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An Bord Altranais

An Bord Altranais (the Board) was established by the Nurses Act, 1950 to take over the functions of two bodies, the Central Midwives Board and the General Nursing Council, which had been established in 1918 and 1919, respectively. The Board was re-constituted and its functions were re-defined and expanded by the Nurses Act, 1985 . The Board continues to operate under the provisions of this Act.

The Board consists of twenty-nine members, seventeen of whom are nurses and midwives elected by the nursing profession. The remainder are appointed by the Minister for Health and Children. An Bord Altranais is the regulatory body for the nursing profession.

Its main functions are:

  • to establish and maintain a register of nurses
  • to provide for the education and training of nurses and student nurses
  • to inquire into the conduct of a registered nurse on the grounds of alleged professional misconduct or alleged unfitness to engage in such practice by reason of physical or mental disability
  • to give guidance to the profession
  • to manage the Nursing Careers Centre, which was set up in 1998 to facilitate a centralised system of processing and selection of applicants wishing to enter nursing; promote and market nursing as a career; provide careers information to registered nurses and midwives

In addition to its statutory functions detailed in the Nurses Act, 1985, the Board also:

  • advises the Minister for Health and Children on all matters relating to the functions assigned to the Board by the Act
  • advises the public on all matters of general interest relating to its functions
  • ensures the application of relevant EU Directives in the regulation and control of nursing and midwifery practice
  • undertakes additional functions assigned by the Minister for Health and Children in relation to the practice of nursing and the persons engaged in such practice
  • maintains and fosters relations with relevant international organisations
  • provides both library and information services to the profession
  • manages the Nursing Careers Centre, which provides career guidance to nurses and midwives
  • produces an Annual Report

Additional information can be obtained from the An Bord Altranais website at

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