Professional Certificate Enhancing Clinical Practice

The aim of this programme is to develop and enrich the participant’s skills and ability to reflect on their practice. To examine how their ongoing continuing professional development adds to the knowledge, skills, values and beliefs required to continually develop their practice in nursing or midwifery. The programme will facilitate the process by which participants explore their clinical experiences; examining them in detail and supporting making changes which may foster a change in practice, based on their learning. Its initiative is to create an environment where each participant can gain a greater self-awareness, examining their personal attributes including their beliefs, values, qualities, strengths and limitations, which impact on their delivery of care. Participants will explore the theory and literature on reflection and by what means it can promote their lifelong personal and professional development. Using library resources, participants will develop their literature search skills. The programme furthermore focuses on enhancing participants’ ability to think critically and write academically. Undertaking the module will help prepare participants to undertake graduate level study.

Who is the Programme for?

This unique programme comprises of a Level 8 Professional Certificate in Enhancing Clinical Practice. The programme is ideal for nurses or midwives who may be considering returning to third level education or wish to continue their professional development to maintain and enhance their knowledge and skills. The programme will provide participants with key academic and technological skills required for third level postgraduate education programmes and Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

This programme extends an existing partnership between the UCD School of nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), providing its members with an entry route to the school's portfolio of graduate programmes. Having completed a specified number of continuing education units with the Professional Development Centre of the INMO, this programme provides participants with an opportunity to link these courses together and to reflect on their contribution to their personal, professional and organisational practice. This course enables nurses and midwives to consolidate and build upon their continuing professional development activities to date and to achieve their professional mandate to improve the care of health services users. 

Aims of the Programme

The specific aims of the course are to enable students to:

1. Describe and explain the theory and models of reflection.

2. Demonstrate the ability to use a reflective tool to enhance practice.

3. Use reflection to critically evaluate a specific aspect of clinical practice.

4. Conduct a focused literature search.

5. Demonstrate the ability to complete a piece of academic writing.

The curriculum is designed to enhance your knowledge and skills regarding critical thinking and academic writing. It also focuses on reflective writing skills and using reflective models, you will acquire the tools to develop the skills to evaluate your clinical practice. Participants will be provided with an opportunity to examine their personal learning throughout the programme receiving personalised feedback on assignments and discussion boards.

On completion of the programme, participants will have developed their own personal/reflective portfolio. This portfolio allows the participants to present achievements and evidence of performance in a clear and orderly way. It can be used to showcase their work and demonstrate evidence of accountable professional practice. Participants may find the portfolio beneficial when applying for a job promotion or it could contribute to any future requirements set out by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland under the Nurses and Midwives Act 2011 in demonstrating continuing professional development (CPD).


Teaching and Assessment methods

A variety of teaching methods are utilized within the 12 week course. The expectation is that all registered participants will attend and actively engage in all sessions. It consists of face-to-face lectures, supported and augmented by online blended learning components of the course allowing you to pace your own learning in order to meet the needs of busy working professionals. Lectures, discussion boards and forms needed for assignment submission will be available through BlackBoard, a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

In week 1 there is One day of scheduled face-to-face sessions on UCD campus where learners will work collaboratively, share experiences and participate in individual and group tasks. Interactive tutorials and lectures will take place. 

The remaining 11 weeks are online. Participants will be expected to partake in weekly online discussions forums providing an opportunity to discuss the topics being covered. Critical thinking and writing skills are developed each week. It allows time for in-depth reflection as participants can reflect, research and compose their thoughts before taking part. The discussion forums also facilitate learning by allowing participants to review and respond to the work of others. A great sense of a class community is often evident. It is this joint learning between online classes and in-class participation that makes the conversations amongst participants so rich—and so valued.  The online discussion forums allow participants to work at a time that suits them best to learn and from the comfort of their own home.

Assessment for the programme consists of academic written assignments and participation and engagement with weekly discussion boards.   

How will I benefit?

This programme provides you with an academic award from UCD, building upon the Certificates awarded from the INMO. Successful applicants will be awarded a Professional Certificate in Enhancing Clinical Practice with an award of 5 ECTS which will prepare participants for further graduate level study both nationally and internationally, creating a unique and innovative opportunity for nurses and midwives to gain an entry route to the SNMHS portfolio of graduate programmes. 

This new programme provides exciting opportunities for nurses and midwives to contribute to their lifelong learning activities and consolidate and build upon their professional development activities. Furthermore, the reflective portfolio will enhance your career opportunities, demonstrating the application of learning undertaken and identifying future needs. Additionally, this will contribute to any future requirements of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland under the Nurses and Midwives Act 2011 to demonstrate continuing professional development. 

Strength's of the programme

  • Students encouraged and supported to complete studies successfully while enjoying life as a student in UCD
  • Individualised feedback on all assignments
  • Continued technical support is provided to the student throughout the programme.
  • Access to superb supports from SNMHS Library combined with continued support from INMO Library staff
  • Enhanced career opportunities with the creation of your personalised reflective portfolio related to your clinical practice working environment
  • Improved care of health services users


Entry requirements
  • Be registered as a professional nurse or midwife on the live Register as maintained by An Bord Altranais (The Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland) (NMBI). 
  • Complete 6 days of educational programmes or a minimum of 30 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) with the INMO prior to applying to UCD within the preceding 2 years of the course commencing.  


Student Testimonials

Past Students feedback

Student 1 “It helps develop practice and knowledge”.

Student 2 “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience…….I will certainly recommend this to my colleagues”.

Student 3 “Very well structured……..

Student 4 “I would strongly recommend the course, it talks about reflection and how it can improve my practice”. 

Documents to be submitted with your application
  • Certificates or validated copies of awards from INMO educational programmes
  • Current photocopy of NMBI registration
  • Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Page of Passport
  • Evidence of proficiency in English language (applicants whose first language is not English)
How to apply

Applications are made online through UCD Applications. ​Applicants may be required to undertake an interview (either face-to-face or via telecommunication) as part of the admissions process.


Your programme fees are available at the links below. You can search by programme title, keyword or major code. Please note that fees published on the links below are inclusive of the student levy, which must be paid by all students. 

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