February 2nd 2023 saw the graduation from Trinity College Dublin of five nurses from the Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore with post graduate certificates in Advanced Practice in Nursing having dedicated themselves to this course over the last two years.
This course has enabled each experienced nurse to develop the knowledge and skills required for registration as an advanced nurse practitioner and to undertake advanced practice roles that meet the challenges and developments within their relevant areas of expertise.
Congratulating and acknowledging the work of the graduates, Louisea BurkeDirector of Nursing in the Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore said, ‘We are so delighted that five of our nurses here in Tullamore Hospital have successfully completed their post graduate certificates in Advanced Practice in Nursing. The course will have provided all students with a broad-based education experience enabling them to practice at a higher level of capability as independent autonomous and expert practitioners. The commitment of all five individuals is abundantly evident in all their hard work and dedication to the care of their patients in the Tullamore Hospital. We are extremely lucky at our Hospital to have such a highly skilled and newly qualified workforce at advanced practice level to ensure continued excellence of care for all patients.’
Maree Healy graduated with a Certificate in Nursing - Advanced Practice from TCD. She is currently working as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Tissue Viability in Tullamore Hospital having previously completed her MSc and Nurse prescribing. Maree said, “As an ANP in Tissue Viability my patient caseload is varied but has a strong vascular element. I manage patients with complex wounds of varying aetiologies. I run clinics both independently and alongside the vascular consultant. More recently I have developed a vascular outreach clinic in the community with my ANP colleagues in keeping with the Slaintecare vision for healthcare delivery. All things wounds have been my passion since qualifying as a nurse. I believe that as nurses we have a fundamental role in the care of patients with wounds and their successful outcomes.”
Maria Creggy has worked as an Ear, Nose, and Throat Clinical Nurse Specialist (ENT CNS) for 17 years in Tullamore Hospital and is also qualified as an RGN with a Higher Diploma in ENT Nursing, a MSc in Clinical Nursing, Post Grad Cert in Nurse Prescribing, she said, “My special area of interest within ENT is Head & Neck Oncology which includes those patients with an altered airway, i.e. patients who have undergone a laryngectomy or tracheostomy procedure. My vision for the development of a Head & Neck Advanced Nurse Practitioner role is one of maximising quality of life for this group of patients who are often unable to articulate their social and healthcare needs as a result of both their disease and treatment. Providing advanced clinical nursing expertise to this patient cohort will enable efficiencies in terms of healthcare delivery systems whilst also providing positive patient outcomes.”
Grace Kinahan has graduated as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Infection Prevention and Control. She specialised in caring for patients diagnosed with a Healthcare Associated Antimicrobial Resistant Organism, their isolation needs and the prevention of onward transmission of infection. She said, “I commenced working in Tullamore as an Assistant Director of Nursing in IPC in September 2022 and I have previously worked in RHM as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Infection prevention & Control for over 7 years. Prior to this I worked as midwife while completing my Masters at National University of Ireland (Galway), nurse prescribing in RCSI and then a Higher Diploma in Infection Prevention and Control (RSCI). I will endeavour to further enhance the IPC role within healthcare as our resilience will make a difference to both our colleagues and our patients.”
Annemarie Kirwan has worked in Tullamore since 2000 where she specialised in Oncology Haematology Nursing for many years. She is currently working since 2012 as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Anticoagulation. Annemarie has completed H.Dip in Oncology Nursing in UCD, the MSc Nursing in NUIG, a postgraduate certificate in anticoagulation in Warwick University UK & last year she completed a postgraduate certificate in nurse prescribing in the RCSI. Annemarie said, “I have a special interest in Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) which is dealing with blood clots. Last year I received a ‘Warrior Award’ at Thrombosis Ireland VTE Exemplar Awards on World Thrombosis Day which was nominated by patients and Thrombosis Ireland for ‘exceptional care and dedication to her patients and VTE, Patient Safety & Optimal recovery of each of her patients’. I am very excited to continue this important work and to the continuous improvement of the quality of care experienced by our patients with a focus on the prevention & management of VTE within hospital.”
Sharon Maher who alsograduated with a distinction in Advanced Practice has previously completed a Certificate in nurse prescribing and Masters in Health Promotion and a Higher Diploma in Intensive and Coronary Care nursing while working in St James Hospital Coronary Care unit, she said, “I have been working alongside the Cardiology team in Tullamore Hospital as a CNS Cardiology for the last 17 years. I am passionate about Heart Failure and aim to improve patient symptoms, reduce hospital admission and enhance overall quality of life for patients living with Heart Failure. I am an active member of Irish Association of Heart Failure nurses professional association dedicated to improving all aspects of care for heart failure patients. We are very proud to provide a a daily nurse-led heart efficiency clinic in Tullamore to allow for urgent review and incorporating European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines for best practice. Our service makes a difference to Heart Failure patients living in the Midlands region and my vision for an Advance Nurse Practitioner in Cardiology is to utilise the skills and knowledge I have gained to build upon our current service, be the patient advocate and strive for best standards of care for the heart failure population in the midlands.”
Pictured are the five graduates on their conferring ceremony in Trinity College Dublin on 2nd February L-R is Maree Healy, Maria Creggy, Prof Mary Hughes, Grace Kinahan, Annemarie Kirwan and Sharon Maher.