Professor Cecily Begley

Chair of Nursing & Midwifery

School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Professor Cecily Begley holds the Chair of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity College Dublin. She was awarded MA, MSc and PhD degrees from Trinity College, and the Fellowship of the Faculty of Nursing from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She was a Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science and is an elected Fellow of Trinity College Dublin.

Following four years’ experience in general nursing, and 12 years in midwifery, she spent 8 years as a lecturer/senior lecturer at the Faculty of Nursing in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, responsible for leading and developing all education and research programmes. In 1996, she took up the post of Director of the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity College, charged with the task of developing the new School. Twenty-four years later, this School now runs 18 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, with 1400 students and over 100 staff, and has a strong research programme.

Professor Begley is active in developing educational initiatives at undergraduate, postgraduate and post-registration level in Ireland. She was appointed a member of the Nursing Education Forum set up by the Minister for Health and Children to plan and implement the 4-year BSc Nursing degree programme. She subsequently served on the National Implementation Committee that oversaw the introduction of the degree throughout Ireland in October 2002. She also served as a member of the Expert Group on Midwifery and Children’s Nurse Education set up to plan the two direct-entry degree programmes, and on the National Implementation Group that ensured their commencement nation-wide in October 2006. Prof Begley was a member of the National Council for Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery in Ireland for the first five years of its existence, and worked on the sub-group for Educational Standards for Advanced Nurse and Advanced Midwife Practitioners.

In terms of educational development overseas, Prof Begley led a team from the School, in collaboration with Queen’s University, Belfast, in providing academic consultancy services to Jordan University of Science and Technology to assist them in developing and modernising their MScs in Adult Health Nursing and Critical Care Nursing, and in developing a new MSc in Maternal and Child Health. This partnership was awarded €487,000 from the EU TEMPUS project to support the initiative.

Professor Begley has led many research teams to successful completion of diverse projects, focusing mainly on physiological childbirth, women-centred maternity care, care of women with disabilities, advanced and specialist practice and self-esteem and assertiveness in student nurses and midwives. Her research-based commitments include the supervision of 3 PhD students at present, 27 PhD and 4 MSc by research students to successful completion in the past 17 years, and external examining of 19 PhD theses from diverse countries. She has been successful in obtaining over €11,000,000 in research funding, as PI or collaborator, and holds/has held a total of 33 grants from the HRB, NDA, HSE Western Area, HSE North-Eastern Area, National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery in Ireland, the European Science Foundation and the EU Commission (FP7 Framework).

She is a member of the Meath Foundation Research Review Committee, previously served for 8 years on a research review committee for the Health Research Board, is an invited member of the International Confederation of Midwives’ Research Advisory Network and is a member of the ESF Pool of Reviewers for the period of 01 May 2010 to date. She is an Editorial Advisor for the BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth journal, has editorial and/or reviewing commitments for 4 other medical, nursing, or midwifery journals and has published widely on nursing and midwifery clinical and education issues.