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International Winter School award ceremony for US nursing students at Trinity College’s School of Nursing and Midwifery

Award ceremony held on Friday 16th January 2015 to celebrate completion of a two-week intensive International Winter School in the School of Nursing and Midwifery for nursing students from California State University, Channel Islands and University of Scranton, Pennsylvania USA.
The School of Nursing and Midwifery held its International Winter School  5th -16th January 2015. Nursing students along with Faculty members travelled to Trinity College from the University of Scranton and California State University, Channel Islands to learn about nursing, midwifery and global healthcare issues. The Vice-President for Global Relations, Professor Juliette Hussey presented the certificates and closed the International Winter School by highlighting the importance of building global relationships and having a forum for the international exchange for the future of nursing and midwifery.
The International Winter Schoolprogramme  provides participants with opportunities to explore the world of Irish nursing/ midwifery and compare nursing/midwifery in the US with Ireland ; learn about different  healthcare structures and contemporary health problems in Ireland; meet Trinity College nursing students in a round table exchange of student experiences; meet leading researchers and discover what innovative practices are being developed; experience how culture, lifestyle and quality of life effect health in Ireland; as well as cultural visits to the historic Book of Kells, and contemporary exhibition on ‘Blood’ in the Science Gallery, Trinity College. The winter school includes visits to a variety of clinical areas in the Coombe, St James’s and St Patrick’s hospitals where our global participants can compare nursing and midwifery practice in Ireland with their home country. The programme is designed to offer international nursing students a great opportunity to combine learning about nursing in Ireland with an active educational programme which provides experience of clinical practice, lifestyle and culture in Dublin.

Among the comments, one student wrote: “Wonderful program, recommend to all international students. This two weeks changed my life forever in the sense of becoming more broad minded to other culture’s nursing practice. Amazing!”

Other student comments:
“Having opportunity to study the Irish health care system in Ireland has been a huge blessing. I believe I have grown as a nursing student and witnessed many characteristics that I would like to emulate in my career, namely humility and compassion. This experience has been invaluable and I honestly believe it will make me a better, more rounded nurse.”
“This program was wonderful. I feel that I have learned so much about Ireland’s health care system along with how Ireland trains their nurses. The debate was a powerful learning tool with enabled us students to use our minds to understand not only Ireland’s health care but the US’s health care as well. The staff are very welcoming and I really enjoyed my time here as well as gaining a ton of knowledge. Thank you!”
“The overall program was absolutely fantastic. It was my first time out of the country and experiencing a new healthcare system. I feel I have learned astronomical amounts that I can take home and apply to my own nursing practice.”

The International Winter School is led by Professor Naomi Elliott, Freda Neill, Emma Duffy and along with the School of Nursing and Midwifery welcomes visiting students undertaking the programme as part of building global relationships in the areas of research and education.

New report launched - RDWIFI Research Study

A team from the School of Nursing and Midwifery have just completed the first part of a project focussed on families of children with rare diseases funded by the Saoirse Foundation.

The initial part of the project which was aimed at examining the information needs of parents of children with rare diseases in Ireland was completed in December 2014. This ground breaking study examined the needs of parents of children with rare diseases and their use of web information. The study was designed to underpin the development of a specific website for families of children with rare diseases which is an important innovation. This study is fundamentally aligned with the recently published National Rare Disease Plan for Ireland 2014-2018 recommendations.

Dr Honor Nicholl (PI on the project) is seen in the photograph with the research team members Dr Catherine Tracey, Dr Aileen Lynch, Ms Thelma Begley and Ms Carole King handing a copy of the project report to Mr Tony Heffernan, CEO of the Saoirse Foundation.

Please click here for full report

Erasmus Student

The school welcomed our Erasmus Student Anna Maniscalco who will spend time in our partner clinical areas, St. Patrick's University hospital and St. James hospital.

Graduation of 10 psychiatric nurses from St Patrick's Mental Health Services

Wednesday November 12th 2014 marked the graduation of 10 psychiatric nurses from St Patrick's Mental Health Services. Speaking at the ceremony Ms Evelyn McCarthy, Director of Nursing acknowledged the long established partnership St Patricks have with Trinity College Dublin and the ever-evolving role Mental Health Nurses play in meeting the changing ways mental healthcare is delivered.  The CEO of St Patricks Mental Health Services, Mr Paul Gilligan, complimented the graduates on achieving their qualifications and at the ceremony graduates were presented with a badge that represents St Patrick's Mental Health Services philosophy: Innovative, Open, Energetic, Involving, Confident, Challenging and Expert. It was a wonderful ceremony for the graduates and their families.

The Grand Opening of Hospital 5 Unit 2's (St. James's Hospital, Dublin)

The Grand Opening of Hospital 5 Unit 2's (St. James's Hospital, Dublin) "Patient and Family Room" took place on Thursday 11th September 2014 at the Hospital. This room, which serves to provide rest and recreational space to both patients of the unit and their visitors is a welcome addition to the unit which had been previously under-resourced in this particular domain. This initiative arose as a result of a joint project between the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin (TCD), and Staff at St. James's Hospital Dublin.

The joint TCD/St. James's Hospital initiative, which was the brainchild of Ms. Lorraine Dolan, Clinical Nurse Manager (CNM) 2 at the hospital, and supported and developed by her colleague Maria (Lawlor) Kane (CNM 3) was later fostered  by Prof. Fiona Timmins, Associate Professor and Dr. Orla Dempse, Quantitative Healthcare Lead at TCD and under the Auspices of the Centre for Practice & Healthcare Innovation, TCD, the overarching project entitled "An evaluation of recreational ward facilities for long stay respiratory patients" secured funding from the Royal City Of Dublin Hospital Trust to realise the project.

Prof. Fiona Timmins appointed as one of three new Editors for the Journal of Nursing Management

Prof. Fiona Timmins, Associate Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery has been appointed as one of three new Editors for the Journal of Nursing Management.The Journal of Nursing Management is an international peer reviewed journal which aims to advance the discipline of nursing management and leadership. The Journal encourages scholarly debate and critical analysis resulting in a rich source of evidence which underpins and illuminates the practice of management, innovation and leadership in nursing and health care. It publishes current issues and developments in practice in the form of research papers, in-depth commentaries and analyses. It's impact factor is 1.14. The Editor in Chief is Professor John Daly, Dean, Faculty of Health Head, WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing, Midwifery & Health Development, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

Provost Teaching Award

Congratulations to Dr Louise Gallagher who has been awarded the Provosts Teaching award for excellence in teaching.  This is just excellent news and wonderful for the school and the midwifery team.

School of Nursing & Midwifery Students Visit Malawi

Two intellectual disability nursing students, Suzanna Weedle and Eloise Sheerin along with Lecturer in Intellectual Disability, Dr. Fintan Sheerin, visited the Chilanga region of Malawi for 4 weeks during June 2014. They were part of the Canadian-led participatory action research project, Praxis Malawi ( of which Dr. Sheerin is Health Coordinator. The students worked closely with local people to encourage developments in supports for people with an intellectual disability there. As part of this endeavour, they initiated collaboration between teachers in a school for children with visual impairment a special education teachers in a resource room for children with learning difficulties. They also met with local people with disabilities and their parents to explore their experiences. Many of these parents are struggling to meet the needs of their families and are unable to address the specific needs of family members with a disability. They are also challenged by the stigma that often is experienced in such situations. Eloise and Suzanna’s work has set in place a structure which we hope will be the basis for a local support group.

Enable Ireland Community Design Challenge

Along with Prof. Fiona Timmins, Junior Sophister Students were invited to take part in the 2014 Enable Ireland Community Design Challenge .

This is a user centred design based competition, hosted jointly by Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and Enable Ireland. It invites design engineering students from DIT, users and for the first time, nursing students, to meet together and come up with design ideas for improving quality of life and well being of the users.

Three students attended the competition which was held over 2 days, with consultation work in between. The nursing students were a great asset to the competition and one of them (Ms. Eimear O' Brien) was on the winning team.

This was truly inquiry based learning as expert users presented their 'frustrations' ( with say reading medicine bottles if they are diabetic or visually impaired) and along with the team they came up with a prototype solution. Details about the winning design are here:

New book on Mental Health in Ireland launched

A new book on Mental Health in Ireland was recently launched at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin. The event was attended by mental health service users, practitioners, academics, researchers, friends and Minister of State for Disability, Equality and Mental Health, Kathleen Lynch T.D. The book was launched by Eddie Molloy, Chairman of Mental Health Reform, and by contributor and expert by experience Paddy McGowan.

Mental Health in Ireland: Policy, Practice & Law is the first extensive overview of emerging issues in the field of mental and emotional distress in Ireland covering the period from the 1940s to the present day. With contributions from experts in the area, there is an emphasis on current trends in mental health law and policy, which have implications for mental health service delivery in Ireland in the future.

The book has been edited by Agnes Higgins, Professor in Mental Health and Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity and Dr Shari McDaid, Director of Mental Health Reform. Professor Higgins has worked in mental health practice and education for over 30 years and Dr McDaid and has worked in social policy in Ireland for over 10 years, specialising in mental health.

To learn more about the launch , please visit

Minister Kathleen Lynch, Dr Shari McDaid, Prof Agnes Higgins

Researchers are contacting LGBTI people across the Republic of Ireland to complete a survey

LGBTIreland is a research project about the mental health and wellbeing of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) people in Ireland. The study is being conducted by a research team led by Professor Agnes Higgins from Trinity College Dublin School of Nursing & Midwifery. It is commissioned by the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) and BeLonG To and funded by the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP).

As part of the study, the researchers are contacting LGBTI people across the Republic of Ireland to complete a survey. It is hoped to gather as much information as possible as what is learned from the survey should inform the development of Irish policy and, hopefully, impact positively on the lives of LGBTI people in Ireland. To complete the survey, a person must be over 14 years of age, living in the Republic of Ireland, and identify as LGBTI.

To learn more about the study, please visit

'' Support for Young People with Long-term Conditions

We’re delighted to let you know that our project '' Support for Young People with Long-term Conditions' has won the Category B in the 2014 Crystal Clear MSD Health Literacy Awards. The research team were: Prof. Imelda Coyne, Peter Thompson, Geraldine Prizeman, Dr Aisling Sheehan, Aileen Cassells. Peter Thompson from Stone Maidan Productions was the web designer.

This year's awards received over 131 entries and the judges were very impressed with both the volume and the exceptionally high standard of entries. A list of the shortlisted entries is posted on www.healthliteracy.ieWe attended the Crystal Clear Awards presentation lunch on Thursday, 15th May in the Hilton Hotel, Charlemont Place, Dublin 2. At this event the winner from each of the five categories was announced, and presented with a specially commissioned trophy.

In addition, all shortlisted entries will be awarded an official Certificate of Excellence. The award winners and finalists were announced to the national media following the awards ceremony and there is a feature in the health supplement of the Irish Times tomorrow (Tuesday).

Prof Imelda Coyne and Ms Geraldine Prizeman

Announcement of Scholarships 2014

On Monday 7th of April 2014 the following students from the School of Nursing & Midwifery were awarded the Foundation Scholarship. The new Scholars are undergraduate students who have succeeded in the scholarship examination by exceptional answering of especially difficult questions set to test their ability as critical and innovative thinkers. The School would like to congratulate all recipients and wish them continued success.
The recipients are as follows:


First name

Course Name





B.Sc (Cur)

Psychiatric Nursing

St. Patrick's


Sara Jane

B.Sc (Cur)

General Nursing




B.Sc (Cur)

Psychiatric Nursing



Suzanna Jane

B.Sc (Cur)

Intellectual Disability Nursing



Karen Iris

B.Sc Children's & General Nursing

Children's & General Nursing


Alumni Spring Event 13 March 2014

The School of Nursing and Midwifery hosted an alumni event on 13 March 2014 with broadcaster and publishing entrepreneur Norah Casey as the keynote speaker; the response was provided by Dr David Prendergast, a social anthropologist and Principal Investigator with the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities. The event was attended by alumni, School staff, representatives from partner health care services, industry, and research bodies. Professor Agnes Higgins, Head of School, welcomed everybody and highlighted the strategic importance of the event in building relationships with current and future alumni, as well as developing collaborations with industry and practice in relation to advancing the research agenda of the School.

Norah Casey's presentation entitled the 'Power of You' was an inspiring insight into how her personal life events have influenced her professional journey and career decisions. Norah challenged the audience to use their potential to grow and to fulfil ambition and individual aspirations. The response by Dr David Prendergast reflected his personal and professional involvement with The Laura Lynn Foundation. Dr Prendergast also noted the School's expansion in research activity and capacity, and highlighted the development of the Centre for Practice and Healthcare Innovation, the vast expertise available within the school and support for advances in healthcare research and innovation for the future. In closing the event, Professor Mary McCarron, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, thanked both speakers for their inspirational words and commitment to the School of Nursing & Midwifery and spoke of the inspiration that the alumni present also represented, thanking them for the critical leadership and clinical roles they play in health care, services and education. She particularly spoke of her appreciation of their interest in staying connected to the School and looked forward to seeing them at future events.

The Alumni Committee wish to thank the Trinity Foundation, World Travel Centre, Cardiac Services, ExOrdo, Kopikat and Codex Office Products who sponsored the event.

International Winter School award ceremony with US nursing students

Award ceremony celebrating the completion of the two-week intensive International School in the School of Nursing and Midwifery with nursing students from California State University, Channel Islands, USA.

The Trinity International School offers international nursing students a great opportunity to combine learning about nursing in Ireland with an active programme which provides experience of clinical practice, lifestyle and culture in Dublin. The two-week intensive programme provides opportunity to gain insight into the Irish healthcare and culture and a global view of nursing.

Key features of the programme include: exploring the world of Irish nursing; learning about health structures and contemporary health problems in Ireland; meeting nursing students in a round table exchange of student experiences; meeting leading researchers and discovering what innovative practices are being developed; experiencing how culture, lifestyle and quality of life affect health; visiting clinical areas to compare nursing practice in Ireland with their home country; as well as social visits to the world famous and historic Book of Kells, and contemporary exhibitions in the Science Gallery. Clinical site visits- two days are spent in clinical areas so that students have experience and gain insight into healthcare and nursing in Ireland.

Among the comments, one student wrote "I had never been out of the country and having now experienced the hospitality of the Irish people, I will have high expectations for the rest of the world. The professors at Trinity College were exceptional and impressive, and the organization of materials and scheduling allowed for some sightseeing of the country as well as a thorough curriculum comparing Irish and American healthcare. I am forever grateful and forever changed as a result of this outstanding experience."

Other students wrote:
"This programme was an invaluable experience that I will take with me for the rest of my life. The memories will have a lasting impact on my personal life and well as my professional life. I wish I could have studied here all semester."

"This program was absolutely wonderful. I am amazed by the content of this course and by the amount of knowledge we gained within two weeks... I will definitely recommend this trip to all other nursing students back home."

Open Day 2013

Trinity College Open Day was held on Saturday 7 December, 9am-3pm. Over 700 people visited the School of Nursing and Midwifery building on D'Olier Street, where there were presentations on nursing and midwifery, skills demonstrations and the opportunity to speak to our staff and current students. The School also had an information stand in The Biomedical Sciences Institute along with the other Schools in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

"Ghoul of Nursing and Midwifery"

You will be delighted to know that the grand total raised from the "Ghoul of Nursing and Midwifery Spooktacular" held 31st October 2013 is euro 655.

The money raised will  go towards the children and their families under the care of  the National Children's Hospital, Tallaght.

Many thanks to all involved, your donations are very much appreciated.

Highly Commended award for Dr Orla Dempsey with Ms Catherine O'Brien for their work entitled 'A Febrile Neutropenia Risk Assessment Tool'

Last night at the London ceremony for the UK's Quality in Care (QIC): Oncology award Dr Orla Dempsey with Ms Catherine O'Brien from St James Hospital Dublin with their work entitled 'A Febrile Neutropenia Risk Assessment Tool' were shortlisted to within the top four projects from a group of 22 and received a Highly Commended award. This work was conducted through the joint research initiative between the Directorate of Nursing at St James Hospital and The Centre for Practice and Healthcare Innovation at the School of Nursing and Midwifery Trinity College Dublin.

The QIC programme recognises, rewards and shares good oncology healthcare practice, and is supported by partners in industry, NHS and charities. This diverse partnership helps to increase the outreach of the programme and share good practice with a wider audience.

Each entry was reviewed by a multidisciplinary panel of eminent oncology professionals, and representatives from cancer patient groups, and industry. There were nine different categories specifically aimed at professionals from diverse fields within oncology (clinical practice, research and the not-for-profit/charitable sector).  All categories support one or more of the domains as defined by the NHS Outcomes Framework 2013/14 to help the health and care system to focus on measuring outcomes.

The initiatives had be well thought-out, have a demonstrable impact on clinical practice, show innovation and contribute to the optimisation of service delivery, ultimately benefiting people with cancer. Judges  favour projects that demonstrate results that have quality and/or efficiency benefits which are scalable, thereby having a greater impact than their initial focus.

Tell Me About: 'Irish Insanity - The Excessive Use of Mental Hospitals in Ireland'.

Presenter: Dr Damien Brennan, Assistant Professor, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Damien Brennan trained and worked as a psychiatric nurse in Ireland. He undertook his PhD at the Department of Sociology Trinity College Dublin, which detailed and critiqued mental hospital use in Ireland. He is Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin where his teaching and research are focused on the Sociology of Health and Illness, particularly Mental Health.

For more information please see

Halloween 'Spooktacular'

Academics from the School of Nursing and Midwifery involved in European Collaboration on Masters Level E-Learning Development.

Professor Agnes Higgins, Dr Louise Doyle and Dr Brian Keogh and have been successful in their joint application with seven partner institutions across Europe, in securing funds to develop an e-learning package aimed specifically at mental health nurses who wish to develop their knowledge in three key areas. The project known as 'eMenthe' will begin by consulting with key stakeholders across Europe, to elicit their views on the key knowledge, skills and personal values that are required by mental health nurses in a number of areas. Based on this information, the learning materials will be developed and available to Masters level students as part of their academic programmes. This will lead to consistency across all partner institutions and more importantly, learning materials that are based on the needs and experiences of key mental health stakeholders including service users and their families. The three themes on which the elearning materials will be based on are:

  • Recovery and Social Inclusion
  • Mental Health Promotion & Prevention
  • Working with Families and carers

The partner universities involved in the research are:
Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Halmstad University, Sweden
University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Diakonia, University of Applied Sciences, Finland
University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

School of Nursing and Midwifery Academics Invited by Santrust to Participate in a Workshop on Nursing Sciences in Durban, South Africa

Dr. Elizabeth A. Curtis, Dr. Jan de Vries, Professor Catherine Comiskey and Dr. Fintan Sheerin (unable to attend) from the School of Nursing and Midwifery were invited by the Chief Executive of Santrust to attend a workshop to develop a Nursing Sciences Leadership Curriculum for South African and other global partners and to refine a proposal for a research study that Santrust will undertake. Santrust, a registered educational trust in South Africa has a track record in enhancing doctoral education and research in several sectors including Health and Nursing Sciences. It hosts several programmes and has been participating in higher education since 1997. Santrust has worked with academics from South Africa and Ireland as part of their signed agreement with the Irish African Partnership (IAP) project which is funded by Irish Aid and the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa. Among its key objectives is to contribute to Africa's higher education and respond to local challenges in research and leadership development.
The meeting took place in Durban on the 19th and 20th August 2013. The workshop comprised of plenary sessions and work groups and its main purpose was to expand knowledge of and niche strategies for Nursing Sciences. In setting the scene for the workshop discussions on a potential Nursing Leadership Programme, Professor Sarah Howie (University of Pretoria) provided a synopsis of the structure and content of the Santrust pre-doctoral programme on the morning of the first day. Professor Howie is a well-regarded scholar in education and was instrumental in setting up the Santrust Academic Advisory Committee. This was followed by a series of presentations by the TCD academics: Dr. Elizabeth Curtis, Dr. Jan de Vries, Professor Catherine Comiskey and others including Professor Marian Jacobs (Head of South Africa's Academy for Leadership and Management, Department of Health, South Africa). A key issue to emerge from the discussions was the need to continue to improve patient and client care outcomes. The afternoon session included a panel discussion regarding South Africa's response to developing Nursing Leadership.
The second day commenced with presentations and discussions about the comparative research study between Ireland and South Africa. Break-out sessions focused on (a) Nursing Leadership Curriculum (Dr. Elizabeth Curtis and Dr. Jan de Vries) and (b) Comparative Research Study (Professor Catherine Comiskey). The second day of the workshop concluded with a closing plenary and a thank you by the Chief Executive Officer of Santrust Professor Anshu Padayachee.
In concluding, the academics from the School of Nursing and Midwifery were honoured to be invited to this prestigious and important event and are grateful to Professor Anshu Padayachee and Ms. Charmaine Williamson from Santrust for inviting them to the workshop. Some useful insights were gained from the discussions and interactions and several recommendations were put forward for taking the work forward. Finally, we wish to thank our hosts for their wonderful hospitality and look forward to working with them again in the future.
Prepared by E.A. Curtis, C. Comiskey and J. de Vries

2nd Annual Career and Recruitment Event

On Tuesday 10th September, the School of Nursing and Midwifery Alumni Committee hosted the 2nd annual career event for Junior and Senior Sophister Nursing and Midwifery students. This included presentations by two Alumni; Susan Kent (Regional Specialist for Child Health and Immunisation for Dublin North East) shared the inspiring story of her career journey to date and Lianne Noonan described her first year in practice as a registered nurse and offered advice to new registrants.

Other presenters were Sean Gannon from the TCD Careers Advisory Service and John Dillon from the TCD Alumni Office and both highlighted the supports and resources available to College Alumni. There were ten recruitment companies in attendance and the Careers Advisory Service also conducted a CV clinic for attendees, which was evaluated very positively.


Many entry routes into Nursing & Midwifery in TCD

Getting enough points in your leaving certificate is not the only way of securing a place on a nursing or midwifery course in TCD. Did you know that there are other routes into nursing and Midwifery? A number of our students have been offered places through other routes.

These include:
Mature entry
Trinity Access Programme

In fact we have quotas assigned to these other categories to ensure a diverse mix of students on our programmes.

Want to find out more?
School of Nursing & Midwifery TCD:
Mature entry:
Trinity Access Programme:
A number of FETAC pre-nursing courses are available nationally. For example, a number of entrants in 2012 completed a pre-nursing course in by St Conleth's Community College Newbridge. See:

CPHI Kick off BREATHE EU AAL Project

This summer the CPHI in collaboration with EU partners in Spain, Italy and the UK launched the BREATHE AAL Ambient Assisted Living ( project to develop a technological platform to provide daily guidance and support for the informal caregiver in the long-term care of older persons. The aim of the BREATHE platform will be to provide an ICT-based solution for the caregiver and older persons in order to increase quality of life and care. For Further details please see:

As part of our kick off process, the BREATHE team will be hosting an event on September 27th at the AAL Forum Sweden. This event is open to any other researchers, end-users and stakeholders interested in the support and guidance for the informal caregiver in the long-term care of elderly people. This event is open to any person interested in the topic and is free of charg

e. Places are limited and applications will be processed in strict order of receipt. If you are interested please visit the following link to register:

CPHI Launch Official TCD Website

The CPHI have launched their official TCD website at

The website has info on the centre, staff, current and upcoming projects as well as links to our social media and blog (, which we hope you will like, share and follow. Please feel free to contact the team if you would like to discuss opportunities to work with the Centre.

Congratulations to Junior Freshmen Psychiatric Nursing Students

Congratulations to Niamh Barry, Zara Griffith, Rebecca Durham and Michaela Kinsella (Junior Freshmen Psychiatric Nursing Students) who received a student award for the best poster at the Annual Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing Conference held in Athlone Institute of Technology on the 6th June. The title of the poster was "The Influence of Gender on the Patterns of Mental Health and Well Being/Mental Distress". The students were mentored by Padraig McBennett, Mental Health Clinical Tutor in preparing the abstract and  poster. 

Padraig McBennett, Rebecca Durham, Michaela Kinsella, Zara Griffith, Niamh Barry

Eadhbhard O'Callaghan Memorial Prize awarded to Dr Brian Merriman

The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) brings together professionals from a range of disciplines with a shared interest in mental health. ACAMH has a branch in Ireland which hosts an annual research conference, and in May 2013 it was hosted by the Trinity Education Centre at St James's Hospital. As part of the conference, the ACAMH Youth Mental Health Special Interest Group offers the Eadhbhard O'Callaghan Memorial Prize, and this year it was awarded to Dr Brian Merriman for his presentation entitled '"These kids fall between too many stools": Professionals' views on the mental health needs of children and young people in the care and youth justice systems', along with co-authors and CRNINI members Roisín Webb, Dr Rosaleen McElvaney, and Dr Mimi Tatlow-Golden.

Postgraduate Student Grants for Research

Potential PhD candidates are invited to apply for research grants. The application process for research grants for postgraduate students is open and applications are welcome.

Midwifery Student's Initiative Supporting Women with Hearing Loss - Sharon Touhey

As a third year student midwife, I have had the opportunity to share an incredibly special life experience with many women and their partners. Although a hugely positive experience in most case, one thing which struck me was how difficult these experiences may be when faced with communication barriers. With that thought, I started to learn Irish Sign Language. As I learnt to sign, I developed a real love for the language but also learnt the huge lack of Deaf Awareness within our society and so SignForFun was developed. SignForFun is a Non-Profit organization developed to raise Deaf Awareness and to promote Irish Sign Language. With huge excitement, I launched our website in January of this year at which includes many blogs sharing families stories and peoples experiences within healthcare, along with games, videos and so much more.

I have been so lucky to receive so much support since the organization has been launched, including the support of many Irish celebrities like Tommy Tiernan, The Script, Bobby Kerr, The High Kings, The Irish Football team and so many more.

As a newly launched organization, I'm sure it will remain a 'work in progress' for the coming months but by sharing experiences and raised awareness, it highlights the huge communication barriers in place presently and I can only hope in time this is patched over.

Sharon Touhey

Memorandum of Understanding with Naas General Hospital

The School signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Naas General Hospital on the 16th of January. This MOU formalises a long standing relationship with Naas Hosptial and the staff working within the hospital.The MOU incorporates teaching, practice and research.

School of Nursing and Midwifery Hosts Mental Health Conference that Highlights Importance of Mutual Help and Community in People's Recovery from 'Serious Mental Illness'

A special conference of the GROW mental health organisation opened by President Michael D. Higgins and supported by the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the Mental Health Commission took place last week (January 11th). 'GROWing towards recovery: a re-enchantment with life' was the theme of the conference that aimed to increase knowledge and awareness of the recovery model and mental health; the importance of community in mental health and the role of reciprocal relationships and mutual help organisations in mental health recovery.

Speakers included Dr Peter Lehmann, Founder of Runaway House, Berlin and Dr Rita Charon, Founder of the School of Narrative Medicine, Columbia University. Dr Mike Watts, TCD PhD graduate of the School of Nursing and Midwifery as well as author of the research 'Recovery as a re- enchantment with life' presented at the conference.

Dr Watts' research is based on the experiences of 26 Irish adults aged from 30-70, all of whom chose to embark on a peer support 'Recovery' route towards addressing their 'illness'.

Of the 26 subjects interviewed in the study, just under half had in the past been diagnosed with 'lifelong' conditions like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Other diagnoses included chronic depression, personality disorder and acute anxiety. Over 60% had been hospitalised between one and ten times and all 26 had been prescribed medication.

"Having being treated within traditional psychiatric services, these people then sought mutual help through the GROW organisation which uses a '12 Steps' programme alongside peer community support as a path to recovery. GROW works on the basis that 'mental illness' is facilitated through learned habits of thinking and acting which can also be unlearned," said Dr Watts.

"The study highlights the importance of mutual help and peer support in people's recovery journey, and will act as a point of inspiration and hope for other people with similar diagnosis. It also supports the growing view that when it comes to 'mental illness', drugs should be limited to stabilising roles in emergency situations rather than prescribed over a lifetime," he added.

Dr Watts is himself a recovered 'mental illness' sufferer who has successfully pursued the "Recovery" path.  A qualified mental health practitioner and family therapist, he produced his PhD thesis under the supervision of Professor Agnes Higgins of School of Nursing and Midwifery, TCD.

Dr Eddie Molloy, chairperson of Mental Health Reform, commenting on the study stressed the importance of the findings in the context of the current drive to transform mental health services from a medical to a recovery ethos.  

Dr Peter Lehman delivered a paper entitled: 'Recovery by Taking Psychiatric Drugs Versus Recovery By Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs' and Dr Rita Charon's paper was titled 'The Self-Telling Body, or the Reciprocal Recognition of Narrative Medicine'

A panel discussion was also chaired by broadcaster and journalist Vincent Browne.


Centre for Practice and Healthcare Innovation (CPHI) Funding Success

The CPHI with Mr Paul Gallagher have been awarded 90,000 euro from the The Royal Hospital Baggot St Fund to continue work with St James nursing staff. The CPHI has also with Mr Kevin Cullen of the Work Research Centre been awarded 10,000 euro for work with the Carers Association Ireland to estimate and describe the extent and nature of the contribution of family carers to the process of caring for frail, ill and people with disabilities in Ireland.

CPHI Presentations at School's Recent 13th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference

Prof. Catherine Comiskey recently spoke at the opening address of the School's 13th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference highlighting the role of the newly established CPHI within the School and College. Prof. Comiskey's research into health promoting schools and child health was also presented at the Conference with Dr. John Dinsmore's recent INTEL behavioural change research (under Principal Investigator Dr. Catherine McCabe) into self-management practices of individuals with COPD.

Findings from the practice lead research by clinican Catherine O'Brien (CNS St James Hospital) with Dr Dempsey on risk assessment of febrile nuetropenia in patients receiving chemotherapy were also presented. Sinead Teehan (CNS St James Hospital) presented further findings from her research with Dr Dempsey and Dr McKee on the Irish experience of Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation.

Brian Merriman Joins the CPHI Team

The School of Nursing and Midwifery would like to welcome Brian Merriman to the CPHI team. The post-doc contract was awarded to the CPHI from the Childrens Research Network of Ireland and Northern Ireland for 30,000 euro to support Brian's role. Brian is a research fellow on Growing Up in Ireland based at the Children's Research Centre. He works in the qualitative strand of the study, specialising in child-centred research methods and qualitative analysis. In 2010, Brian joined the GUI team from the Child and Family Research Centre (CFRC) at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where he has just completed a PhD at the School of Psychology. Brian is a graduate member of the Psychological Society of Ireland. His research interests are in child-centred methodology, service development, and personal construct psychology.

The Actors from 'Scenes from our Lives' and the IDS-TILDA team visit the President at Aras an Uachtarain.

Prof Mary McCarron & President Michael Higgins

Following the launch in July of the accessible website ( and DVD 'Scenes from Our Lives' members of the Intellectual Disability Supplement to The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (IDS-TILDA) team and the actors who participated in this innovative project were invited to celebrate their success with the President, President Michael D. Higgins on Wednesday last, November 14th 2012. Professor McCarron (PI) had the honour to present the President with the accessible material produced to make this study on ageing accessible to all people most especially those with an intellectual disability.

The President congratulated everyone for their achievement and noted his delight at the synergistic use of various media to convey an otherwise challenging academic message to all citizens. He especially liked the use of the arts and drama, commenting on how acting and advocacy resonates for him and noting how this project was the essence of how he as a President seeks an inclusive citizenship where everyone is treated with respect. As he had promised in his inaugural speech he was delighted to support initiatives for inclusion giving projects like this recognition on a national stage. Ms. Margaret Gahan, one of the patrons of IDS-TILDA, was delighted to present the President with a handcrafted pottery piece from Stewarts Care Centre.

It was a very exciting day for all the actors and they will talk about it for along time to come. They later enjoyed tea with the President and his staff as well as a splendid tour of the house. Professor McCarron noted that it was indeed an honour for all the actors to be sharing an afternoon with the President and have the IDS-TILDA dissemination project recognisied in such a manner.

Please see photographs from IDS_TILDA's visit to Aras an Uachtarain on the School's Flickr site

'Life as a Child and Young person in Ireland: Report of a National Consultation'

Professor Imelda Coyne, Dr Orla Dempsey and Professor Catherine Comiskey were commissioned to conduct a national consultation with children and young people in Ireland for the Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA). The consultation was conducted in April 2011 and was completed by 66,705 children and young people across Ireland.

The report of the consultation 'Life as a Child and Young person in Ireland: Report of a National Consultation' was launched by Minister Frances Fitzgerald (Minister for Children & Youth Affairs) on Wednesday 7th November in Scoil Chaitriona, Lower Baggott Street, Dublin 2.

Midwifery Student Presentation at AIRC 2012

Eight fourth year student midwives presented their reserach project of Women's Experience of Taking Part in Clinical Trials'. The students presented the issues using role play and received very positive feedback from the audience. Congratulations to each of them on a wonderful achievement.

or LINK HERE to access video streaming files from the presentation

School of Nursing and Midwifery Careers Evening

The School of Nursing and Midwifery Alumni Committee held its first Annual 'Nursing and Midwifery Career Evening' for the Senior Sophistor class of 2011/2012 nursing and midwifery students on Thursday October 4th 2012. Two of the presentations on the evening were given by School Alumni. Valerie Small provided an inspiring overview of her journey to becoming the first Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Emergency Nursing in Ireland, while Mairead Mc Morrow spoke about her first year in practice and imparted her advice to those just setting out on their nursing and midwifery careers. Sarah Ryan from the Careers Advisory Service and John Dillon from the Alumni Office also gave terrific inputs and highlighted the many supports available to our Alumni in College. We are looking forward to next year's event already but in the meantime you can view some of the pictures from this year's event below.

Improving Leadership in Healthcare

Thursday 13th September 2012

School of Nursing and Midwifery Hosts Seminar on Leadership in Health Care

On Thursday 13th September 2012 the School of Nursing and Midwifery hosted a Seminar entitled Improving Leadership in Health Care. The Seminar was organised by a small team of staff in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, led by Dr. Elizabeth Curtis and including Dr. Jan de Vries, Dr. Fintan Sheerin and Jeni Ryan. This popular event commenced three years ago and has since become a regular feature in the School's calendar, which is not surprising given the importance of effective leadership in health care and the continued interest shown by delegates over the years. The purpose of hosting this one-day annual Seminar is to provide an opportunity for health care professionals to explore important issues in leadership and assist them in improving skills, knowledge and work-based practices. The Seminar programme included topics such as Leadership for Managing Health Services; Leadership and Teams; Leadership and Autonomy at Work; Learning and Leadership; and Leadership Skills for 21st Century Health Care. The speakers included Senior Academics from third level institutions in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales and delegates came from a cross section of health care institutions in Ireland and the UK. The day was enjoyed by all present and many delegates reported that "The Seminar was the best they had attended in a long while".

Dr. Jan DeVries, Dr. Elizabeth Curtis, Prof. Catherine Comiskey, Jeni Ryan

Dr. Jan DeVries, Dr. Elizabeth Curtis, Prof. Catherine Comiskey, Jeni Ryan

Centre for Practice and Healthcare Innovation Launch ' Create Inspire Innovate' (

'Create Inspire Innovate'  (Cii) is a new initiative by the 'Centre for Practice and Healthcare Innovation' (CPHI) at the School of Nursing and Midwifery to help inspire students, staff and potential collaborators both internally within TCD and externally to pursue creative thinking within practice and healthcare research and innovation.

Cii seeks to inspire collaborative thinking and interaction from various disciplines including psychology, creative technologies, medicine, computer science (and many more) with nursing and midwifery.

The CPHI have launched a web-blog to keep you up to date with news and information on innovative practice and healthcare research, projects, seminars, workshops, courses and events happening within the CPHI as part of the Cii series at the School of Nursing and Midwifery. 

The site will also aim to keep you informed of exciting practice and  healthcare innovation developments globally by discussing new trends, rising technologies, novel methodologies and ground breaking-research initiatives.
With interviews, videos, breaking news, podcasts, guest authors and staff/student contributions to the site we hope you find this an engaging platform to share with us your thoughts, ideas, energy and enthusiasm for practice and healthcare innovation.

You can use this site to subscribe to the newly launched CPHI Facebook, Twitter and Flickr accounts as well as see organisations and institutions the CPHI are closely working with in the links sections. On the home page you can subscribe to the website directly via RSS feeds or regular updates via e-mail by joining our mailing list. The site has also platform friendly versions for mobile devices and the iPad so you can follow us Cii on the go!

Kicking of the Cii initiative at the School Research and Education day on September 11th were talks the Technology Transfer Office (TTO), Silvercloud  and The Innovation Academy, these talks will be made available shortly via podcasts on the site.

Talk 1: Dr. Gordon Elliot & Dr. Margaret Woods (TTO) - "Facilitating Knowledge Transfer from Research Innovation"

Talk 2: Dr. Gavin Doherty (School of Computers and Statistical Science and Silvercloud) - "The Silvercloud e-Health Platform"

Talk 3: Dr. Daniel Rogers & Ms. Louise Andrews - "The Innovation Academy Roadshow"

The new Cii website can be found at and the new CPHI social networking sites are below, please join and share below:


The Official CPHI website is due for release soon.


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See Archive News 2011

See Archive News 2012

See Archive News 2013

Last updated 29 January 2015 (Email).