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Policy Information

Nursing and Midwifery

Published: 25 July 2019
From: Department of Health

Nursing Policy

The Office of the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), part of the department, works to shape nursing and midwifery policy around the needs of the health service.

The Strategy for the Office of the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) provides the necessary direction for the Office in supporting the nursing and midwifery professions and maximising their contribution to health policy. Most importantly, the Strategy's ultimate aim is to help ensure that patients receive the best possible care.

The initiatives below aim to:

  • embed the values of nursing and midwifery
  • stabilise the nursing and midwifery resource
  • maximise nursing and midwifery outcomes
  • measure the impact of nursing and midwifery

These initiatives are fully integrated. Once implemented, they have the potential to revolutionise the delivery of nursing and midwifery services within the community and acute health services.

Values of Nursing and Midwifery

The Values Initiative is led by the Chief Nursing Officer and the Department of Health, in partnership with the Office of the Nursing and Midwifery Services Director, the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.

A national consultation process asked nurses and midwives to identify, agree and commit to a set of core values that underpin their practice in Ireland. Values are ingrained principles that guide the actions of nurses and midwives.

Three core values were identified by this consultation process:

  • compassion
  • care
  • commitment

The consultation process produced a position paper. Developed in collaboration with the HSE and the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, this paper describes the core values underpinning and guiding the practice of nursing and midwifery in Ireland.

These values and their associated behaviours are the essence of nursing and midwifery practice. They form the basis for professional decision-making and actions. Taken together, these values represent the unique contribution of nursing and midwifery to safe patient care.

The HSE and the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland are committed to supporting nurses and midwives to practise these values. The values are endorsed and supported by the Office of the Chief Nursing Officer.

Learn more about the core values.

Nursing and Midwifery Performance Indicators

Significant investment is being made in nursing and midwifery. It is therefore important to measure the outcomes and impacts of nursing and midwifery initiatives on patients.

To do this, the department has developed a framework for national performance indicators for nursing and midwifery. This ensures that their development, prioritisation, endorsement and monitoring is standardised.

Learn more about the framework.

Taskforce on Staffing and Skill Mix

A framework to determine the staffing and skill mix requirements for the nursing workforce was also developed. This means a significant change of emphasis, designed to put patient needs first, in calculating the number and type of nurses needed to work on each ward.

Instead of matching the number of nurses to the size of the ward, this framework matches nurses to the type and number of patients on the ward, and their needs.

The framework is equally focused on creating a healthier and more attractive work environment for staff by stabilising the nursing resource and providing for fairer workloads, a critical factor in recruiting and retaining this vital resource.

Phase One

Phase One focused on the development of a Framework for Safe Nurse Staffing and Skill Mix in General and Specialist Adult Hospital Medical and Surgical Care Settings in Ireland.

The Phase One Pilot, which took place in six hospital wards, delivered significant benefits.

These benefits include:

  • an increase in the amount of time the Clinical Nurse Manager spent in supervision, with resulting improvements in staff perceptions of the quality of care delivered, and a relative increase in staff perceptions of support received from nursing leadership
  • an overall decrease in patient length of stay to 0.5 days
  • a reduction in missed care events (referred to as Safety CLUEs), from 75% of nurses reporting that at least one necessary item of care was left undone due to lack of time on their last shift, to 32% following the framework's implementation
  • a reduction in the requirement of one-to-one enhanced care, or 'specialling' for patients by more than 70%
  • substantial reductions in the use of agency staff, in some cases up to 95%
Phase Two

The focus of Phase Two of the framework is on the Emergency Department and their specific needs in relation to the nursing team.

Developing graduate, specialist and advanced nursing and midwifery practice

A growing body of evidence shows that advanced nurse and midwife practitioners make a substantial and positive contribution to the management of long-term conditions. They can improve patient access to services and reduce waiting times, while delivering high quality healthcare.

As senior decision makers, advanced nurse and midwife practitioners undertake a comprehensive advanced physical and or mental health assessment of patients with complex healthcare needs, including those in crisis. They can interpret the results of different assessments and investigations to make a diagnosis, and plan and deliver care.

As team leaders they can confidently and competently make ethical, evidence-based decisions and interventions. They can use appropriate therapies when faced with complexity, and assess and manage the risk associated with these decisions.

The policy aims to create 700 advanced nurse practitioners by 2021, to meet service needs and contribute to addressing the current challenges in service provision.

Learn more about the Policy on the Development of Graduate to Advanced Nursing and Midwifery Practice.

Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020

The Nightingale Challenge

The Nightingale Challenge is designed to encourage and enable the development of the next generation of nurses and midwives to play a more significant role in influencing health direction and policy. Investing in young nurses and midwives is essential for improving health and health care in Ireland. The Nightingale Challenge offers an opportunity to be part of a global movement to equip and empower the next generation of nurses and midwives as leaders, practitioners, and advocates in the promotion of positive health. It will champion nursing and midwifery at a time when the two professions will be enjoying global attention through the Year of the Nurse and Midwife .

The Nightingale Challenge has been accepted by Dr Siobhan O’Halloran, Chief Nursing Officer in the Department of Health and Dr Geraldine Shaw, Director, Office of the Nursing & Midwifery Services, Health Service Executive, who will jointly lead this initiative.

Nursing Now will offer support, contacts and coordination, as well as publicising activities and achievements. We will also provide platforms for organisations and younger nurses and midwives to share experiences and learn from each other within their country, region nationally and internationally

The two programmes available for the 2020 Irish Nightingale Challenge are:

  • A. Mentorship and Career Development – organised by the Office of the Chief Nursing Officer, Department of Health
  • B. Leadership Development programme – organised by the Office of Nursing and Midwifery Services Director, HSE
Who can apply?

The eligibility criteria for both programmes requires applicants to:

  • Be a registered nurse or midwife, who is in the first 10 years of their nursing or midwifery career, with a minimum of 3 years of post-registration experience.
  • Be currently employed as a registered nurse or midwife in the HSE or public sector.
  • Have line manager approval to participate in the programme.

Applications will close at 17:00 on the 24th of January 2020 with successful participants notified by the 14th of February 2020

Informal enquires can be made to:

For Programme A - Ray Healy, Project Officer, Chief Nurse’s Office in the Dept of Health at ray_healy@health.gov.ie

For programme B - Mare Kilduff, Interim Director National Clinical Leadership Centre for Nursing and Midwifery at marie.killduff@hse.ie

A. Mentorship and Career Development Programme - organised by the Office of the Chief Nursing Officer, Department of Health

The Nightingale Challenge will provide mentorship and career development, through programmes, shadowing and mentoring with senior nurses and midwives.

Selection will be based on the short statement of intent made by applicants. Each applicant will require their employers support to engage with the programme. Applications will be advertised through the Department of Health, HSE and OMNSD through their websites, circulation routes and associated social media. There will be five nurses in the programme across various disciplines. Each nurse and midwife will be mentored by a Deputy Chief Nursing Officer (DCNO) and/or a project officer for the duration of this Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020 Irish programme.

The objectives of this programme are:

  • To develop a strategic network of multi-generational leaders
  • To support leadership development
  • To provide an experience of policymaking, national healthcare strategy and governance
  • Exposure to the wider healthcare system
  • Engage with nurses and midwives across the 5 CNO countries

The Programme will include

  • Day 1 - Q1 2020 – 1 day of learning from CNO, DCNO and project officers in DoH. The topic of nurses in politics, policy, and shaping the future. Input from communications and parliamentary affairs. There will also be the option of shadowing of CNO and DCNOs.
  • Day 2 - Q2 2020 – A day learning with senior nurses, nurse leaders and Nightingale Fellows. Topics to include leadership in healthcare and career development
  • Day 3 - Q3 2020 – A day in conversation with senior nurses and academics, link with 5 CNOs (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales)
  • Day 4 - Q4 2020- group presentation at the All Ireland CNO conference.

Mentoring - All programme participants will be provided with a mentor who will support them with their individual leadership development journey until December 2020.

Shadowing - Participants should be supported to shadow a senior leader whose specific professional expertise will meet the individual needs of the participant.

Learning outcomes to be achieved: career development, leadership skill, insight into policymaking and the wider healthcare system.

Selection of Applicants

• On receipt of applications, the selection will be based on meeting the eligibility criteria and the short statement of intent submitted by applicants.

• Each applicant will require their employers support to engage with the programme.

• Places will be offered to 5 nurses and/or midwives.

The online application form can be accessed https://forms.gle/EtsphsUPnHKVfftB8

Please download the application form, complete with participants and line managers signature, scan and return to 2020nurseandmidwifeyear@health.gov.ie by the 24th of January 2020.

B. Leadership Development Programme – organised by the Office of Nursing and Midwifery Services Director, HSE

The Office of the Nursing and Midwifery Services Director is pleased to accept in the Irish Nightingale Challenge 2020 in collaboration with the Office of the CNO, Department of Health. The National Clinical Leadership Centre for Nursing and Midwifery (NCLC) provides leadership development opportunities for all grades of nurses and midwives on behalf of the ONMSD and will deliver a bespoke Leadership Development Programme for the Irish Nightingale Challenge 2020

Leadership Development Programme

The programme will be designed to meet the Irish Nightingale Challenge 2020 and aims to give nurses and midwives who meet the eligibility criteria, the skills they need to play an even more influential role in global health.

The programme will be delivered over a total of 4 days, 2 days initially, followed by 1 day per month for the next 2 months. The programme is designed to optimise leadership development for participants, through the delivery of core leadership topics, co-designed sessions, shadowing and mentoring.

The programme participants will consist of midwives and nurses from across services and disciplines. Participants will have the opportunity to enhance their understanding of nursing and midwifery in Ireland from a strategic and operational perspective.

Selection of Applicants

  • On receipt of applications, the selection will be based on meeting the eligibility criteria and the short statement of intent submitted by applicants.
  • Each applicant will require their employers support to engage with the programme.
  • Places will be offered to 15 nurses and midwives.

Proposed Core Content:

  • A brief overview of Nursing and Midwifery in Ireland – including the role and function of the Office of the CNO, the ONMSD and team and acute and community services.
  • Sláintecare - what will the future health care system look like when it is implemented? An examination of how staff nurses and midwives can support its implementation.
  • Self Awareness – Participants will undertake the Clinical Leadership Competency Framework self-awareness competency assessment on HSE LanD, to identify their strengths and areas of development. Participants will also be offered the opportunity to undertake their Myers Briggs Inventory Type (MBTI) assessment and be guided by MBTI facilitators as to what their profile means for themselves and their interactions with others
  • The importance of professional networking and collaboration with key stakeholders within the organisation and outside the organisation, including NMBI, HIQA etc
  • Influencing and negotiation skill development
  • Resilience
  • The benefit of measurement and audit and the use of data to instigate change in a quality organisation
  • Lessons learnt from the leadership journey of a Florence Nightingale Foundation Scholar

Please note participants will engage a co-design session on day 2 of the programme, to provide an opportunity for the group to identify their leadership development needs.

Mentoring - All programme participants will be offered the opportunity to engage in mentoring in order to support their individual leadership development journey until December 2020.

Shadowing - Participants will be supported to shadow a senior leader whose specific professional expertise will be consistent with the individual needs of the participant.

Irish Nightingale Challenge ONMSD Application Form

Download

Please download the application form, complete with participants and line managers signature, scan and return to Ms Niamh Mann, NCLC administrator at Niamh.mann2@hse.ie by 5 pm on 24th January 2020.

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