Programme Aim

Nursing Studies is a full-time programme offered in North Connaught College of Further Education, Tubbercurry, Sligo. The overall aim of the programme is to provide the learner with the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and ability to work under supervision in a variety of healthcare settings and / or to progress to further or higher education and training (for example: Nursing/Social Studies Degree Programmes).

This course helps students to develop their interpersonal, caring and practice skills which they can apply to a varied range of client groups in a variety of healthcare settings. Whilst at the same time understanding the importance of maintaining a client’s independence, dignity, respect, self-esteem and choice.

Students will learn a range of practical skills within the classroom in a simulated healthcare environment using equipment from a healthcare/clinical setting. This helps to prepare the student to work with the patient/resident on work-placement.

Students will gain practical experience in the areas of:

  • Clinical Skills & Nursing practice
  • Personal care routines
  • Attending to care needs 
  • Working as part of a healthcare team.

Other areas of study include:

  • Infection Prevention & Control
  • Communications
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Human Growth and Development.

Work Experience is also a core feature of the Nursing Studies programme with students spending time in a healthcare/hospital setting, enhancing employability.

Students will also have an opportunity to take the following courses:

  • People moving and handling
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults
  • First Aid Responder training.
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Programme Progression 

Further Study

Following on from Nursing Studies students are in a position to access* third level degree courses in Nursing, Health Promotion, Public Health, Social Care and Social Sciences amongst many more (*via a CAO application).

There is also a direct progression onto Level 6 Health Supervisory Management in North Connaught College. This course prepares you to work in a supervisory role in a range of healthcare services.


This course prepares students for employment in a wide variety of care services such as Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Community Care services, Residential Settings for people with physical and intellectual disabilities, Day Care Centres and Homecare Agencies. Within these services there are many work opportunities for example Health Care Assistant, Multi-Task Assistants and Support Worker.

Entry Requirements

Education: No formal education or qualifications are required although applicants may have participated in primary and secondary education.  Applicants will be expected to demonstrate a standard of knowledge, skill and competence equivalent to NFQ Level 4 when accessing a Level 5 programme.

Aptitude: Applicants must have a motivation to learn, an interest in the subject and the ability to acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies set out in the course.

Previous Experience: Applicants must be able to demonstrate a moderate range of knowledge, skills and competencies relevant to the course, be able to work with responsibility and demonstrate the ability to work on their own initiative.

Course Content  

Title Award Awarding Body
Anatomy and Physiology (5N0749) QQI
Human Growth and Development (5N1279) QQI
Nursing Theory and Practice (5N4325) QQI
Care Skills (5N2770) QQI
Care Support (5N0758) QQI
Care of the Older Person (5N2706) QQI
Infection Prevention and Control (5N3734) QQI
Communications (5N0690) QQI
Work Experience (5N1356) QQI

Further Details

Below is a more detailed description of each of the Components

Nursing Theory and Practice

Nursing Theory and Practice introduces learners to the theories supporting holistic and professional practice. It provides an opportunity to develop caring skills and attitudes necessary for the performance of a range of essential skills. Learners will develop the relevant practical skills to include the recording of temperature, respiration, pulse, blood pressure and fluid balance. The focus of the learning will be the provision of individualised holistic care.

Care Skills

The Care Skills module involves developing knowledge and skills to meet the different individual needs, while at the same time maintaining the person’s autonomy, independence dignity, and privacy. All these practical skills are taught in the college in a fully equipped simulated healthcare environment. The skills will be practiced by the student during work-experience placement in a healthcare setting.

Care Support

Care support explores the roles and responsibility of a healthcare worker, as part of a team multidisciplinary team. There is an emphasis on understanding the needs of the people and how to provide enhanced quality of care. This component is about exploring personal planning and growth as a student HCA through reflection in a caring profession.

Care of the Older Person

In Care of the Older Person, you will develop the skills necessary to meet the care needs of older people, for example, feeding, showering, and assisting. All these skills are essential to meeting the communication, physical, social, emotional, and personal needs of an older person.

Infection Prevention and Control

This component is an essential part of maintaining a safe and hygienic environment for patients, staff and visitors in care settings. It will help you to recognise the following; the various types of infection, how to prevent infections and control outbreaks. Students will learn a range of practical skills required in IPC such as decontamination, terminal cleaning and management of spillages. Also the importance of hand hygiene using a wash and glow UV light box.


This is one of the most important components, whether in the workplace or in a College environment, it is essential to be able to transfer knowledge in a clear and concise way and also to be aware of the different types of communication. The component covers both written and practical aspects of communication and gives learners practice and confidence for public speaking which is very important for the third level where presentations are compulsory.

Anatomy and Physiology

Anatomy and Physiology provides an opportunity for the learner to investigate the structure and function of each of our body systems independently. Learners are then challenged to explore the human body as a whole and appreciate the interrelationships between body systems. Using knowledge gained, learners gain an insight into health and illness.

Human Growth and Development

Human Growth and Development acts as an introduction to human psychology. It aims to introduce learners to human development and behaviour from infancy to old age. It is designed to enable learners to work in a variety of community/social care settings where frequent demand is made on the individual to relate to people with various levels of ability and care needs.

Work Experience

Students must find work placement in a suitable healthcare/hospital setting. Work-experience classes prepare the student to apply for work placement and future work by learning skills a cover letter, CV and interview techniques. Students will also gain an understanding of their own skills and qualities, as well as how document their learning during placement. This is an essential component for anybody wishing to prepare for or return to the workplace.