The O'Connell Bianconi Building has excellent  IT and room facilities which make it an ideal venue in which to host conferences. The Department of Nursing and Health Care has over the years hosted a number of themed conference and events on  nursing and  broader issues of health care.

Speakers at conferences to date have included Professor Tony Butterworth (CBE), Acting Chairman of the NHS Institute for Improvement and Innovation, Professor Dianne Cooney-Miner, St John Fisher College, USA, Dr Therese Meehan, UCD, Dr Yvonne McEwan, Centre for the Study of the Two World Wars, University of Edinburgh, Dr Maura Pidgeon, CEO, An Bord Altranais and Professor Gerard Bury, UCD to name but a few.

Click on the tabs below to find out more information about each of the annual conferences that have taken place within the Department

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A changing workforce for 21st century health care – winning or losing?


Conference Theme:

The health sector in Ireland and world wide is currently undergoing a period of significant change. There is a shortage of health care professionals, both internationally and nationally. Role reconfiguration of health care personnel, duties and workloads is increasingly coming to the fore. In addition to these role reconfigurations other solutions are required so as to deal with the changing contexts of health care. This conference will explore these changes in health care, the challenges posed and proposed ‘winning’ solutions in the context of the global competition for health care personnel.

There is a shortage of health care professionals, both internationally and nationally, as a consequence of the adoption of austerity policies over the last 5 years in relation to recruitment, training and remuneration. This has led to a crisis in morale and care in health services and unprecedented global mobility amongst health care personnel. 

Role reconfiguration of health care personnel, duties and workloads is increasingly coming to the fore in terms of debate and in practice  as a solution to staff shortages. However in addition to this reconfiguration other solutions are required. This conference will explore these changes, challenges and proposed  ‘winning’ solutions in the context of the global competition for health care personnel.

Speakers include

Professor John Wells,  Head of School of Health Science, Waterford Institute of Technology

Professor Anne Scott, Dean, Faculty of Education, Health and Community, Liverpool John Moores University

Dr  Mark White, Programme Manager to the System Reform Group in the Office of the Director General of the HSE

Dr Hilary Dunne, Patient Opinion Ireland

Mr Liam Doran, General Secretary, INMO

Dr Paul Wegorowski, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Lublin, Poland

Ms  Liz Roche, Office of Nursing and Midwifery Planning and Development Unit , Health Service Executive

Mr Mark Thorne, Dean,  Ms Lynn Harris, Ms Berthenia Smith, School of Health Sciences, Columbus Technical College, Georgia, USA

Facing health care challenges in times of emergency


Conference Speakers

L to R Capt Sara Eccleston, Prof Dianne Cooney Miner, Ms Emily Lockwood, Ms Karen Brennan, Dr Yvonne McEwen Prof Mary Collins and Prof John Wells


The growth in both awareness of and the number of incidents as these relate to international and domestic conflict and crises, whether it be the result of war, major acts of terror, gang related violence or natural /man made disaster and accident, in recent times is on the rise and poses major challenges for emergency services and the professionals who work within them in terms of immediacy of response, delivery of care, organisational infrastructures and personal physical and psychological well being.

A one day conference exploring these issues and challenges entitled 'Delivering health care during times of conflict and crisis' will be held in the Department of Nursing at Waterford Institute of Technology.

Speakers from Ireland, the UK and the USA will deal with such subjects as battlefield nursing, the failure of emergency planning during Hurricane Katrina in the USA, delivering health care services in Haiti following an earth quake and dealing with casualties resulting from acts of terror or gang related violence. The overall aim of the conference will be to explore what Irish emergency planning and health care professionals can learn from past experiences of delivering health care in areas of conflict and disaster, both national and international, to better inform domestic responses when dealing with the victims of conflict and crisis in the future.

PDF FileConference Flyer


Conference Speakers


Opening Address


Dr Yvonne McEwan


Lt. Col. Ollie Barbour


Professor Dianne Cooney Miner


Dr Kieran O'Connor


Dr. Gerard McCarthy


Dr. Mark Doyle


Ms. Emily Lockwood


Professor Gerard Bury


Closing Address


3rd Annual Nursing and Health Care Conference December 7th Response and Adaptation - Delivering Health Care in Times of Challenge


The third annual nursing and health care conference at the Department of Nursing will be held explore on December 7th. It marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Department at WIT. This year's theme is the impact of the global economic crisis and how it is changing health care and the work of health care professionals in countries in Europe and North America. Speakers from the USA, Spain, the UK and Ireland will explore how different domains in their respective countries are changing, responding and adapting to a changing health care landscape.

Conference Flyer

11 November 2014

Humanity & Compassion: Spiritual Concepts in Healthcare' - WIT Masterclass

The Department of Nursing  and Health Care at Waterford Institute of Technology held a Masterclass on 'Humanity & Compassion: Spiritual Concepts in Healthcare' on the 11th November 2015.

The opening address was delivered by Mr Mark White, Interim Director Nursing and Midwifery Planning and Development Unit, HSE (South-South-east). Dr Hilary Dunne  (Managing Trustee of the Irish Society for Quality and Safety in Health Care) presented a paper on ‘A Spiritual Approach to Compassion in Healthcare’ .  Prof Sarah H Kagan (Lucy Walker Honorary Term Professor of Gerontological Nursing, University of Pennsylvania) presented a paper on Learning and Living Compassion: Self, Care, Connection, Reflection. The Masterclass was chaired by Dr Suzanne Denieffe, Head of Department of Nursing and Health Care at Waterford Institute of Technology.