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Specialist nurse roles on the way, Sligo event hears

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NMBI President Essene Cassidy with participants in the conference at St Angela’s College, Sligo.

NMBI President Essene Cassidy with participants in the conference at St Angela’s College, Sligo.

NMBI President Essene Cassidy with participants in the conference at St Angela’s College, Sligo.

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SLIGO is to get more Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs) this year as part of a nationwide roll-out of highly skilled nursing positions, The Sligo Champion can reveal.

The announcement was made by local Minister of State at the Department of Health, Frank Feighan at an event at St Angela’s College which was co-hosted by the nursing regulator the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

The discussion on the future of Intellectual Disability Nursing was hosted at the college as a degree course is hosted there.

Minister Feighan was the keynote speaker at the NMBI Summer Series event which saw leading academic and clinical specialists discuss ID nursing. Other events were held in Letterkenny, Athlone and Cork.

“I want to commend NMBI on the Summer series events catering for different disciplines of the nursing and midwifery professions across the country,” said Minister Feighan.

“The NMBI has showcased the work being carried out by the Board, and the wider health service, by nurses and midwives supporting the implementation of the Slaintecare strategy.

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“The Registered Nurse in Intellectual Disability has a unique role and are ideally placed to support complicated care in the community, during the four stages of life, they continue to ensure the full potential of the individual is realised while they enjoy the fullest integration into their family and community.

“The RNID is a registered professional competent, and equipped, to act as lead professional, educator, advocate, mentor and friend to the individual with an ID; providing the appropriate mix of professional care, education, guidance and support.

“Slaintecare has enabled Intellectual Disabilities nursing in the Northwest to take a lead on the development and implementation of a national Health Passport for people with an Intellectual Disability. This innovation focused on improving access to healthcare. It is a patient safety innovation as it supports the unique communication needs of people with Intellectual Disabilities.”

He said the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly in conjunction with the Chief Nursing Officer is working to increase the percentage of Advanced Nurse and Midwifery Practitioners in the workforce from 2% to 3% supported with an allocation of €11.6m for 2022. This will provide dozens of extra Advanced Nursing/Midwifery Practitioners throughout the country including extra positions for Sligo. Specific ID services in CHO 1 have two candidates, one for Autism services and one for those with IDs, to focus on physical health and wellbeing issues.

Seamus Dolan, Lecturer, Department of Nursing, Health Studies and Disability Studies, chaired the panel discussion at the event. Each panellist had the experience of intellectual disability nursing from a different perspective. The panel consisted of Carmel Jennings, Lecturer, Department of Nursing, Health Studies and Disability Studies, Susan Carton, Lecturer, Department of Nursing, Health Studies and Disability Studies, Judy Ryan, Director, NMPDU, HSE Kilkenny, Sarah Barrett, final year student BNSc ID, Carol Doherty, Clinical Nurse Manager 3 with HSE Disability Services Sligo/Leitrim, Tomás Murphy, Self-Advocate and Margaret Turley, Self-Advocate. NMBI President Essene Cassidy praised St Angela’s for working with the regulator to organise the event, describing many of the contributions as inspirational.


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