Course Overview

Next start date: September 2024, registrations now open. The closing date for the certificate in nurse/midwife prescribing programme (September 2024 intake, 1CNP1) will be the 7th of June 2024.


This programme's development is in response to a need for nurses and midwives to prescribe, in order to support high quality person-centred care. This follows from two key reports which mooted the extension of prescriptive authority for nurses and midwives; i.e. The Commission on Nursing in 1998, followed by the Review of the Scope and Practice for Nursing and Midwifery Final report in 2000. This recommendation was comprehensively evaluated in a 3½ year joint project by An Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann and the National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery in 2005. The review concluded that prescriptive authority should be extended to nurses and midwives. A further implementation project in 2008 put in place the regulatory, professional and support requirements which enabled nurses and midwives to take on this role. Prescriptive authority was extended to nurses and midwives by the Minister for Health and Children in 2007.

Nurses and midwives prescribe within the confines of robust legislation and professional regulation and their scope of practice.  Improving client care is core to this extended role.

The programme is delivered over a six-month period. Students will attend college for an induction day and three-days of workshop for each module (10 days in total). In addition, students will be mentored in their practice setting for the duration of the programme which will include 12 days of direct supervision of the prescriptive process by a designated medical practitioner.

The programme is comprised of  three theory/practice modules a clinical competency assessment in prescribing.    

Please go to tab Key Facts for entry requirements and documents required for your application. 

Scholarships available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System

For your application to be assessed for review, you must have included, uploaded copy/ies of various documents. Please see those here.

Who Teaches this Course

Programme Director: Catherine Meagher

  • Dr Ingrid Cunningham (Law)
  • Dr John Kelly (Pharmacology and Therapeutics)
Dr Maura Dowling
MSc,BNs,RNT,RGN,RM Cert Oncology,PhD
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Ms Frances Farrelly
RGN, RNT, BNS, M.Sc (nursing), ENB100
School of Nursing & Midwifery
Aras Moyola
National University of Ireland, Galway
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Dr. Fionnuala Jordan
RPN, PG.Dip.,PhD
Lecturer Above The Bar
T: 019- 493818
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Mr Bernard McCarthy
RGN, R.N.M.H, Bsc, Msc
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Requirements and Assessment

Modules are assessed using a combination of coursework and examinations.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Check supporting documents website for documentation that needs to be uploaded as part of your application.

Please note to be eligible to apply you need to be:

  • Be registered as a nurse or midwife on the register of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) (please include CV with this detail);
  • Be currently employed as a nurse or midwife(please include CV with this detail);
  • Have a minimum of three years’ recent post-registration clinical experience in nursing or midwifery (within the last five years), with the equivalent of one-year full-time experience in the specific area of practice in which prescribing is proposed (please include CV with this detail);
  • Possess the competencies recognised at Level 8 of the National Framework of Qualifications (please include CV with this detail);
  • Provide evidence of having undertaken continuing professional education;
  • Have support of both a Professional (DON, ADON/Practice Manager) and Clinical (medical consultant or general practicitioner) Mentor for 96 hours of clinical mentorship, evidenced by a completed Site Declaration Form
  • Completed Site Declaration form to include:
    • Clearly printed names and signatures of your Professional and Clinical Mentors that have agreed to support your application and will be in position for the duration of your programme
    • You contact details - that you access frequently
    • Your current role
    • You highest level of education
    • Clearly stated if HSE or Non-HSE staff member
    • Signed statement by director or manager the length of time that you are in your current role and that you will remain in this role for the duration of the course
    • Sign off of funding
    • If Candidate ANP



Additional Requirements

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


6 months, full-time

Next start date

Two intakes: January 2024 & September 2025*

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

10 (minimum) Please note that the programme offered is subject to sufficient student numbers.

QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

Closing date for September 2024 intake is 7 June 2024.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code

CERT-NMPS (September intake); CERT-NMPJ (January intake)

Course Outline


  • Advanced Health Assessment.
  • Professional, Ethical & Legal Issues of Nurse and Midwife Prescribing Drugs
  • Pharmacology, Health and Medicinal Prescribing.
  • Clinical Competency—Prescribing  


Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (0 Credits)

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

This programme will equip students with the competencies and skills needed to take on the extended role of prescribing medicines.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€3,000 p.a. (including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€2,930 p.a. 22024/25

Fees: Student levy

€70 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€13,596 p.a. (€13,666 p.a..including levy) 2024/25

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €4,000 towards your tuition (2024/25).  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  A P1 grant is where SUSI will pay tuition up to a maximum of €6,270. SUSI will not cover the student levy of €140.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = Tuition (EU or NON EU) + Student levy as outlined above.

Note to non-EU students: learn about the 24-month Stayback Visa here

Find out More

Dr Collette KirwanProgramme Director

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