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Advance Practice - Gastroenterology

The Master of Science Nursing Advanced Practice (Gastroenterology) programme is offered over two years. Students will attend classes at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems at UCD. Clinical learning experiences will be facilitated at approved clinical sites. The governance structure of this programme is under a partnership approach with St Vincent's Hospital Group (SVHG) and the National Screening Services (NSS).

This programme will equip nurses with advanced knowledge and skills relevant to enhancing nursing practice. On completion of the programme successful applicants can apply for registration to become an advanced nurse practitioner (ANP) and a registered nurse prescriber with the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). Students are also prepared to practice as a Nurse Endoscopist under the guidance of a nominated Gastroenterologist / Consultant.

Who is this programme for?
The educational aim of the programme is to prepare nurses to become an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP), a nurse prescriber in medication (RNP) and a nurse endoscopist in gastroenterology care. Advanced nursing practice is carried out by autonomous, experienced practitioners who are competent, accountable and responsible for their own practice.

Aims of the programme
This programme aims to provide nurses with a strong theoretical and clinical foundation in advanced practice, leadership and research methods, culminating in a Dissertation focused on your area of clinical practice. The development and implementation of the education programme for nurse and midwifery prescribing and nurse endoscopy skills training has occurred through collaboration between the HSE, School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems, with the staff of the UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science and in partnership with St Vincent's Hospital Group (SVHG).

What will I learn?
You will learn advanced nursing assessment and diagnostic skills and sharpen your analytical and critical thinking skills to enable you to independently provide optimum patient care. The clinical practicum modules of the programme are designed to provide clinical teaching and learning under the direction of a nominated mentor in Gastroenterology/Endoscopy. Key components of the programme, inclusive of theoretical and clinical learning, will be delivered in SVUH where students will have the necessary clinical exposure to support their learning needs.

How will I benefit?
The curriculum is designed to develop your advanced knowledge and skills to enable you to be competent to work as an advanced nurse practitioner. On successful completion of this programme you will be eligible to apply for registration as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner with The Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). The programme will also prepare the student to practice locally as a nurse endoscopist under the guidance of a medical colleague.

Highly focused on advancing clinical practice

This programme is focused on developing advanced practical, leadership and research skills to enable graduates to be expert practitioners, researchers and clinical leaders.

Innovative modules

A central aspect of this programme is ensuring nurses develop the necessary assessment skills to carry out an advanced health assessment on patients. The use of clinical skills laboratories and clinical assessments in the student's clinical area provide an interactive and innovative learning experience. Clinical practicums are a key component of the programme and involve self-directed learning and assessment, engagement with lecturers in the clinical environment and the supervision of a mentor. Endoscopy skills are developed at the student's local clinical site under the supervision of the mentor.


The students who choose to undertake the Graduate Certificate Nursing Advanced Practice (Gastroenterology) are self-selecting and have a vision for nursing. They are already leaders in nursing in Ireland and are drawn from a wide variety of clinical specialisms and organisations, enabling the sharing of learning and experience between you and your class members, as well as from the academic staff. A student who chooses this programme wishes to become a nurse endoscopist.

Entry requirements

•Applicants must be registered as a professional nurse or midwife on the live register maintained by NMBI
•Applicants must have a primary degree in nursing or a related subject, or hold an equivalent qualification
•Applicants must have a minimum of five years post-registration experience
•Applicants must have three years in the chosen area of specialist practice
•Applicants must provide evidence of continuing professional development
•Applicants must provide documented support from the Director of Nursing and Physician in current practice setting
•Applicants must designate a mentor who will provide support and supervision in practice
•Applicants must submit site audit form for prescribing modules
•Applicants must submit site declaration form for prescribing modules

Additional Requirements:

Prescribing and administration of medicinal products

*In addition, applicants must:
•Provide a signed Site declaration form for prescribing modules
•Provide a site audit form for prescribing modules
•Nomination and confirmation of a designated medical practitioner mentor who will support the student in endoscopy skills training
•Seek support from an employer to undertake the programme
•Possess IT competencies


2 years part-time

Careers or further progression

Careers/Where can I go?

Prior to coming on the Graduate Certificate Nursing Advanced Practice (Gastroenterology) it is necessary to identify, with your Director of Nursing, an advanced practice role in response to patient need. While on the programme your focus will be on developing the appropriate knowledge and skills to enable you to work as an advanced nurse practitioner. With your newly-developed advanced knowledge, clinical skills, leadership and research skills, you can work as an advanced nurse practitioner candidate and apply for registration as an advanced nurse practitioner and nurse prescriber with The Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). You may wish to extend your project work and undertake a research degree.

Further enquiries

General Enquiries:
Bernadette Manley
Senior Executive Assistant
Room C123

Programme Co-Ordinator
Dr Rita Smith
Room B3.05

Subjects taught

Programme Structure
This is a part-time degree, taking place over 2 years. The theoretical programme starts in September and ends in May. Classes take place on Mondays in Semesters 1 and 2 and also on Wednesdays in Semester 2. The Dissertation is carried out over Semester 1 & 2 in Year 2. In addition the students undertake clinical practicums where theory and clinical modules are applied directly to patient care.

The programme is comprised of two core modules, three advanced practice modules, two advanced research modules, two modules related to prescribing of medications and two clinical modules linked to endoscopy skills training. Lecturers work closely with you and your clinical mentor to ensure the course objectives are met. You complete a dissertation due for submission at the end of Year 2. You are allocated a supervisor at the beginning of the programme to support you in completing your project.

Students take the following modules and complete a dissertation:
•Advanced Health Assessment
•Nursing Knowledge: Philosophy & Practice
•Research Methods Applied to Healthcare
•Holistic Approaches: Prescribing
•Context of Practice: Prescribing
•Advanced Research Methods Applied to Healthcare
•Leadership & Organisational Dynamics
•Decision Analysis in Case Management
•Clinical Practicum I – Principles of Endoscopic Practice
•Clinical Practicum II - Advanced Principles of Endoscopic Practice

Application date

Closing Date: 30th June 2018

Applications are made online through UCD Applications. Applicants may be required to undertake an interview (either face-to-face or via telecommunication) as part of the admission process.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: September 2018

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