Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing/(MSc) in Orthopaedic Nursing (Cappagh Hospital)

(NFQ Level 9 Major Award 60 ECTS)

Programme aims:

To prepare nurses to exercise an advanced level of clinical judgment and practice than that required by a registered general nurse by virtue of demonstrating additional knowledge and skills in a specialist area of clinical practice. 

Enable students to take a leading role in advancing and developing nursing and midwifery roles and effect policy change in professional practice and health service provision.

General entry requirments:

  • Explore problem solving skills in the area of planned orthopaedic nursing
  • Prepare a comprehensive care plan using advanced problem solving skills for a patient undergoing elective interventions for orthopaedic problems.
  • Critically discuss the principles associated with the management of common orthopaedic traumatic injuries.
  • Explore problem-solving skills in the area of orthopaedic trauma nursing.
  • The applicant must provide evidence of prior learning. 
  • Consolidate their knowledge in relation to the development of bone, its composition, development of muscle, fracture healing, the terminology used in musculoskeletal assessment, musculoskeletal anatomy and the implications for patients of specific investigations performed to evaluate a musculoskeletal condition or injury
  • Examine the role of the nurse with reference to planning care for patients with physical / intellectual disabilities, for patients of different ages and to recognise the psychological and sociological effects of orthopaedic conditions

Each programme is delivered over one year. The option is available for students to complete this programme over a period of up to three years.

When a student successfully completes a Post Graduate Diploma in Nursing (Specialist Area) they may then avail of the option to progress to Year II of the Masters in Science (MSc) Nursing in their chosen specialist area. 

All students undertaking this programme complete three core modules in RCSI in Semester I.

Semester I: Core modules

  • Advanced Research Methods
  • Advanced Leadership - Professional & Clinical
  • Clinical Practicum - Advanced Reflection on Practice

Semester II: Specialist modules

  • Specialist Nursing Module 1 - Principles of Orthopaedic Nursing
  • Specialist Nursing Module 2 - Nursing the Patient with an Orthopaedic Disorder
  • Specialist Nursing Module 3 - Nursing the Orthopaedic Trauma Patient

Entry requirments:
Students who wish to join this programme must be active on the NMBI register and have a level 8 qualification. Applicants who do not hold a level 8 qualification may still be eligable to join them programme through our pathway programme, please contact us for further information on this route. Students must also have a minimum of 1 years’ experience as a registered nurse In relation to this one year’s experience, six months of this experience must be in acute surgical nursing, this can be made up from different disciplines e.g. orthopaedics (minimum 3 months), gynaecology, general surgical; if orthopaedic experience is not part of this one year’s experience, then additional experience in this area is required. Candidates must also be currently working in an acute clinical setting.

Prospective students may need to attend an interview for this programme

Clinical mentorship:
Students are supported through the programme by preceptors and clinical facilitators, who facilitate student learning and competency development, in the specialist area of the programme.

More information:
If you would like further information on this programme please contact:

RCSI Programme Coordinator: Ms Yeukai Chikwamba(
Clinical Programme Director: Ms Rosemary Masterson (
Clinical Programme Director: Ms Deirdre O'Kelly (
RCSI Programme Director: Ms Chanel Watson (

How to apply?

Applications can be submitted online below until June 28th. During your application you will be asked to upload your transcripts and submit a non-refundable deposit of 50 euro to complete your applciation. 

Apply Now 


Course fees Current fee information can be found here: Nursing Student Fee Information
Application forms Applications are accepted via the link above. A €50 application fee is required when applying. You will also be required to upload transcripts of prior education during the application process.