Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann (The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland) as described in the Nurses and Midwives Act, 2011, has two main objectives:
- To protect the public, and
- To ensure the integrity of nursing and midwifery practices.
The Board is the statutory body which sets the standards for the education, registration and professional conduct of nurses and midwives. It also advises on how nurses and midwives should provide care to patients, their families and society.
Our functions in safeguarding the public involve establishing and maintaining the register of nurses and midwives. We also establish procedures and criteria for assessment and registration. Additionally, we approve education programmes and further education programmes for the purposes of registration and continued registration and keep these programmes under review.
The Board also sets standards of practice and provides support for registered nurses and midwives. This includes developing, publishing and reviewing:
- A code of professional conduct and ethics;
- Guidance on all aspects of professional conduct and ethics; and
- Guidance on maintaining professional competence.
Through its fitness to practise functions, the Board is responsible for considering complaints against nurses and midwives.
The Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics
The Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Nurses and Registered Midwives (the Code) is the overarching structure that informs the Board’s framework of professional guidance to registered nurses and midwives. Professional accountability, competency and the quality of professional practice are based on this structure together with other supporting guidance and standards frameworks. For more details, visit the Code section of the website.
Key among these frameworks is the Scope of Nursing and Midwifery Practice. It represents the range of roles, functions, responsibilities and professional activities a registered nurse or midwife has the authority to perform. In Ireland, the scope of practice for nurses and midwives is determined by legislation, EU Directives, international developments, social policy, national and local guidelines, education and individual levels of competence.
The Board publishes rules, other standards, guidelines and advice for nurses and midwives to help them comply with the Code and to support them in their scope of practice and professional responsibilities. These publications include information on education standards and requirements, practice standards, guidelines, decision- making frameworks, circulars and position statements. Many of these publications provide detailed guidance on specific areas of conduct such as managing documentation, medication management and research.
The portfolio of Board publications is available in the Publications area of this website.
Nurses and midwives must be familiar with and understand the importance of the Board’s most current version of standards and guideline documents and should apply them in any professional setting.