Skip to main content

Course Search

Course Search

Course Search

Advanced Comprehensive Health Assessment

  • Status: Start Date: January 2024

  • Campus: Athlone

  • weeks: 12

  • Fees: €1,200

Course Overview

There have been many changes and developments in the Irish health service and in nursing and midwifery roles over the recent decade. Demographic changes such as growing & ageing populations and consequent increases in chronic illnesses are shaping health care provision and policies, i.e. to primary care and development of Integrated Care Pathways. These include changes in systems of care provision, reforms in professional education and expansion of the scope of nursing and midwifery practice roles. Nursing will also be critical in implementing the Sláintecare health reform programme. All the evidence shows that when practitioners with advanced skills and knowledge are located in sufficient numbers in specific areas, they can have a real impact on some of the key challenges in the health service.

As highlighted by the NMBI standards for the Scope of Nursing and Midwifery Practice Framework (the Framework) (2015) “it is appropriate that nursing and midwifery practice should respond to the ever-changing needs of the population and the health service”. There is an expectation in the standards that nurses, and midwives are proactive in identifying areas where expansion in their scope of practice would improve patient outcomes and quality in a range of healthcare settings. Nurses and midwives are generally willing to expand their scope of practice and see it as resulting in improved patient care. Advanced health assessment as a speciality has developed rapidly over the last number of years both nationally and internationally. It is concerned with the immediate and early specialist management of adult patients who may present to or from within hospitals as urgencies or emergencies (RCoP 2007). Given the acuity of patients who present to acute medical units or who can rapidly deteriorate in healthcare settings, it is recognised that there is a need to develop additional clinical expertise among nurses working in a range of settings. While advanced health assessment has been linked with advanced practice and nurse prescribing, the COVID pandemic has highlighted the need for nurses working in a range of healthcare settings to develop knowledge and skills in recognising the deteriorating patient. In light of this, the Special Purpose Award in Advanced Health assessment for nurses working in a range of healthcare setting has been developed.

The aim of the award is to enable nurses to develop their knowledge and skills in the assessment and management of acutely ill adults. A requirement for continued development of such nurses to have advanced clinical skills and theoretical knowledge in assessing patient health, including advanced critical thinking and decision-making expertise. This programme is aimed at educationally preparing nurses to expand knowledge and skills required to undertake a comprehensive health history and perform advanced physical assessment in a range of health and social care settings.

Contact Details

Dr. Laurence Leonard


Entry Requirements

The Special purpose award in Advanced Health assessment will be offered to nurses who already hold a level 8 qualification ( or equivalent) in Nursing or a Master’s degree which is relevant or applicable to the advanced field of practice. The nature of this programme necessitates that students will be working in a healthcare setting. Students must be registered or eligible to register as either RGN, or RPN, or RCN, or RNID, or RM or RPHN on the live register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

In addition, applicants are expected to :-

  • Have a minimum of one-year post-registration clinical experience (within the past 5 years)
  • Provide evidence of Continuing Professional Development and the ability to study at Level 9
  • Provide a Signed Site Declaration Form from clinical employer which includes nomination and confirmation of a designated medical practitioner mentor.

Applicants will be employed in a suitable practice placement environment where a robust clinical governance structure is in place for the duration of the Advanced Comprehensive Health Assessment programme. The following practice placements are examples of the type of sites

  • Primary Care, Public Health and Community Nursing, Palliative Care, GP Practices, Nursing homes
  • Community Hospitals and Nursing homes
  • Acute Hospital Sites: Emergency Department, Intensive care, Medical, surgical and Specialist units
  • Mental Health Nursing sites: Acute/Specialist

Course Modules

  • Credits: 10

    Advanced health assessment involves a holistic approach to a comprehensive health history and advanced physical assessment. This course will allow students to acquire the knowledge and skills to undertake an advanced health assessment.

    The course will be delivered part-time over one academic semester using a blended learning approach. Students will be required to attend The Technological University of the Shannon (Athlone Campus) for a minimum of 7 days. The format of such days will include lectures followed by practical demonstrations and opportunities for students to practice specific practical skills in advanced health assessment.

    On alternative weeks participants will also be expected to engage with scheduled online teaching and learning materials. The online sessions will be important in developing students theoretical knowledge and enabling preparation for face to face learning. (Therefore its is important that participants have protected time to engage with these learning materials).

    This special purpose award is strategically planned to demonstrate balanced distribution and integration of theory and practice, in order to achieve the learning outcomes, on completion of this module the learner will/should be able to:-

    1. Discuss the structure and function of the various anatomical and physiological organ systems..
    2. Integrate and synthesise knowledge in the assessment and management of services users presenting with altered homeostasis of different body systems
    3. Critically discuss the knowledge, skills and professional behaviours required to complete an advanced comprehensive health assessment.
    4. Synthesise new knowledge to enhance the practitioners ability to complete an advanced comprehensive health assessment.
    5. Critically discuss strategies for enhancing interdisciplinary collaboration and communication.
    6. Interpret and implement new and existing knowledge through evidence-based practices and undertake a comprehensive health history from a service user incorporating an individualised plan of care

What can you do after this programme?

The aim of the Advanced Comprehensive Health Assessment Special Purpose Award is to enable nurses working in a range of healthcare settings to develop their knowledge and skills in the assessment and management of acutely ill adults. It will increase participants’ career prospects by widening opportunities and for the further development of services within their employing organisation in roles such as clinical nurse specialists. The Special Purpose Award will increase the potential for employment in multiple domains of practice. There are multiple areas for career advancement, both nationally and internationally with prescribing identified as an essential requirement for career progression and promotion in clinical posts

It is envisaged that nurses who complete this programme will have the requisite knowledge and clinical skills to undertake further postgraduate studies in nursing and healthcare related subjects.

Student Testimonials

Some comments from students who have previously undertaken the course

Thank you for your expert help throughout the course”.

“First of all I want to thank you again for imparting us your knowledge and skills on Advanced Health Assessment. We enjoyed the course and you’ve been so supportive…”

Many thanks for all your guidance.”

“Thanks a million . Really enjoyed the course “

“I would definitely recommend it to my collegues…. More Power to you!”

Application Form