Nursing - Children's Nursing

The Higher Diploma in Nursing (Children’s Nursing) programme is delivered in partnership with the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems, and Children’s Health Ireland. This post-registration children’s nursing programme is a one-year fixed programme, awarding an academic accreditation at the Level 8 National Qualification Authority Ireland framework.

This programme will build upon your existing nursing knowledge, skills, attitudes, and professional values, enhancing your ability to care for infants, children and young people, and their families, within a variety of paediatric healthcare settings.

How will I benefit?
On successful completion of the programme, you will receive a level 8 Higher Diploma in Nursing (Children’s Nursing) from UCD’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems. The programme is recognised nationally and internationally and is a highly regarded qualification. With it, you will be well-positioned for employment opportunities in a variety of paediatric healthcare settings both nationally and internationally. Academically there are opportunities to pursue to Masters/PhD level.

Programme Strengths
Strong working and collaborative relationship between UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems and Children’s Health Ireland (CHI).
Students on this programme will undertake clinical placements in any of the CHI Group Hospitals which include CHI at Crumlin, CHI at Temple St., CHI at Tallaght, CHI at Connolly and once it is opened, the new Children's Hospital.
Lectures are both clinical and university-based, delivered by a wide range of children’s nursing specialists with national and international expertise from clinical, research and educational perspectives.
A variety of innovative teaching methods, including lectures, workshops, and simulations, are used to consolidate the theoretical learning into clinical practice. Assessment methods are diverse and student oriented.
Extensive use of IT in supporting the teaching environment of the programme
Access to student support services including a dedicated student advisor, librarian and access to the UCD Writing Centre

Who is the programme for?

This programme is for Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) registered nurses in the divisions of General Nurse (RGN), Psychiatric Nurse (RPN) & Intellectual Disability Nurse (RNID) with a minimum of 6 months relevant nursing experience within the last 2 years.

This post-registration children’s nursing programme will provide 12 weeks theoretical instruction and 36 weeks clinical instruction comprising of placements in children’s medical/surgical wards, children’s emergency department and high-dependency care within Children’s Health Ireland (CHI). Specialist placements such as operating theatre, maternity care, intellectual disability and community care will be provided to applicants who would not have completed these placements as part of their primary undergraduate nursing degree.

Subjects taught

The Higher Diploma in Nursing (Children’s Nursing) Programme delivers a curriculum aligned with NMBI Standards and Requirements for Post-Registration programmes (2018) and UCD Academic Regulation (2020) underpinned by several specific philosophical assumptions concerning child and family centred care, children and their families, professional children’s nursing practice and knowledge and scholarship.

This programme aims to provide registered nursing practitioners with advanced nursing knowledge, skills, attitudes, and professional values, through deep understanding and collaborative practice with infants, children and young people, and their families, following a child and family-centred care approach.

This one-year programme is run over 3 semester, commencing in September of each year. During semester 1, students will attend college in a 7-week block (Mon-Fri) of full-time study. This is followed by two clinical placements in Children’s Health Ireland (CHI), at Crumlin. During semester 2, students will undertake a 4-week block (Mon-Fri)of full-time study. Students will then complete the remainder of their clinical placements in addition to a number of specialist clinical placements for the remainder of the programme.

Assessments are varied (assignments/short examination questions/MCQ/case presentation/practical examination/online discussion boards) and occur at intervals throughout and at the end of the semester 1 and 2.


You will complete seven theoretical modules and six clinical placement modules.

Core Modules:

Semester 1

NMHS33300 Principles and Practices in Children’s Nursing
NMHS33310 Nursing Children in the Acute setting (HDip)
NMHS33250 Nursing Children with Enduring Healthcare Needs
NMHS33260 Nursing Children with Diverse Needs
NMHS33330 Practice Placement 1A
Semester 2

NMHS20810 Growth and Development in Childhood
NMHS33320 Evidence Based Care of Children Across Range Settings (HDip)
NMHS33490 Community Care and Services for Children (HDip)
NMHS33340 Practice Placement 1B
Semester 3

NMHS33350 Practice Placement 2
NMHS33360 Practice Placement 3
NMHS33370 Practice Placement 4A
NMHS33380 Practice Placement 4B

Entry requirements

All applicants must:

Registered with NMBI as RGN/RPN/RNID
6 months relevant nursing experience within the last 2 years (inclusive of internship)
Students who have English as a second language must satisfy the English language requirements of the university to be eligible to apply
Please Note: If your preference is to be a student of UCD (partnered with CHI at Crumlin) there is an essential requirement that you must have undertaken a Level 8 Research Module (either stand alone or as part of a level 8 programme)

Please Note: If English is not your native language, unless you have completed your primary degree through English in an English-speaking country, an English language qualification is required for all programmes. Please refer to here for more details.

Desirable Criteria:

· Experience working with or caring for children and families

· Awareness of professional and paediatric issues

· Management of clinical risk and quality issues

· Experience of research-based practice and audit

Documents Required

Copy of current Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland P.I.N.
Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Page of Passport.

Application dates

How to apply?

Children's Health Ireland is currently accepting applications for the Higher Diploma in Children's Nursing Programme. For an application form please visit their recruitment website by clicking (opens in a new window)here.

Applicants will be required to undertake an interview (either face-to-face or via telecommunication) as part of the admission process.

Applications will not be accepted through direct email or any other method.

Following acceptance of an offer of a place on the programme by Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) with CHI at Crumlin, successful candidates should contact the programme administrator in UCD to continue their application process.


1 year full-time.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2024/2025 September.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Higher Diploma (Level 8 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider