Perioperative Nursing E-learning Foundational Programme

RCSI Institute of Global Surgery and RCSI Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery are working in partnership with the East, Central and Southern Africa College of Nursing (ECSACON) to deliver the Perioperative Nursing E-learning Foundational Programme (PeN Programme). This programme is a constituent part of the RCSI/COSECSA collaboration programme, supported by Irish Aid.

The programme was launched in September 2022, with additional modules added in 2022 and 2023.

This programme is a result of a jointly developed needs analysis conducted in 2021, which aimed to provide information on training needs of perioperative nurses across the region, and to pave the way forward. Key findings revealed the variations across the region with regards to nursing titles, scope of practice, educational levels and roles, as well as variations in the availability of and access to education programmes.

Informed by the needs analysis, this programme is designed to support continuing professional development of in-service perioperative nurses but also to provide foundational knowledge and skills in operating department nursing for pre-service trainees.

This Irish Aid-funded programme is delivered over one year through 30 engaging self-guided e-learning modules which include formative assessment and promote active learning. Live Zoom discussions and webinars will also be used to support learners on the programme.


The programme aims to support the development and maintenance of clinical competence in perioperative nursing care and to contribute to safe patient care pre/during and after surgery in East, Central and Southern Africa.

It also aims to provide learners with up-to-date, evidence-based knowledge to critically develop their theoretical and practical understanding of nursing care delivery in the operating theatre environment.

The RCSI team

Programme content was created by a team of 20 experienced nurses and other healthcare professionals from clinical operating departments in Ireland and eight other ECSACON member countries.

RCSI programme management and leadership includes: