Nursing Homework Writing Help on Comparing Nursing Education in Poland and Ireland

Comparing Nursing Education in Poland and Ireland

a) Political History and Development of Nursing Education

            Poland established its first nursing school in 1911 and ever since, the political situation in the country has been having a huge impact on the development of nursing education (Sztembis, 2006). Accordingly, the years of wars, occupation, partition, a Soviet regime that saw nurses enlist in wars and underground uprisings and more recently, a transformation of the political system, have all had a huge impact on the development of nursing education in Poland. In the case of Ireland, the country attempted to change nursing training and education from the traditional apprenticeship model from both within and without, with little success. This occurred between the 1950s and the 1970s (O’Dwyer, 2007). The apprenticeship model involved experienced nurses teaching their counterparts without any experience. The prevailing economic climate in Ireland during this period undoubtedly had a major impact on the pace at which the educational development of nursing was accomplished. Between the mid-1950s and the 1960s, Ireland could not financially sustain an alternative method of nursing education besides the apprenticeship model, despite knowledge of its inherent weaknesses. There was also more emphasis on the needs of services offered by nurses as opposed to their educational needs. However, the entry of Ireland into the EEC (European Economic Community) in 1973 ushered in a significant and its effect on nursing education. Importantly, the EEC issued a directive to the effect that nurses needed to undergo 4,600 hours of practical and theoretical instructions, and this greatly impacted on Ireland’s nursing training and education.

b) Government and Nursing Organizations influencing Nursing Eduction

            Various government and nursing organizations in both Ireland and Poland have had a significant influence on nursing education in their respective countries. In Poland, the Ministry of Health created a Department of Nursing in the 1990s, to aid in the development of quality nursing education and nursing practice. The Ministry of Health also created the National Accrediting Board for Medical Education in 2001. It was initially charged with the responsibility of overseeing the accreditation of nursing education programmes in the country (Krzeminska Belcher & Hart, 2005). These bodies, among others have over the years proved successful in improving nursing education in Poland.  In the case of Ireland, the country’s Ministry of Health helped to establish the Commission on Nursing in 1997, a creation that acted as a turning point in as far as the history of Ireland’s nursing profession. 

c) Current System of Nursing Education

            After three years of high school education, those interested in pursuing nursing education in Poland can enroll for a 3-year Baccalaureate nursing programme.  In the case of Ireland, prior to 1994, the country still relied on an apprenticeship programme to train its nurses, who would earn a certificate in nursing upon a successful completion of the apprenticeship programme. However, in 1994, the NMBI (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland), through its Education Department, started a 3-year Diploma programme in Nursing (Joyce, 2002). Courses are taught partly in the Schools of Nursing and partly in colleges and universities. In 2002, a 4-year degree programme in nursing was also started.         

d) Post-graduate Education for nurses available

            In Ireland, the Msc. in Nursing is a two-year programme that seeks to enhance the knowledge and skills of the graduate nurses. A number of universities are also offering structured PhD programmes in Nursing and Midwifery, but none so far in nursing alone (O’Dwyer, 2007). On the other hand, Poland has a 2-year complementary Master’s programme aimed at broadening the graduate nurse’s skills and knowledge. The Master’s programme graduates finds employment in the various healthcare settings in Ireland, including universities, education and training centers, and research institutes. Graduates are also free to pursue doctoral studies in various selected disciplines, although there are no doctorate programmes in nursing yet.

e) Reflections on Nursing Education in Poland and Ireland

            The direction taken by Poland in its development of nursing has assumed a political context, especially going by the events of World War 11 and the invasion by Russia. During this time, many nurses joined the military and other undergrowth groups, with obvious negative effects on the health care sector. However, the creation of  new institutions like the Centre of Post-basic Education for Nurses and Midwives and various government programmes have gone a long way in shaping nursing education in Poland to confront the challenges presented by the 21st century. Cooperation with ICN, the WHO and other global health organizations is a clear indication of the dedication by nursing leaders in Poland to institute health care reforms that ill enhance the educational and practical experiences of nursing for improved healthcare delivery. On the other hand, the phasing out of the apprenticeship programmes in Ireland’s nursing education is an indication of attempts by nursing leaders in the country to reconcile the academic model and its associated values with the largely practice-based apprenticeship form of nursing education.  


            Nursing education in Poland differs from that of Ireland on a number of fronts. However, what surprised me the most is that before 1994, Ireland still relied on apprenticeship model as a form of training programme for its nurses. This would not be expected of a developed country. On the other hand, I was equally surprised to note that Poland had developed its first nursing programme as early as 1911, even before the start of World War 1.


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            Poland. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 2(1), 1-5.

O’Dwyer, P. (2007). Looking Back…….Moving Forward: The Educational Preparation

            of Nurses in IRELAND. Nursing Education Perspectives, 28(3), 135-139.

Sztembis, B. (2006). The past, present and future of nurse education in Poland: stages,

            conditions and activities. International Nursing Review, 53, 102–109