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Nursing - Gerontological

The philosophy underpinning this postgraduate course values the concept of positive ageing and the unique individual characteristics of the older person. The course seeks to validate this through the development of expert gerontological nursing to meet the complex needs of older people in a variety of care settings. This course is a Postgraduate Certificate, 30 credits of a level nine programme of the National Framework of Qualifications.

Entry requirements

The Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing is a part-time programme running for 6 months from the date of first registration for the programme. The Certificate has six pathways and applicants choose their pathway at the application stage. The pathways are as follows:

Pathway 1: Gerontological Nursing
Pathway 2: Contemporary Issues in Intellectual Disabilities (Not on offer for 2017/18)
Pathway 3: Medical and Surgical Nursing
Pathway 4: Nursing in the Community
Pathway 5: Nurse/Midwife Prescribing
Pathway 6: Orthopedic Nursing (Not on offer 2017/2018)
Pathway 7: Oncology Nursing

Entry Requirements

Applicants for the Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing should normally:

(a) hold active registration on a division of the professional register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland or be eligible for such registration as required for individual pathways:
◾Pathway 1: Applicants must be Registered General Nurses or Registered Intellectual Disability Nurses or Registered Psychiatric Nurses.
◾Pathway 2: Applicants must be Registered Nurses in Intellectual Disability or Registered General Nurses/Registered Children's Nurses/Registered Psychiatric Nurses currently working in an intellectual disability setting.
◾Pathways 3, 6 and 7: Applicants must be Registered General Nurses.
◾Pathways 4 and 5: Applicants must be either Registered General Nurses or Registered Intellectual Disability Nurses or Registered Children's Nurses or Registered Psychiatric Nurses or Registered Midwives.

(b) have clinical practice experience (and support structures, if applicable) as required for individual pathways:
◾Pathways 1 and 3:Applicants must have a minimum of six months' post-registration experience (excluding courses) and at least three months experience in the speciality pathway applied for.
◾Pathway 2: Applicants who are Registered Nurses in Intellectual Disability must have a minimum of six months' post registration experience (excluding courses) and at least three months experience in intellectual disability nursing OR if a Registered General/Children's/Psychiatric nurse must have a minimum of one year's post-registration experience (excluding courses) in intellectual disability nursing.
◾Pathway 5: Applicants must have a minimum of 3 years post-registration experience (excluding courses). The required experience must have been gained within the past 5 years with at least one year in the area in which prescribing is proposed. In addition, applicants must (ii) demonstrate continuous professional development and ability to study at Level 9; (iii) provides support from employer and completed Site Self-Declaration Form, signed by the Director of Nursing/Midwifery/Public Health; (iv) provide nomination and confirmation of a designated medical practitioner mentor (completed Site Self-Declaration Form, signed by the Medical Practitioner/Mentor) who will provide the student with supervision, support and opportunities including shadowing opportunities. Applicants must contact their Director of Nursing/Midwifery/Public Health to discuss the identified need for nurse/midwife prescribing in his/her practice area/organisation.
◾Pathway 6: No experience required but must work in orthopedic speciality area.

Note Re. Pathway 4: Applicants for Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing in the Community are not required to have community nursing experience at the point of entry to this programme pathway.

Note Re. Pathway 7: Applicants for Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Oncology are not required to have oncology nursing experience at the point of entry to this programme pathway.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please see course webpage (link below) to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.


6 months part time online

Careers or further progression

This course will give registered general nurses, registered intellectual disability nurses and registered psychiatric nurses the knowledge and skills to work as members of the older-adult care team in a variety of gerontological settings to meet the complex needs of older people.

Further enquiries

Teresa Wills
Course Co-ordinator
Tel: +353(0) 21 490 1472

Sheila Hedderman
Senior Executive Assistant
Tel: +353(0) 21 4901560

Subjects taught

The course comprises of four modules

Pathway 1: Gerontological Nursing
Theory modules (blended learning):
NU6005 Research Methods (10 credits) (Shared module across all pathways)
NU6053 Ethics for Specialist Practice (5 credits) (Shared module across all pathways except 9)
NU6078 Ageing and Older People: Bio Psychosocial Perspectives (10 credits)

Clinical Practice/Practicum module:
NU6130 Clinical Practice in Specialist Nursing 1 (5 credits)

For more information see our postgraduate calendar

Course Practicalities
For each 10 credit module there is an estimated 200 hours Student Workload. The breakdown of these hours is: 184 hours distance online and technology learning, and 16 hours of face-to-face contact in Brookfield Health Science Complex. The breakdown for 5 credit theory modules will be half the hours stated above for 10 credit modules. Each 10 credit model runs for 6 weeks and each 5 credit module runs for 4 weeks. The practice modules involve direct clinical placement learning to meet Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland requirements.

Semester 1 - September to December (16 weeks) contains 2x 10 credit modules and 1x 5 credit module, and 1x5 credit module (practice module). The student is required to attend 3 x 8 hour days and 4 x 4 hour days on campus in semester 1 for workshops, lectures and tutorials. The remainder of content is delivered online using our virtual learning environment Blackboard. Learning strategies include module study guides, discussion boards, audio/visual resources and online assessments/activities.

Semester 2 - (16 weeks) contains 1x 5 credit module (practice module).
Students will be required to prepare and submit a E-portfolio on professional development activities relating to clinical practice placement.

Prior to commencing the course each student taking a blended module will be provided with an orientation to Blackboard and training on how to use the online technology within the course. IT support will be given to students throughout the duration of the course.

Assessment method

A range of assessments are used throughout the programme including written assignments, online activities (E. activities) and a competency book is completed for the practice modules.

Application date

Applications for 2017-18 intake are now open.

Closing Date: 9th June 2017

Non-EU Applicants:
Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

Course fee

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU €3,900 (per academic year)

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: September 2017

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