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Nurse Practice Development Unit

Head of Department
Nurse Practice Development Co-ordinator: Siobhán Mc Caffrey

Nurse Practice Development Unit
Practice Development is a continuous process of improvement towards increased effectiveness in patient centred care. This is achieved by empowering health care teams develop their knowledge and skills and transforms the culture of safe patient care. It is supported by facilitators committed to a continuous process of change that reflects the needs of service users (Garbett and McCormack, 2002)

The role of the Nursing Practice Development Co-ordinator is to lead the Nursing Practice Development Unit, which supports pre and post registration nursing staff in developing nursing practice to facilitate high standards of patient focused nursing care.
Within the Practice Development Unit there are a team of Clinical Placement Co-ordinators and Clinical Facilitators who work closely together to ensure the provision of a quality clinical learning environment for both student nurses and qualified nurses. It also involves facilitating and conducting nursing research to implement best practice, and networking across the hospital to ensure the continuous process of improvement towards increased effectiveness in patient centred care.

Services Provided
•    Practice Development Co-ordinator
•    Clinical Placement Co-ordinators
•    Clinical Facilitators

Practice Development Co-ordinator
The Nursing Practice Development Co-ordinator leads the Nursing Practice Development Unit, which supports pre and post registration nursing staff in developing nursing practice to facilitate high standards of patient focused nursing care.
This involves leading, co-ordinating and evaluating nursing and multidisciplinary policies, while ensuring the provision of a quality clinical learning environment for student nurses.
In addition the role of the Nurse Practice Development department is to co-ordinate the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the structures and processes required to support safe nurse prescribing which meets the requirements of St Michaels Hospital and is compliant with the requirements and standards of Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland and the Health Service Executive.
Services Provided

Policies & Procedures

  • Reviews, implements and evaluates all nursing policies and procedures.
  • Represents St. Michael’s Hospital at the St. Vincent’s Hospital Healthcare Group policies, procedures and guideline committee.


  • Support nurses undertaking research within St. Michael’s Hospital.
  • Disseminates research.


  • Facilitates staff undertaking audit.
  • Provides education and   support in the use of the Quasar Audit system.
  • Representation at the St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group Audit committee

Quality Control

Facilitates staff to:

  • Evaluate Nursing Practice.
  • Implement change.

Co-ordination of the undergraduate BSc. Programme.

  • Supports the CPC’s role in BSC Programme.

Professional Development Support

  • Guidance on interview techniques and preparation.
  • Guidance on career development.

Study Leave and Education

  • Reviews and sanctions all study leave and funding requests for nursing.
  • Maintains nurse study leave databases.
  • Co-ordinates in house staff development sessions i.e. monthly Care Conference.

Advancement of Nursing Roles

Co-ordinates the application for advanced Nurse Practitioner’s through the process of application to the National Council.

National Council

Practice Development Co-ordinator liaises with the Director of Nursing to complete the funding application.


Siobhán Mc Caffrey, RGN, HDip Infection Prevention and Control, MSc Nursing

tel: (01) 271 3014, etx: 7148, bleep: 7038

Project Manager
The role of Project Manager in St Michaels is currently involved in the roll out and implementation in the National Early Warning Score Programme and the ongoing Compass Education Programme. This role also encompasses implementation of the National Sepsis Pathway, Irish Maternity Early Warning Score and ongoing education of same.
This role endeavours to provide ongoing support and guidance to all clinical staff in relation to the utilisation of NEWS, IMEWS and Sepsis Pathway.


Judy McFeely – BSc Nursing Management, RGN, RCN

tel: (01) 280 6901, ext: 7509, bleep: 7042

Clinical Placement Co-ordinators
The role of the clinical Placement co-ordinator (CPC) is to guide, support and facilitate student nurses learning whilst on clinical placements.  This involves creating and maintaining a quality-learning environment that enhances and increases students’ clinical competence.  CPC’s provide support and guidance for staff in their role as preceptors and facilitate partnership between the Health Service Provider and the Higher Education Institute, University College Dublin (UCD)

Services Provided

•    Co- coordinating student clinical placements.
•    Support and facilitate students to achieve maximum learning outcomes from clinical placement.
•    Ensuring an optimum clinical learning environment.
•    Ensuring fair nursing assessments (DoCATS).
•    Conflict resolution.
•    Preceptor support.
•    Co -ordinate and facilitate staff training programmes i.e. Competency / Preceptorship
•    Co -ordinate and facilitate student training programmes i.e. orientation programmes, Reflection Days and education information days.
•    Continuous communication with University College Dublin with regard to student clinical progress and ensuring support systems are put in place.
•    Committee representation both within the Hospital and University College Dublin.
•    Ongoing commitment to projects, policy development and education pertaining to Practice Development.


Carol McKenna, tel (01) 271 3009, ext 7414, bleep: 7030

Kay Daly, tel (01) 271 3044, ext 7363, bleep: 7096

Caroline Griffith, tel: (01) 271 3042, ext 7152, bleep: 7036

Clinical Facilitator
The role of a Clinical Facilitator endeavours to positively contribute to the professional development of our nursing colleagues here in St. Michael’s Hospital. The potential benefits of clinical facilitation include increased levels of staff morale, effective change management, improved quality of patient care, an empowered nursing profession and a positive impact upon recruitment and retention.

Clinical Facilitators’ goals include
The development of professionally accountable nurses.
Continuous quality improvement in standards of patient care through development of professional expertise.
The development of nurses who are capable of problem-solving and critical analysis.
Development of Professional Practice underpinned by the Scope of Nursing and Midwifery Practice framework (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, 2015).
Responsible for ensuring infection control and hygiene standards are maintained.
The clinical facilitator in St Michaels is involved with newly qualified nurses on a yearly basis. It has been well documented that newly qualified nurses require support in developing confidence and professional competence. Although preceptorship models have gone some way in addressing this need, innovative and flexible models of facilitation and development are also required to respond to local demands.

A major advantage in having a ward-based clinical education facilitator is the benefit of having access to someone who can, concentrate solely on clinical education and support with attempts to narrow the theory–practice divide. Proactively develops and nurtures workplace relationships, reaches out, creates rapport with fellow colleagues.

“… The purpose of facilitation can vary from providing help and support to achieve a specific goal to enabling individuals and teams to analyze, reflect and change attitudes, behaviour and ways of working.” (Harvey et al. 2002; 580).



The Practice Development Unit is located on the First floor of the Convent building.

Opening Hours

Mon to Fri: 7.00am – 6.00pm