Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Education and Skills

Third Level Education

Photo of Thomas GouldThomas Gould (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein)
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653. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he has met with third level institutions to progress the establishment of a neurology nursing course in this State. [32561/22]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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Ensuring an appropriate pipeline of suitably qualified healthcare professionals is a key priority for my Department. The Programme for Government commits the Department of Health to working with the education sectors, regulators, and professional bodies to improve the availability of health professionals and reform their training to support integrated care across the entire health service.

Approximately 130 and 200 additional places were created in undergraduate nursing courses in 2020 and 2021 respectively, in response to both the pressures experienced by Leaving Certificate students and the needs of the health services. My officials are engaging with the Higher Education Authority and representatives from the higher education sector to examine the potential for targeted provision of additional places for the 2022 academic year in courses which satisfy specific skills needs, including nursing.

It is my understanding that neurology nursing is a postgraduate specialisation. As such, the establishment of any course in neurology nursing would be a matter for a higher education institution, in collaboration with the HSE and the NMBI.

My officials are actively engaging with the Department of Health on determining the longer term skills needs of the healthcare services, and the role which the further and higher education sector can play in meeting those skills needs.

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