NMBI publishes standards to ensure nurses and midwives develop digital health skills in education

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The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) has published the first edition of standards and requirements to ensure digital health competencies are developed in nursing and midwifery education programmes.

The Board said these standards and requirements, which were developed following extensive consultation, provide guidance for education bodies and practice partners on how to equip undergraduate nursing or midwifery students with the digital health competencies required to support and enable person-centred care.

The Digital Health Competency Standards and Requirements for Undergraduate Nursing and Midwifery Education Programmes outline that digital health is defined as the use of information and communication technologies to improve health, healthcare services and facilitate wellness.

The standards are set out under five domains of competence which are: digital professionalism, leadership and advocacy, data and information quality, information-enabled care and technology.

These standards and requirements aim to ensure that nursing and midwifery undergraduate education programmes teach digital health competencies in a flexible, innovative and practice-oriented way.

Sheila McClelland, CEO of NMBI, said, “Healthcare services are rapidly evolving, particularly in the area of digital technologies which are being implemented at an ever-increasing pace nationally. Digital health is a key priority to support the redesign of health services in Ireland, as set out in the HSE service plan, the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy and Action Plan 2021-2023 and the HSE People Strategy 2019-2024, and the Department of Health’s Report of the Expert Review Body on Nursing and Midwifery (2022).

“In an evolving digital health environment, digital education needs to be current and universally included within nursing and midwifery curricula, training and continuing professional development programmes. These standards aim to align with national and international evidence-based practice and provide guidance for education bodies to ensure that nursing and midwifery students learn about digital tools and skills during their education.”