Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Practice Nursing/
Community Nursing)—full-time and part-time

College of Medicine, Nursing, & Health Sciences

Course overview

This programme is offered by School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway, in collaboration with Department of General Practice and Health Service Executive. This programme is designed for nurses (General, Psychiatric or Intellectual Disability) who are working in a General Practice or Community setting. It aims to develop nurses' expertise and understanding of primary care, family centred care, chronic disease management, and clinical nursing skills related to chronic illness management. Students can undertake the programme either full time over one year or part time over two years, students are also required to continue to work in their own practice setting while undertaking the programme.

The programme is delivered via Blended learning. Interdisciplinary collaboration is a fundamental aspect of the programme and a wide number of key organisations and associations contribute to modules. Overall the programme aims to provide nurses with the necessary specialized knowledge and technical skills to respond to the challenges of change in the context of an evolving healthcare environment (HSE Transformation Programme 2007–2010).

Special Features

The course is approved by An Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann and 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.

Key facts

Entry requirements

All applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

1. Be a registered nurse on the General, Mental Health, or Learning Disability Nurse divisions of the Register maintained by An Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann;
Hold an appropriate active nursing registration as recognised in the country in which they practice;
2. Have a minimum of two years’ post-registration experience (exclusive of post-registration courses).
3. Have at least six months’ experience in practice and or/community nursing setting.
4. Be currently working in a practice nursing/community nursing setting which requires him/her to care for a client/family/group.
5. Have a letter of support from his/her employing line manager.
6. Hold an honours degree or equivalent. Applicants who do not hold an honours degree or higher diploma (level 8) may apply but must clearly demonstrate their capacity to complete a programme at this level. In addition to the other requirements outlined above, these applicants are required to submit a 1,000-word literature-based essay. To be considered for admission, this essay must be at the level expected of an honours degree candidate (Level 8).

Duration: 1 year, full-time | 2 years, part-time

Next start date: This programme is not available for entry 2015.

ECTS weighting: 90

Average intake: 6 (minimum)

Closing date: This programme is not available for entry 2015.

Mode of study: Blended learning & workshops

Course outline


  • Concepts and Principles of Primary Care Core 
  • Using Evidence in Practice 
  • Service Improvement Core 
  • *Professional, Ethical and Legal Issues of Nurse and Midwife Prescribing 
  • Critical Issues in Chronic Illness 


Options listed below

  • *Physical Assessment Skills 
  • *Drugs, Patients and Illness 
  • Cardiovascular Disease in Primary Care 
  • Diabetes in Primary Care 
  • Advanced Wound Care Management 
  • Respiratory Disease in Primary Care 
  • Best Practice in Cervical Smear Taking 
  • Womens' Health in Primary Care 
  • Empowering Clients to self manage their chronic illness 
  • Psychosocial Interventions in Health Care 
  • End of Life Care: Psychological and Social Perspectives 
  • Collaboration and Interagency Working 
  • *Clinical Competence Prescribing 
  • Clinical Competence


Please note that the programme and optional modules offered are subject to sufficient student numbers.  

Applications and selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who teaches this course?

Bernard McCarthy, Dip.Nurse Mgt. (RCSI), Cert.Adult. Ed. (City & Guilds), B.Sc. (South Bank), C.Q.A.M. (GMIT), M.Sc. (Dub.)
Rita Smith, M.Ed, FFNRCSI, RNT, RGN, RM
Catherine Meagher, M.Sc., BNS, RGN, RM, RNT
Toni Uí Chiardha, RGN, RM, RNT, BNS, M.Sc. Dip. Project Management
Dr. Adeline Cooney, M. Med.Sc., BNS, RGN, RNT, PhD
Claire Welford, RGN, Dip NS, BNS (Hons); MSc

Find out more

PAC code

GYM23, full-time GYM32, part-time

Fees for this course

EU (Total): €5,005 p.a. 2015/16 (Inclusive of Levy)
 - Tuition: €4,781 p.a. 2015/16
 - Student levy: €224 p.a. 2015/16
Non-EU (Total): €13,750 p.a. 2015/16

Current students

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