Monica Conroy from Carlingford, Co. Louth has a relationship with DkIT which spans more than 16 years. She trained to become an Intellectual Disability Nurse in the early 2000s at St Mary’s Drumcar which back then had a link with DkIT (before the Institute opened its Department of Nursing & Midwifery). She has since gone on to complete two part-time courses at the Institute and already has her eyes set on another course in the near future.
Now living in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, Monica celebrates 16 years as a qualified nurse. In 2015 she completed the Level 8 part-time course, Certificate in Contemporary Palliatative Care Practice.
“The Certificate course in Contemporary Palliative Care was very in-depth and provided expertise in this niche area. Not everyone deals well with the notion of death and so the course really did help with training around this. The course gave me the confidence to practice palliatative care at home.”
“Since completing the course, I took up a management position and so I felt I wanted to cement my knowledge learned in practice through academic knowledge and have a qualification for it.”
In 2018 Monica completed the Level 8 Certificate in Leadership, Management and Quality Initiatives in Intellectual Disability Services.
“This programme was aimed at helping you develop and understand leadership skills. It included a mix theory and encouraged you to look at yourself and reflect on your own unique style of leadership.”
In her current role as clinical nurse manager, Monica manages a seven-bed community house. In discussing why others should consider DkIT for parttime learning, Monica says,
“I would advise others to take the leap of faith. You’re never too old. The support you receive from the lecturers here is second to none. They are very much aware that you’re doing these courses in your own time. It’s in addition to family and working full-time and they are very understanding about this.”
Monica did have some reservations about returning to education but soon realised that the teaching staff are prepared for this.
“They’ll support from everything to turning on the computer right through to taking you to the library and showing you how to search for academic resources. There really is nothing that they don’t support you on.”
Monica is now ‘hooked’ on learning and is looking to the future about what courses she can study next.
“The sense of achievement of getting the qualification is fantastic and the courses are short and very doable. I have it on good authority that there are more relevant part-time courses in the area of Intellectual Disability Nursing coming on stream soon, so I hope to continue expanding my knowledge.”
Please see the below course links for more information:
Certificate in Contemporary Palliative Care Practice
Certificate in Leadership, Management and Quality Initiatives in Intellectual Disability Services