From the President - On the ground with the president

ICN Workforce Forum and EFN
We had the pleasure of hosting the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Workforce Forum in Dublin. Nine countries were represented at the event by a total of 25 delegates.

Nursing leaders met at the event to deliberate on common trends affecting nurses’ capacity to deliver safe and effective patient care, including safe staffing levels. They also discussed the value of nurses to society. A common theme, which is now evident throughout the international workforce, is the impact that safe staffing levels have on patient care. As nurses and midwives it is imperative that we speak out and identify risks where they exist, maintaining our own high professional standards at all times. See page 8 for more on this meeting.

The Forum was followed immediately by the European Federation of Nurses (EFN) meeting in Macedonia. I participate in the workforce committee at EFN and find that the same common strands are affecting nurses across the globe. A key worry in all healthcare settings at this time of austerity and cutbacks is safe staffing levels. I intend to work hard to campaign for safe staffing levels in Ireland. Using both Irish and international research, we have a wealth of information which proves that safe staffing levels lead to safer outcomes in patient care.

I would like to congratulate Elizabeth Adams, INMO director of professional development, on her election to the executive committee of EFN. Congratulations also to Marianne Sipilä, from the Finnish Nurses Association, on her election as EFN president.

Ninth annual Telephone Triage conference
I attended the ninth annual Telephone Triage Nurses’ Conference in Limerick in October. Many thanks to the committee for organising an excellent education day with great speakers, and also, to the companies who sponsored the day.

Telephone triage nurses now play a major role in Irish healthcare, a role that has evolved immensely in the past decade. For many patients and their families, these nurses are the first point of contact. They evaluate, diagnose and educate patients by relying totally on verbal communication skills and decision-support software for assessment and documentation. The uses of telephone triage and e-health will become increasingly prevalent in our healthcare. This was demonstrated by the Department of Health announcing an E-health Strategy for Ireland recently.

There was an excellent turnout on the day and I would encourage all members to keep an eye on the INMO website, and to connect with our sections and branches to avail of the excellent educational opportunities available. These are all now accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland and will be accepted as part of your continuous professional development when the Nursing and Midwifery Bill is fully implemented.

Pictured (l-r) were: Lorna Elmes, Telephone Triage Section chairperson; Carmel Murphy, Section joint secretary; Claire Mahon; Claire McMahon, Section joint secretary; and Breege Clarke, vice chairperson

CNM/CMM meetings
We are currently organising a number of regional meetings for our CNM/ CMM Section. These two-hour sessions will contain an educational component to help our clinical nurse and midwife managers in their work and we hope to follow with a full day in the new year.

I would strongly encourage you all to attend the sessions (see page 24).

RCN book launch
I had the pleasure of attending a book launch hosted by RCN Northern Ireland in Derry.

The book, entitled Nurses’ Voices from the Northern Ireland Troubles – Personal Accounts from the Front Line is by Margaret Graham and Jean Orr. It compiles nurses’ experiences of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

The stories, ranging from witty to tragic, are a great read and the book is available online from the publishers, RCN Publishing, at

New chief nursing officer
On behalf of the Organisation, I am delighted to welcome Dr Siobhan O’Halloran as the new Chief Nursing Officer. I look forward to liaising with her and meeting her when she settles into her new post.

Get in touch
You can contact me at the INMO headquarters at Tel: 01 6640 600, through the president’s corner on or by email to:

From the President - On the ground with the president


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