Postgraduate Diploma in Gerontological Nursing

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A €3.2 million in funding to support registered nurses in private nursing homes to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in Gerontological Nursing, has been announced by Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler and Minister for Skills and Further Education, Niall Collins.

This new funding programme has been developed as a response to recommendations in the COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel report.

The funding allocation will be provided over two years and will provide funded places in the academic years 2024/2025 and 2025/2026.

All private nursing homes will be invited to apply for one QQI Level 9 Gerontological Nursing Qualification placement over this period.

Funding for similar training was provided to the HSE in 2022 which allowed one nurse in each HSE and voluntary nursing home to obtain the qualification.

Minister Butler, said, “The Government remains committed to developing all aspects of services for older people. A  central priority is to improve access to education which will enhance the quality of care delivered to nursing home residents.

“A postgraduate qualification in gerontological nursing will further support the nursing expertise available in private nursing homes. Nurses participating in these programmes will further acquire specialist knowledge of gerontological nursing, facilitating the timely response to changing needs in this specialist field. It will also support professional development and career progression, enabling improvements in recruitment and retention in the sector.

“This programme provides for a potential increase of over 550 registered nurses with a Gerontological Nursing Qualification since 2021. Over 110 Registered Nurses in the HSE and voluntary sector completed this training in 2022 and over 440 registered nurses in private nursing homes will be funded to obtain this qualification over the next two years.

“The Department of Health is delighted to be working in partnership with Skillnet Ireland and LHP Skillnet and would encourage all nursing homes to avail of this opportunity.”

The Programme will be managed by Leading Healthcare Providers (LHP) Skillnet on behalf of the Department of Health.

Minister Collins, said, “It is fantastic to see Skillnet Ireland and the Department of Health working together to support registered nurses working with older people in our private nursing homes. This programme will support over 440 nurses in private nursing homes to upskill and improve their skills in caring for older people in nursing homes.”