The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) was first established as An Bord Altranais (the Board) by the Nurses Act 1950 to take over the functions of two bodies: the Central Midwives Board and the General Nursing Council, which had been established in 1918 and 1919, respectively. The Board was reconstituted and its functions were redefined and expanded by the Nurses Act 1985.
On 21 December 2011, the Nurses and Midwives Act 2011 was signed into law. This Act updated the provisions relating to the regulation of nurses and midwives. The Act recognised midwifery as a separate profession.
Following the signing of Commencement Order S.I. No. 385 of 2012, An Bord Altranais changed its name to Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann, or Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). This change of name reflects the recognition of midwifery as a separate and distinct profession to that of nursing.