It is an exciting and challenging time to be part of the nursing and midwifery workforce in Northern Ireland. Throughout a recent unprecedented period of change, the delivery of safe, high quality, effective and compassionate care has heavily relied upon nurses and midwives working across a diverse and wide range of settings with the aim of providing person centred care 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. In Northern Ireland, a range of recent policy directives, including Transforming Your Care (DHSSPS, 2011), have set the direction for future service delivery. While the HSC remains the largest employer of Nurses and Midwives, increasing numbers are now being employed in the independent, voluntary and private sectors.

 

To support the nursing and midwifery workforce, the Chief Nursing Officer (DHSSPS) asked NIPEC to lead the development of a Career Pathway for Nursing and Midwifery across Northern Ireland. To take this forward, a regional Project Task and Finish Group has been established, chaired by Nicki Patterson, Executive Director Nursing, Older People and Primary Care within the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust. The pathway will include all Agenda for Change (DH,2004) Bands, from newly qualified nurses through to the DHSSPS Chief Nursing Officer and will cater for careers in clinical, education, research, management, commissioning and policy areas. It will also guide those who are considering a career in nursing or midwifery.

In order to maximise job and role prospects, the Career Pathway for Nursing and Midwifery will encourage nurses and midwives to be flexible in their approach to considering the broader range of sectors that employ nurses and midwives. The Career Pathway will be hosted on NIPEC's website and will provide an overview of the health and social care sector in Northern Ireland and more detailed insight into the more popular career pathways for nurses and midwives.