12th Annual Conference – Honouring our Past and Rising to the Future – 1916-2016
Date: 25th May 2016
Welcome address by Ms Karen Brennan, Chair IAANMP
The Easter rising was a seminal moment in Irish history, sowing the seeds for a war of independence that led to partition of the country and the creation of the Republic of Ireland.
The men and women of 1916 were not merely rebels but visionaries who defiantly went out to challenge an empire because they believed that Ireland should be free.
It follows that they deserve to be remembered, honoured and paid due respect.
We can draw inspiration from the 1916 rising because the rising changed everything. It opened new possibilities and started a distinct new tradition which drew on the past but also served to create a vision for the future.
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
Along with celebrating the centenary of the rising, this year we also celebrate 20 years of Advanced Nursing Practice in Ireland. In 1996 St. James’s Hospital took the initiative and set up a pilot study for the development of the first Advanced nurse practitioner role. In 2002, Ms.Valerie Small became the first accreditated Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Ireland. This provided the impetus for the development of ANP / AMP posts in other specialised areas.
It is in no small part thanks to the vision and enthusiasm of Valerie Small and colleagues in St. James’s Hospital that today we have over 180 accreditated ANP / AMPs in over 30 specialist areas.
The introduction of Advanced nurse practitioners has been a controversial and challenging development, affecting nursing and its relationship with other health professions .Today Advanced Nursing Practice remains one of the most scrutinised and researched concepts. But 20 years on we are still here. Why? Because of our passion, commitment and vision for our health services and for our service user.
Expansion of our scope of practice is integral to development of the role.
We have gone through many changes in role and regulation. We are intent on providing autonomous care to effectively meet patients needs. We know that in order to do this we need to challenge cultural, regulatory and policy barriers.
When the role was first introduced we were prescribing medicinal products under supply and administration guidelines. There was no autonomy or transparency in this practice. Through partnerships and negotiations we have been instrumental in contributing to changes in legislation which has seen us become independent in our prescribing rights. There are still many changes pending.
Nurses have become integral to health care solutions. It is critical that all legislators know that nurse practitioners are a part of the answer to the crisis that healthcare is in.
As advanced Nurse /Midwife Practitioners we too must be aware of how decisions are made and how we need to participate in the decision making process. That includes getting to know the political agenda so that when a healthcare issue comes up we can direct healthcare legislation.
So friends, in honouring our past and rising to the future, it is essential that we continue to work together towards the realisation of our vision for advanced practice. As Advanced nurse Midwife practitioners we are the cutting edge of nursing innovation. It is our responsibility to continue to challenge the deep-seated traditions of health professions and organisations in the interest of patient care.
Go raibh mile maith agaibh.
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