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Nurses and Midwives Act 2011

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. It has been commenced in three stages with the exception of Part 11 - Maintenance of Professional Competence, and any provisions of the Act associated with that part.

The Act more closely aligns the governance of the nursing and midwifery professions with that of other health care professionals such as doctors and pharmacists, as provided for under the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 and the Pharmacy Act 2007 respectively.

Following the signing of Commencement Order S.I. No. 385 of 2012, the name of An Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann Altranais changed 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.

The Act enhances the protection of the public in its dealings with the professions, while ensuring the integrity of the practice of nursing and midwifery.

Nurses and Midwives Rules

The legislation requires the Board to make rules in relation to the operation of its main functions.

Nurses and Midwives (Amendment Rules) 2020

Following a public consultation: the Nurses and Midwives (Education and Training) (Amendment) Rules 2020 (S.I. No. 501 of 2020); the Nurses and Midwives (Recognition of Professional Qualification) (Amendment) Rules 2020 (S.I. No. 502 of 2020); and the Nurses and Midwives (Register of Nurses and Midwives) (Amendment) Rules 2020 (S.I. No. 503 of 2020) have been approved by the Minister on the 28 October 2020.

Five nursing and midwifery rules were enacted in June 2018 and are available to view on Irish Statute Book.
Collectively the 2018 rules create a legislative framework which allows the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland to fulfil its statutory obligations. 

Until now there was no secondary legislation under the Nurses and Midwives Act 2011 for:

  • Registration;
  • Qualification recognition;
  • The candidate register; and
  • The structure of registers.

​The Nursing Rules of 2010 and 2013 provided the framework for the implementation of legislation governing the professions including:

  • Establishing each division of the register;
  • Governing the elections to the Board members; and
  • Providing for the collection of fees.

The new Nurses and Midwives Rules for 2018 with associated SI Numbers are available at the following:

S.I. No. 213 of 2018 commenced section 4(2) of the 2011 Act. This revokes four separate S.I.s and these are now replaced by the Rules.

The Nurses Rules for 2010 and 2013 can be found at the following:

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