Course Overview

This programme aims to meet the educational needs of nurses working in an acute medical unit (AMU, AMAU, MAU), short stay unit or equivalent which cares for patients with acute medical conditions.

Students are required to undertake their clinical practice in an approved clinical practice setting within Ireland, normally within the students' own work setting. Students may also be required to undertake additional placement(s) in order to meet the programme’s learning outcomes.

The programme is offered full-time over two calendar years via blended learning which is a combination of on-line learning and face-to-face workshops. On completion of Year 1 students have the option of being awarded a Postgraduate Diploma or (if they have achieved the minimum 60% average mark across these modules) may progress onto the second year to complete the MSc programme.

A blended learning approach is adopted in the delivery of this programme. Students are required to attend face to face workshops for a total of 12 days across the programme. Students are required to complete a minimum of 1,000 clinical hours before completing this programme.

SPECIAL FEATURES

The course has a clinical focus, offering opportunities to develop specialist skills. The programme is offered through a blended learning format—a combination of online and face-to-face learning and teaching. Blended learning is an innovative and flexible approach to learning, making it possible to combine working full-time with studying. This course is currently undergoing approval by The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland. 

 

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Who Teaches this Course

See full staff list here.

  • Yvonne Conway M.Sc., BNS, RNT, RGN, Cert. Emergency
  • Deirdre Fitzgerald BNS, RGN, RSCN

Requirements and Assessment

Modules are assessed using a combination of coursework and teaching assessments.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

  1. An honours Bachelor’s degree at NFQ Level 8 in nursing or a comparable qualification;
  2. Currently employed as a nurse in an Acute Medical Unit (AMUs), Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU), or Medical Assessment Unit (MAU), Short Stay Unit (SSU), or an equivalent clinical setting that has a remit for caring for patients in the acute stage of their medical illness. Applicants must have a minimum of six months’ experience in this setting over the past two years;
  3. Written evidence of support for the applicant from their Director of Nursing and clinical unit manager;
  4. Minimum academic and/or professional qualifications and standards required, together with any equivalence that may apply;
  5. Students must work in the clinical area for the duration of the programme. Clinical requirements for completion of the
  6. Programme are to pass two clinical competencies and complete a minimum of 1000 hours in an acute medical unit or equivalent setting as deemed by the programme director.

Top-up course:

Applicants who have completed a specialist nursing PDip and who have attained at least 60%  in their final mark are eligible to apply for year two of our specialist masters programmes via the link below.  Please contact the programme leader directly to discuss your eligibility (additional requirements may apply).


Additional Requirements

Duration

2 years full-time (option to leave with a PDip after 1 year)

Next start date

September 2019

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

15

Closing Date

Please refer to the review/closing date website.

NFQ level

Mode of study

Blended learning & workshops.

ECTS weighting

90

Award

CAO

Course code

1MDU1

Course Outline

Students will complete 3 core and 3 specialist modules in the 1st year (60 ECTS). Eligible students will then complete a research dissertation (30 ECTS) in the 2nd year.

Modules

  • Service Improvement (10 credits—core) 
  • Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice (10 credits—core)Advanced Research Methods (10 credits—core)
  • Advanced Reserach methods (10 credits—core)
  • Clinical Assessment 1
  • Clinical Assessment 2
  • Recognising and responding to client deterioration (10 credits—specialist)
  • Essential Physical Assessment Skills (10 credits—specialist)
  • Principles and practice of acute medical nursing (10 credits—specialist)

Module details for GYM25—full time
Module details for GYM87—top-up

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

Credits
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.
Module
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.
Optional
A module you may choose to study.
Required
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Semester
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (60 Credits)

Required NU606: Principles & Practice of Acute Medical Nursing


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This module stems from the overarching aims of the national acute medicine programme (HSE, 2010) - standardised safe patient care using detailed guidelines, algorithms, care pathways and patient information material aimed at the most common acute medical presentations. This module addresses the clinical assessment and management of specific medical conditions not covered in the “Recognising and responding to client deterioration” module – respiratory, cardiovascular, oncological, wound care. An evidence based approach to the nursing and medical management of these conditions as well as pharmacologic and other therapies will be emphasised. Understanding of common diagnostic procedures, routine haematology and biochemistry results and early recognition of abnormalities to avoid potential life threatening situations will be a key tenet. An in-depth examination of the unique operational policies required of acute medical units in terms of targets, discharge planning, streaming, referrals and patient handover shall also be provided.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically discuss the evidence-based guidelines which determine the assessment and management of patients with COPD, Asthma, Pneumonia
  2. Demonstrate knowledge and skills related to the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of nursing care to meet the needs of clients with an acute respiratory problem.
  3. Give a detailed description of an evidence-based approach to the care and management of patients with Acute Coronary Syndromes, Angina, and Myocardial infarction
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of standardised care of acutely ill medical patients based on agreed care protocols and guidelines
  5. Analyse challenging acute care episodes and evaluate the appropriateness of different clinical interventions.
  6. Understand the best delivery of acute medical services in the context of an integrated service area (ISA), case management, and appropriate pathways of care and transfer protocols.
  7. Critically analyse the concept of an acute floor and the operational/clinical governance issues that may occur at the interface between acute medicine, emergency medicine and critical care
  8. Discuss the importance of links with internal and external support services - GP liaison nurse, Bed manager, public health nurses, practice nurses, General Practitioners, community intervention team, discharge planner, bed management/case co-ordinator
  9. Recognise the importance of implementing appropriate clinical care pathways e.g. asthma, acute coronary syndrome, stroke
  10. Discuss the needs of complex discharge patients and methods of instigating early involvement of appropriate teams and liaison personnel
  11. Discuss how best practice resources contribute to the quality care of the acute medical patient – care pathways, algorithms, care bundles, policies, protocols, and evidence based guidelines
  12. Assess monitor and record acute medical patient’s response to nursing and medical interventions using the appropriate tools
  13. Demonstrate knowledge and skills related to the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of nursing care to meet the needs of older people.
  14. Identify the major factors that contribute to reduced patient flow through AMU/AMAU and the inpatient pathway
  15. Demonstrate knowledge and skills related to the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of nursing care to meet the needs of clients with an acute oncology related problem
  16. Understand common diagnostic procedures, routine haematology and biochemistry results and their importance in early recognition of abnormalities
  17. Demonstrate knowledge and skills related to the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of nursing care to meet the needs of clients with an acute endocrine problem
  18. Examine critically and evaluate the evidence base for the care and management of clients with acute and chronic wounds and be able to predict likely outcomes of treatment based on such evidence
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU606: "Principles & Practice of Acute Medical Nursing" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU605: Recognising & Responding to Client Deterioration


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

Hartigan et al. (2010 p.294) cite an experienced nurse who is commenting on the aspects of competence that new graduates require to manage challenging acute care episodes: “(it’s about) … knowing that there is something wrong, be able to pick up the difference between somebody deteriorating and somebody just … unwell”. This comment illustrates the thinking behind this module. The module aims to provide nurses with the specialised knowledge and skills to assess, prioritise, respond to and manage challenging acute care episodes. Supporting students to broaden and deepen their knowledge and skills has the potential to enable them to identify client deterioration more quickly and minimise avoidable emergencies.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Analyse challenging acute care episodes and evaluate the appropriateness of different clinical interventions.
  2. Critically analyse client data and prioritise client problems
  3. Demonstrate the ability to observe, interpret and appropriately respond to the signs and symptoms of deterioration.
  4. Implement appropriate nursing interventions that meet the individual client’s needs.
  5. Integrate technology to provide safe and effective care to acutely ill clients.
  6. Integrate research findings in the provision of evidence based care to acutely ill clients.
  7. Use S-BAR to communicate clearly and effectively with other members of the multidisciplinary team
  8. Demonstrate sensitivity to the needs of clients or relatives under stress.
  9. Demonstrate competency in the technical/clinical skills addressed in this module.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (50%)
  • Department-based Assessment (50%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU605: "Recognising & Responding to Client Deterioration" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU6439: Service Improvement


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module will allow the student the opportunity to plan and implement, with their manager, and an academic facilitator, a service improvement initiative. The project will focus on an issue of relevance to client care or service improvement and must be supported by the student’s line manager and/or clinical facilitator. Examples of the types of projects include: completion of a defined literature review supporting some aspect of unit work, preparation of a patient education leaflet (supported by an evidence based rationale presented separately), development of a patient education pack (supported by an evidence based rationale presented separately), development of a strategy to reduce waiting time, an initiative that will improve patient/staff safety, development/implementation of guidelines/policies, an initiative that improves the quality of patient services or the work environment, an initiative that saves time/money or any issue/problem/change that can be addressed through action. This work must be completed within a calendar year.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically examine a practice issue and contribute to service improvement
  2. Integrate and apply learning from other modules
  3. Work collaboratively with peers and clients
  4. Become an autonomous and independent learner
  5. Develop the skills and knowledge needed to implement a change in clinical practice
  6. Develop their skills of analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving and reflection
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU6439: "Service Improvement" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU921: Clinical Competence 1


Semester 1 | Credits: 0

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU921: "Clinical Competence 1" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU623: Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

Errors are inevitable in healthcare systems (Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance, 2008). It is estimated that medical errors would rank 5 in the top 10 causes of death in the United States, ahead of accidents, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, if included on the National Centre for Health Statistics’ list (Joint Commission, 2005 p.7). In Ireland, the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance (2008) acknowledge that healthcare will never be risk free but argue that it is critical that the systems in place are as safe as possible, that the right ‘checks and balances’ are in place and that learning results from mistakes. To ensure this happens it is important that programmes prepare nurses to promote and enhance clinical safety. The module is guided by the National Patient Safety Framework (The Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care, 2005) and the WHO Patient Safety Curriculum Guide for Medical Schools (World Health Organisation, 2009).
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critique the concepts of ‘safety’ and ‘risk’ in context of their practice setting.
  2. Examine the concept of ‘clinical governance’ in the Irish healthcare system
  3. Identify and evaluate the factors that determine the quality and safety of healthcare from the perspective of (i) the nurse or midwife (ii) the client (iii) the multidisciplinary team and (iv) the wider healthcare system
  4. Identify local policies and procedures to improve clinical safety and apply safety principles in practice.
  5. Debate the tensions between ‘managing risk’ and ‘client autonomy
  6. Explore their role in promoting and enhancing safety as a member of the multidisciplinary team
  7. Complete a risk assessment relevant to their practice setting.
  8. Evaluate their contribution to quality improvement in their practice setting
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU623: "Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU607: Essential Physical Assessment Skills


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

Physical assessment skills are increasingly being seen as the mainstay of the nursing process. This module aims to provide students with the core knowledge and physical assessment skills that will be of most benefit to nurses in their daily practice. This module will include clinical laboratory experience and simulations whereby students will have an opportunity to build on their existing knowledge and develop skills pertinent to physical assessment. Case presentation, the ability to prioritise patient’s problems, and plan intervention(s) will be a focus of this module.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate the ability to conduct a systematic holistic assessment of patient needs using a range of data collecting techniques including observation, interview, nursing history, and physical examination
  2. Demonstrate clinical competence in specified core physical assessment skills related to the following systems (Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Gastrointestinal and Genitourinary)
  3. Identify normal versus abnormal findings and act on them
  4. Critically analyse patient data and prioritise patient problems
  5. Explicate nursing interventions that meet the individual patient’s needs
  6. Integrate appropriate consultation skills with the patient and the multidisciplinary team for effective case management
Assessments
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU607: "Essential Physical Assessment Skills" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU502: Advanced Research Methods


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module focuses on developing further students understanding of the theoretical foundations of research, research methodologies and methods of data collection. The module has two major goals. Firstly, to provide students with the required knowledge and skills to interpret and implement research findings in their practice and secondly, to prepare students to undertake a piece of research. Students will be given an opportunity to recap on methodological approaches to quantitative and qualitative research. A key skill in promoting students independence is preparing students to complete their own research project under the supervision of a supervisor. Therefore, this module has a specific focus on providing students with the knowledge and skills of “doing” research.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate that they have an understanding of what ‘evidence’ is and how to ssystematically search for evidence
  2. Discuss theoretical perspectives on research methodology
  3. Explain clearly the origins, underpinning philosophical assumptions, key characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies
  4. Articulate a research problem and formulate a research question or hypothesis as appropriate to guide the conduct of the study
  5. Justify the use of appropriate data collection, sampling, and data analysis methods for qualitative and quantitative research
  6. Create a plan with clear rationales for data collection, sampling, data analysis and rigour to be used when conducting a qualitative or quantitative study
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU502: "Advanced Research Methods" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU922: Clinical Competence 2


Semester 2 | Credits: 0

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU922: "Clinical Competence 2" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Year 2 (30 Credits)

Required NU6515: Research Dissertation


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 30

Students will be required to undertake a piece of primary research on a topic of relevance to their specialism. Students will be assigned a research supervisor who will support them in undertaking this work
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Developed a research question of significance to their specialist nursing practice.
  2. Identify the appropriate methodology to suit the research question and/or hypothesis
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of ethical requirements within the study
  4. Demonstrate the ability to review and analyse relevant literature
  5. Identify the most appropriate method for data collection to answer the research question
  6. Demonstrate the ability to draw a significant and meaningful conclusion from the data analysis
  7. Prepare a scholarly report, which will demonstrate accurate expression, analysis and synthesis of ideas
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU6515: "Research Dissertation" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

This course is particularly significant as the 2010 Report of the National Acute Medicine Programme (AMP) suggests a new approach to education and training with the development of acute medicine as a specialty for physicians, and the nursing and therapy professions. It further suggests that these nurses must consolidate and expand their knowledge and skills to meet the need for early detailed assessment and development of initial treatment plans. (HSE, 2010). In the future, there may be a demand for clinical nurse specialists and advanced nurse practitioners working in acute medicine, and graduates of this programme will be ideally placed to apply for these types of positions.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,500 p.a. (Yr 1) & €3,250 (Yr 2) 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€6,276 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

€14,750 p.a. 2018/19
EU fees Year 1:  €6,500 and Year 2: €3,250.

Find out More

Yvonne Conway
School of Nursing and Midwifery
T: +353 91  492 926
E: yvonne.conway@nuigalway.ie
www.nuigalway.ie/nursing.midwifery/