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Advanced Pain Management with Prescriptive Authority

This programme was developed in collaboration with Mater Miserciordiae University Hospital (MMUH) and the specialist pain modules will be facilitated by Professor Laserina O'Connor and colleagues in the Department of Pain Medicine, MMUH.

The programme is about learning opportunities in the delivery of high quality pain care across a variety of multifaceted clinical contexts. The MSc has been developed in a spirit of partnership with a variety of health service providers, including pain experts. The programme is also about the education and training of nurses/midwives for prescriptive authority in pain management at the point of qualification.

The American Society Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN) has awarded international affiliate to this programme. The Irish Pain Society (Chapter IASP) has provided a scholarship for the student with the highest academic achievement.

Who is the programme for?
This programme is for nurses who wish to provide the highest quality of care by deepening and broadening their knowledge base in the field of pain management across communities. The MSc Advanced Pain Management with Prescriptive Authority programme builds on appropriate undergraduate level study to progress the student's power of understanding for becoming more effectively, skillfully and humanely engaged in advanced pain practice across a variety of complex environments.

Programme aims:
- To foster leadership in pain practice.

- To enable practitioners develop their skills not just of
emerging scholarship within the field of pain management but also of the wider academic, technological and intricate environments in which pain care takes place.

- To ensure the nurse is equipped with the knowledge, skills and competence to prescribe safely and effectively.

What will I learn?
You will develop a sophisticated questioning approach and practical experience of the scientific method in the context of diagnostic challenges pertinent to acute, chronic and cancer pain and pain survivorship. In addition, you will gain a broad understanding of prescribing practice and interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary team working.

How will I benefit?
This programme will support individuals who wish to make pain care an advanced part of their portfolio and in addition, plot their career development as an advanced nurse/midwife practitioner and nurse/midwife prescriber.

Teaching methods
A wide range of diverse and student-centered learning processes are used to create an exciting interactive environment of thinking and learning. Blackboard, a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that supports online learning and teaching, is used. Students attend multidisciplinary lectures, problem-solving discussion groups, seminars, and peer group presentations. The clinical practicums will ground students in actual pain practice across a variety of multifaceted environments. Practice placements pertinent to prescriptive authority will enable students meet the professional competence required

Entry requirements

General Requirements

Be registered as a nurse or midwife on the live register with NMBI

Other health care professionals must be registered with a recognised professional body

Applicants must have acquired a level 8 academic award in health or allied health care discipline.

Applicants must be currently engaged in clinical practice with patients/clients.

Have a minimum of 3 years post-registration clinical experience (within the past 5 years) with at least one year in the area in which prescribing is proposed

Be in possession of competencies recognized at level 8 of the NQAI framework

Have a signed Site declaration form

Have a Nomination and confirmation of a designated medical practitioner mentor

Support from employer to undertake programme

Demonstrate continuous professional development

Possess IT competences

The APEL process can be considered for those applicants who do not have a level 8 qualification.


2 years part-time

Further enquiries

General Enquiries to:
Bernadette Manley
Tel: +353 1 716 6499

Academic Enquiries to:
Prof Laserina O' Connor
Tel: +353 1 716 6460

Subjects taught

This is a two year programme, with two semesters in year one and two semesters in year two. Assessments are varied (Algorithm, Case Studies, MCQ, OSLER, Action Research (AR) Dissertation) throughout the programme. In addition, students complete a pain placement [shadowing experience] in Limerick Regional Hospital and St Vincent's University Hospital as part of their Advanced Clinical Practicum in year two.

Year One
•Leadership & Organisational Dynamics (Semester 1)
•Pain Management (Semester 1)
•Acute and Persistent Pain: Mechanisms to Treatment (Semester 1)
•Advanced Health Assessment (Semester 2)
•Holistic approaches: Prescribing (Semester 2)
•Context of Pres: Prescribing (Semester 2)
•Research Methods applied to Healthcare (Semester 2)

Year Two
•Advanced Clinical Pain Practicum (Semester 1)
•Implementation Science & Researching Change in Own Organization (Semester 1)
•AR Dissertation (Semester 1-2)


Documents to be submitted with your application

Academic Transcripts including date and grading of Degree award (non UCD only)

Applicants must be entered on the live register of nurses/midwives maintained by NMBI

Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Pages of Passport (non UCD only)

Professional Reference Form (form available on School website at

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

Signed site declaration form by the Director of Nursing/Midwifery and Medical Mentor for nurses/midwives who wish to undertake the MSc (Advanced Pain Management with Prescriptive Authority).

Site Audit form for Prescribing

Application date

Closing Date: 1st August 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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