NUI Galway and University College Dublin developed the Masters in Children’s Palliative/Complex Care Nursing in response to the growing number of children with life-limiting and palliative care needs.
It’s the first Master’s degree in Ireland for nurses caring for children and adolescents who have complex or life-limiting conditions.
There are about 4,000 children living with a life limiting illness in Ireland. Sadly about 350 of these children die each year.
Staff nurse Caoimhe Wade said: “It can be difficult to work with families in such tough circumstances, so the more education we have about palliative care can only help us improve the services we provide.
“When I saw this programme, I jumped at the chance to apply for it, because it is so relevant to what I do and a way to bring more experience and knowledge to the area I work in.”
Caoimhe is among 14 nurses who registered for the programme last September and are currently working hard to obtain their specialist qualification.
The nurses are from all over Ireland and are working across a range of settings including hospitals and the community.
On-line distance learning combined with face to face lectures make it possible for nurses to combine working full time with studying. The closing date for new applications is July.
Caoimhe who works in Dublin said: “It is such a broad programme and there’s so many clinical roles that would benefit from it – outreach, liaison nurses, community nurses, paediatric nurses, palliative care nurses and will also enhance my current job.
“It’s fantastic that NUI Galway have recognised the need for this type of course with a specific focus on children’s palliative care.
“It really shows how important children’s palliative care is especially with how much longer children with complex needs are living and that there are more treatments available to them.”
The programme was developed under the guidance of Claire Quinn, lecturer at NUI Galway’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and Professor Philip Larkin, UCD and President of the European Association of Palliative Care.
Claire Quinn, programme director said: “Overall this new programme prepares nurses for the evolving and hugely rewarding speciality of children’s palliative care and ensure that the nursing workforce of the future will have the skills to support children and families in the location of choice.”
The programme is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland and the Health Service Executive.
Apply to www.pac.ie/nuigalway for the programme.
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