for students. The clinical and academic partnership for educating nurses and midwives in Ireland was highlighted as a key strength for the Irish healthcare system. 

The event was closed by our CEO, Sheila McClelland, who thanked all participants for contributing to the discussions and for sharing their challenges, experiences and learnings. 

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