Dona Cromar from Athlone is the fourth Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner (RANP) in Emergency Nursing to be appointed to Roscommon Injury Unit.

Athlone's Dona appointed to key role in Roscommon Hospital

Roscommon University Hospital is delighted to announce that Athlone's Dona Cromar has recently been appointed as a Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner (RANP) in Emergency Nursing at Roscommon Injury Unit.

RANPs are the highest level of clinical experts in the nursing profession in Ireland today and are transforming services for patients through an expanded scope of practice, greater clinical autonomy and decision-making.

Dona immigrated to Athlone from South Africa at the age of 13 with her family and completed her secondary school education in Our Lady’s Bower in Athlone. She undertook her Bachelor of Nursing Degree at Trinity College Dublin and began working in the Emergency Department at the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore in 2013, where she discovered her love for emergency nursing.

After making the move to the Emergency Department at University Hospital Galway Dona Cromer witnessed first-hand the role of the Advanced Nurse Practitioner in the emergency setting and said, “Initially I thought ‘Oh my God what an amazing role, nursing and medical care delivered by one individual’. This was ideal and so my journey to my dream job commenced.”

She achieved a Postgraduate Diploma in Emergency Nursing at University of Galway and went on to take up a permanent post as Clinical Nurse Manager in the Emergency Department at the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore. This role involved developing new services, audits and many other quality improvement initiatives. In 2019 she completed a Certificate in Prescribing of Medicinal Products at the University of Galway which gave her the authority to prescribe medicines to patients. In 2020 she completed a Certificate in Referring Patients for Ionising Radiation at University College Dublin which allowed her to refer patients for diagnostic imaging such as x-rays.

In August 2021 Dona took up her role as candidate Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Roscommon Injury Unit. She recently graduated with an Honours Masters Degree in Advanced Nursing Practice which permitted her to enter the nursing register as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner.

Speaking of her new role Dona said, “I always had a keen interest in dealing with emergencies, my career as an emergency nurse involved managing and treating various conditions but this new role allows me to hone my skills in treating particular conditions. My job satisfaction has reached an all-time high, safe to say I have no regrets. I am honoured to be part of the service expansion at Roscommon Injury Unit and grateful to be working under such supportive management.

“The role of RANP permits me to develop clinically as an independent, autonomous practitioner and strive for continuous improvement in practices for the benefit of patients. I am qualified to diagnose and effectively treat a wide range of injuries for both adults and children over five years of age, injuries from shoulder to finger and from knee to toe. Essentially I deal with non-life or non-limb threatening injuries and non-complex, minor soft-tissue injuries, such as sprains, strains, suspected broken bones in the arm or leg, minor scalds, burns or cuts, lacerations and sports injuries to the hand or ankle. We are also trained in removing foreign bodies from eyes and ears. I can refer patients to other specialist services if necessary, such as Orthopaedics, Plastics, Ophthalmology, ENT, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Frailty Team.

“Patients can either self-refer or get a GP referral to the Injury Unit. Ultimately the patient will benefit from a more holistic approach. From the moment they arrive until they are discharged or referred, as an RANP, I look after them, assess their injury, request x-ray or other interventions, prescribe pain relief, antibiotics and tetanus, suture wounds and provide discharge advice.”

Mary Garvey, Hospital Manager said, “I am delighted to welcome Dona to her new role in the Injury Unit. Advanced Nurse Practitioners are transforming services for patients. Dona is the fourth Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner to be appointed in Emergency Nursing to the Injury Unit which is expanding to meet the increased demand as we treat more and more patients including those who previously found themselves waiting for longer periods of time in an Emergency Department.

“In addition we have three candidate Advanced Nurse Practitioners who are currently undertaking Postgraduate Programmes in Advanced Nursing Practice and once registered will join our existing Injury Unit team as Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioners.

“The attendance at Roscommon Injury Unit has been growing consistently year on year. In 2021 the unit treated 10,500 patients, an increase of 39% on 2020. Based on activity so far this year, it is expected that the injury unit will have treated close to 13,000 patients by the end of 2022, an increase of 24% from the previous year,” she added.

Roscommon Injury Unit is open 365 days a year from 8am to 8pm to treat a range of injuries in both adults and children over five years of age.