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

Prof. Thomas Kearns

Executive Director


Thomas Kearns was appointed Executive Director of the Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery in April 2014. As Executive Director, Thomas is accountable for providing leadership and direction in the development and delivery of the key strategic and operational aims and objectives of the Faculty. He is accountable for the financial management of the Faculty.

Thomas has extensive educational leadership, project management and research experience throughout his 35 years nursing career. Thomas is an innovative, supportive and facilitative leader and has provided leadership in relation to a large number of initiatives across RCSI and with a broad range of external partners. In 2014 Thomas conceptualised the Overseas Aptitude test as an alternative to the adaptation assessment programme. He scoped the project and conducted the national consultation and research study that informed the development of the Aptitude test during 2015.

Thomas is a member of the Rotunda Hospital Risk Committee and is a member of the RCSI/Rotunda Hospital Liaison committee.

From 2001-2014 Thomas was Education Officer and Acting Chief Education Officer in the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (formerly An Bord Altranais). Thomas conceptualised, scoped, developed and was responsible for managing the Board's on-line Continuing Education CPD directory. He provided professional advice and guidance to academics, managers and clinicians. His doctorate is in the regulation of CPD and professional competence.

He was responsible for standard setting; approval and monitoring of all postgraduate education nationally. He was also responsible for the approval, audit and monitoring of programmes leading to registration as a psychiatric nurse, nurse prescriber, nurse tutor and public health nurse.

In 2004 he was seconded to the Department of Health and Children to project manage a review of the structure of the four year nursing degree programme and to specifically examine the position of the 12-month rostered clinical placement within the programme. This involved collaborating with Department officials, clinical and academic partners, the regulator and the professional associations and unions.

Prior to joining the Board, Thomas was lecturer/course co-ordinator on two higher diploma programmes and a lecturer on the undergraduate programmes within the School of Nursing and Midwifery in University College Dublin. He was responsible for curriculum development, teaching and learning, collaborating with hospital/clinical sites, student assessment, programme evaluation and quality assurance.Thomas was appointed Adjunct Professor of Nursing, University College Dublin in April 2016.