Nursing - Emergency Nursing - Adult

The Graduate Diploma Emergency Nursing (Adult) aims to build upon and advance the emergency nurse's repertoire of knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional values. The course aims to develop the clinician's capacities for caring and competent practice in emergency nursing, in order to prepare the nurse to provide a patient-focused, best-practice service within the acute health care delivery service.

Who is the programme for?
The course is aimed at advancing the range, breadth and depth of professional knowledge and skills in the care of persons presenting with acute illness or injury to an emergency department. It is aimed at qualified nurses who are currently employed in an emergency department and who have a minimum of six months' of emergency nursing practice and one year's acute medical/surgical ward experience.

Programme Aims
The specific aims of the course are:

To provide the student with the requisite knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional values for the advancement of his/her role in the care of emergency department patients, including critical analysis, creative thinking, decision making and communication

To advance the student's sense of professional awareness, responsibility and accountability in emergency nursing

The course will enhance your existing knowledge and skills in caring for patients with sudden or severe illness or injury. Possessing this expertise will enable you to become a valuable member of the multidisciplinary team involved in emergency care

On successful completion of the course, you will receive a Graduate Diploma in Emergency Nursing from UCD's School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems. The Programme is recognised nationally and internationally and is a highly regarded qualification for nurses caring for emergency department patients throughout Ireland.

What will I learn?
The curriculum is designed to enhance your knowledge and skills in the comprehensive assessment and management of emergency department patients.

Particular strengths include:

A long and honourable history of producing high quality graduates, many of whom are now working in advanced nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist and nurse management and educational roles

Specialist modules and clinical placements are offered in close partnership with the Emergency Departments and Nurse Education Centres of St. Vincent's University Hospital and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital

Short placements in the Emergency Departments of Our Lady's Children's Hospital, the Children's University Hospital and other acute areas

This facilitation of access to different hospital sites and settings results in numerous and valuable learning opportunities

The course enables students to gain a comprehensive understanding of subjects relevant to caring for emergency department patients. Particular emphasis is placed on recent national and international research findings and evidence-based guidelines aimed at ensuring optimal outcomes for ED patients.

Entry requirements

All applicants must hold a primary degree in Nursing (or equivalent in related discipline)/APEL consideration if no degree
- All applicants must be entered onto the appropriate division of the Nurses Register maintained by An Bord Altranais (be registered as an RGN)
- All applicants must have at least six month's experience in emergency nursing and one year's acute medical /surgical ward experience
- All applicants must be employed in an Emergency Department prior to commencing the course and for the duration of the course
- Other criteria include experience and evidence of ongoing professional development


Original transcript(s) including date and grading of degree award (non UCD Graduates only) & notarised English translations where relevant

Nurse applicants: A current photocopy of NMBI registration

Other health care professionals: A current photocopy of registration with professional registration body

Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Page of Passport

Signed Declaration Form by Employer

Completed Professional Reference Form

Nurse applicants: Completed Clinical Competence Assessor Nomination Form signed by the nominee

Evidence of proficiency in English language (applicants whose first language is not English)

Subjects taught

Programme Structure
This is a one year programme, divided into two academic trimesters. Autumn Trimester runs from September to early December. Spring Trimester runs from January to May of the following year. Assessments are varied and include case presentations, poster presentations, clinical rounds and short examination questions and occur at intervals during and at the end of each trimester. You will complete six modules in total, to include two core modules and four specialist modules:

2 Core Modules:
•Nursing Knowledge: Philosophy and Practice (Autumn Trimester)
(Download dates for on-campus lectures)
•Research Methods Applied to Healthcare (Spring Trimester)
(Download dates for on-campus lectures)

4 Specialist Modules:
•Care of the Acutely Ill (Autumn Trimester)
•Care of the Acutely Injured (Spring Trimester)
•Care of the Person with Specific Needs (Spring Trimester )
•Clinical Practicum (spans both trimesters)

Students taking the programme over two years will take the two core modules in year 1 and the four specialist modules in year 2.


1 year full-time or 2 years Part Time

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: September 2020

Post Course Info

Possessing this qualification, you will be well positioned to work in a variety of emergency care settings both nationally and internationally. Many of our graduates are now working as clinical nurse managers, as advanced practitioners (with additional MSc. qualification), and in educational roles.

More details
  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

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