Course Overview

This programme's development is in response to a need for nurses and midwives to prescribe, in order to support high quality person-centred care. This follows from two key reports which mooted the extension of prescriptive authority for nurses and midwives; i.e. The Commission on Nursing in 1998, followed by the Review of the Scope and Practice for Nursing and Midwifery Final report in 2000. This recommendation was comprehensively evaluated in a 3½ year joint project by An Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann and the National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery in 2005. The review concluded that prescriptive authority should be extended to nurses and midwives. A further implementation project in 2008 put in place the regulatory, professional and support requirements which enabled nurses and midwives to take on this role. Prescriptive authority was extended to nurses and midwives by the Minister for Health and Children in 2007.

Nurses and midwives prescribe within the confines of robust legislation and professional regulation and their scope of practice.  Improving client care is core to this extended role.

The programme is delivered over a six-month period. Students will attend college for an induction day and three-days of workshop for each module (10 days in total). In addition, students will be mentored in their practice setting for the duration of the programme which will include 12 days of direct supervision of the prescriptive process by a designated medical practitioner.

The programme is comprised of  three theory/practice modules a clinical competency assessment in prescribing.    

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who Teaches this Course

Dr Adeline Cooney, M MedSc., BNS, RGN, RNT, PhD
Dr John Kelly BSc (Pharmacology) PhD (Neuropharmacology)
Professor Peter Cantillon, Head of Discipline, General Practice
Evelyn Byrne, MSc, RCNT, RGN RCN
Yvonne Conway, MSc (Primary Care), BNS, RGN, RNT
Bernard McCarthy, Dip.Nurse Mgt. (RCSI), Cert.Adult. Ed. (City & Guilds), BSc (South Bank), C.Q.A.M. (GMIT), MSc (Dub.)
Frances Farrelly, MSc, BNS, RGN, RNT
Dr Maura Dowling, MSc, BNS, RNT, RGN, RM, Cert Oncology, PhD

Requirements and Assessment

Modules are assessed using a combination of coursework and examinations.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

All applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

1. Be registered as a nurse or midwife on the register of An Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann;

2. Be currently employed as a nurse or midwife;

3. Have a minimum of three years’ recent post registration clinical experience in nursing or midwifery (within the last five years), with the equivalent of one-year full-time experience in the specific area of practice in which prescribing is proposed;

4. Possess the competencies recognised at level 8 of the National Framework of Qualifications;

5. Have evidence of undertaken continuing professional education;

6. Have support from an employer to undertake the programme as evidenced by a completed Site Declaration Form;

7. Confirmation of a designated nurse/midwife/medical mentor as evidenced by a completed Site Declaration Form.

Note: The form must be competed on behalf of the Health Service Provider by the Director of Nursing/Midwifery/Public Health Nursing or relevant nurse or midwife manager (and the form should be returned to PACas part of the online application process; more information on this aspect will be given when you make your online application). Further guidance on these requirements have been made available by the Office of the Nursing Services Director (2009); visit their website here.

Additional Requirements


6 months, full-time

Next start date

2 intakes: January 2018 & September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

6 (minimum) Please note that the programme offered is subject to sufficient student numbers.

Closing Date

 Please view the offer rounds website.

Next start date

2 intakes: January 2018 & September 2018

NFQ level

Mode of study

Blended learning

ECTS weighting




PAC code


Course Outline


  • Physical Assessment Skills
  • Professional, Ethical & Legal Issues of Nurse and Midwife Prescribing Drugs
  • Drugs, Patients and Illness.
  • Clinical Competency—Prescribing  

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

This programme will equip students with the competencies and skills needed to take on the extended role of prescribing medicines.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€3,000 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€2,776 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

Find out More

Catherine Meagher
Lecturer | Programme Director
School of Nursing and Midwifery
T +353 91 492 829