It is an honour and privilege for me to serve as the Chief Executive of An Bord Altranais (the Irish Nursing Regulatory Body), and I very much look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead on the challenges we face as a profession. I will provide leadership by drawing on my experience nationally and internationally as a clinician, and educationalist at senior management level.
Regulation of nurses and midwives in Ireland is not new. An Bord Altranais was established under statute in 1950 and prior to the foundation of the State we were regulated since 1909 by The General Nursing Council for Great Britain and Ireland under UK legislation. The raison d’etre for regulation is to protect and safeguard patients and clients - the public from unacceptable standards of care and practice. We as regulators protect the public in three ways:
The first is through setting the requirements and standards for the educational preparation of nursing and midwifery students to gain entry to the Register. Secondly, when on the Register we provide public protection through the provision of professional guidance and advice to nurses and midwives (registrants). The standard of formal professional development of registrants is assured through the approval of educational programmes at minor, major and special award level. Finally the public is safeguarded against impaired standards of competence through the robust fitness to practice function.
The website has been designed to be useful to all users of the site, from registered nurses and midwives to applicants from overseas to the general public. It is our aim to make the site user-friendly and to make the information provided accessible.
The Board sees its website as a valuable tool and it is intended to roll out further on-line services over the short to medium term. Once this process is complete the Board will, for the first time, be delivering services through the web that will allow nurses to check their registration information on-line. Overseas applicants will have the facility to track their applications and employers will be able to check the registration status of an organisation's nurses.
It is important that the website is maintained to the highest standard and we would welcome any suggestions about the website's content and presentation.