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Ulster University announces a significant development in nursing education, offering its BScI Hons Nursing students studying at Ulster University Derry~Londonderry under the School of Nursing and Paramedic Science, the unique opportunity to directly register with both the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in the United Kingdom.

This move signifies a leap forward in enhancing employability prospects for nursing graduates offering them entry onto both professional registers to legally practice in GB, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland.

Following approval this week, Ulster University has received accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI), becoming the first higher education institution in the United Kingdom to facilitate dual registration for nursing students.

Registration with regulatory bodies such as the NMBI and NMC is a critical step for nursing students as it signifies compliance with the highest standards of education, training, and practice within the profession.

By offering direct registration, Ulster University is streamlining a clear pathway for students to transition into registered professionals, equipping graduates with the necessary credentials to embark on successful careers in healthcare.

Professor Carol Curran, Pro Vice-Chancellor & Executive Dean of Faculty of Life & Health Sciences at Ulster University said:

“Ulster University acknowledges that the workforce is fundamental to delivering health and social care services, particularly as the healthcare system contends with unprecedented challenges like never before. The introduction of dual registration seeks to alleviate pressures by aiding in the crucial task of recruiting and retaining an ample number of professionals to effectively manage the current overwhelming demands across the island of Ireland. 

“We are delighted to be able to facilitate North-South mobility and opportunity for our students graduating from the School of Nursing and Paramedic Sciences. This is an important part of ongoing cross-border collaboration which has seen the Department of Health in Ireland provide funding for some of our Nursing and Allied Health programme places as well as the commitment of Shared Island funding to expand Ulster University Derry~Londonderry.”

Sheila McClelland, Chief Executive at Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) said:

“In June 2023, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, TD approved the funding for 200 student nursing and midwifery places in Northern Ireland for students from the Republic.  In October 2023, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) facilitated a series of meetings with Ulster University to explore if graduates of the nursing programmes could be eligible for direct registration with the NMBI.

“Ulster University’s School of Nursing was very engaged with the process from the start. They provided clear evidence of alignment of their curriculum with NMBI standards for registration programmes in general and mental health nursing, and were delighted to facilitate a site inspection to their campus and for NMBI to meet with their practice partners. The Board considered the application and approved the programmes on 27 March 2024 which will be valid for a five-year period.

“This is a historic moment in shared island relations, for the first time nurses from Ulster University are eligible for direct registration to practise in both the North and South of Ireland on graduation.”

Ms McClelland continued:

“This is a proud moment for me as a woman from Northern Ireland and working in the South, we are breaking down barriers and providing opportunities for new nurses to provide quality care to patients regardless of the jurisdiction in Ireland.”