Graduates of the MSc. Preventive Cardiology are invited to join the NIPC which aims to act as a voice for experts in Preventive Cardiology in Ireland and to share common learnings and opportunities.

If you are a graduate of the programme and wish to get involved and back in touch with former classmates and other past students drop a line to

Meet Our Alumni

Nicola Fahy

Cardiology Clinical Nurse Specialist

Class of 2014

Nicola qualified as an RGN in 2008 from NUIG and completed a post graduate diploma in Critical Care Cardiovascular nursing in 2010 from UCD. In 2017 Nicola joined the Bon Secours Hospital Galway in the set up of a new Cardiology Department.  As a Cardiology Clinical Nurse Specialist she is the coordinator of a Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic. Throughout her professional career preventive medicine has been her passion with a specific interest in Cardiac Rehabilitation and secondary prevention.  In today’s current climate where obesity and physical inactivity are the leading causes of cardiovascular complications, the MSc in Preventive Cardiology offers invaluable skills and tools to empower clients in making necessary behavioural changes.  The theory and practical component of Motivational Interviewing in particular has aided Nicola to advance her practice.

During the MSc programme Nicola’s research study focused on the incidence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and those with Cardiovascular Disease, she has carried this with her to her current role where she has a keen interest in the detection of high risk patients with the aim to encourage early management to lower risk of developing T2DM.

Nicola has successfully organised two Cardiology conferences; the Inaugural Bon Secours Hospital Galway Cardiology Nurses conference in 2017 and The 5th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Irish Cath Lab Nurses Association in 2018.

Shauna Malone

Irish Cancer Society Research Scholar

Class of 2016

Shauna is an Irish Cancer Society Research Scholar in the School of Health and Human Performance in DCU. Her research is investigating if exercise might play a role in improving survival, quality of life and fitness in individuals scheduled for lung cancer surgery. Shauna is also a BACPR qualified exercise instructor who teaches exercise classes for individuals with a variety of chronic illnesses, as part of the ExWell Medical programme.

Shauna is a graduate of the Sports Science and Health degree programme in DCU where she was awarded an Academic Excellence in Research Award. Following this, she received a postgraduate scholarship to study the MSc in Preventive Cardiology from NUIG. The knowledge she gained from this masters programme not only improved her understanding of cardiovascular disease risk factors, but risk factors and lifestyle medicine for the majority of chronic illnesses. Learning behavioural change strategies and motivational interviewing also improved Shauna’s practical abilities to help the patients she works with. Although she is currently researching in the area of exercise oncology, she continues to use her knowledge and skills in research methods and completing research, learned during the masters programme, on a daily basis. Since studying the MSc in preventive cardiology, Shauna has had the opportunity to present at many national conferences and events, one international conference and has co-authored one publication.

Clare O’Sullivan

Public Health Nurse

Class of 2018

As a Public Health Nurse working in the community, Clare has always had a specific interest in health promotion and chronic disease prevention. Prior to her studies in NUIG she would have found it difficult to meet the day to day front line demands of working in a primary care setting and allowing time for lifestyle advice and intervention but the MSc in Preventive Cardiology has changed her whole perspective on this. She now sees preventive medicine as an important part of the holistic care of the client and family and incorporates it into her daily contact with all service users.

Clare facilitates a group educational programme for clients who are at risk of developing diabetes and speaks informatively on diabetes and related cardiovascular disease. Since completing the MSc programme she is now on the Cork Kerry Cardiovascular Subgroup which is looking specifically at addressing heart failure and stroke rates in this area and she has commenced working part-time for Healthy Ireland screening HSE staff in the CHO 4 area in addition to her PHN role. Clare has also facilitated a workshop on the annual Diabetes in Primary Care Conference (entitled ‘Diabetes is a Cardiovascular Disease’) and future plans do not stop there. No longer the reluctant academic!, she is now plotting her next educational step and has the MSc programme to thank for that confidence and vision.

Eleanor McIntyre

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Class of 2014

Eleanor qualified in paediatric nursing in 1994 and worked in the UK for some time. When she returned to Ireland, she trained in general nursing. She completed a Higher Diploma in Health Promotion and a BSc in Nursing Management. After almost 10 years working in both cardiothoracic surgery and the coronary care unit, she fell in love with cardiology. She completed the MSc in Preventive Cardiology in 2014, winning an award for best research project for her thesis “Exploring the physical activity levels and sedentary behaviour of employees within a workplace environment”. Her research was also accepted for poster presentation in the 2015 EuroPrevent conference.

As a result of completing the MSc programme she began work as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Chest Pain. Eleanor’s job now involves the clinical assessment of patients with symptoms suggestive of non-acute/stable angina. She finds it very rewarding to actually sit with patients in a clinic setting and explain why primary prevention in the form of lifestyle modification would impact their future health. 

Maura Lawless


Clinical Nurse Specialist

Class of 2017

Maura is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in stroke at Roscommon University Hospital. She has been working in the field of cardiovascular disease for over 20 years. Maura completed a BN in 2009, before undertaking her MSc in Preventative Cardiology in 2017, attaining first class honours and a specialist award for professionalism. In 2018 she worked as a clinical data collector for the national I-Aspire cardiovascular disease study. She runs health screening, out-patient clinics; and as an expert in her field, provides educational talks for staff and the public in hospital and community settings. 

Maura is a member of Roscommon University Hospital Healthy Ireland Committee, and is very active in her own local community. In 2013 she initiated a ‘Healthy Clubs Project’ and led it on to undertake many health promotion initiatives i.e. cardiac screening, physical activity, healthy eating and mental health programmes. She is an Advanced Cardiac Life Support Provider. In 2014 she established a Community First Responder network in her region. She co-ordinates Community CPR/AED Provider training, and affords ongoing educational support. Maura trained as a Smoking Cessation Officer with the National Tobacco Control Office in 2016, and was Project Lead to Roscommon’s Healthy Ireland ‘Smoke-Free Homes’ project. She has a special interest in preventive health and cardiovascular disease; she is dedicated and continually strives towards excellence.

Dr.  Aliaa Eldewah

Medical Doctor (SHO)

Class of 2018

In December 2013, Dr.  Aliaa Eldewah moved from Sudan to Ireland.  In June 2015, she was awarded a one year full time certificate in emergency care personnel from Limerick College of Further Education.  On the 20th of November 2018, she awarded the degree of Master of Science with second class honour grade 1, in Preventive Cardiology at National University of Ireland (Galway).

During her study she was doing a clinical observer-ship in Interventional Cardiology Unit at University Hospital Limerick. The theoretical and clinical experiences provided her with an overview of cardiovascular risk factors, so her research interest is diabetes and other CVDs risk factors grew. Her masters thesis from NUI Galway was a systematic review about a special kind of fruit (Phoenix dactylifera) and its effect on prevention of diabetic complications.  It is ready for publication in the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorder. In 2019 she was awarded her second Masters degree in Medical Science at NUIG. Her research thesis focuses on physical activity and exercise among minor nationalities in Ireland. Her research project (exploring the knowledge, experience and self-efficacy about physical activity and exercise among Sudanese community in Limerick city). Aliaa is currently working in Nenagh Hospital.   

Sharon Egan

Practice Nurse

Class of 2018

Sharon Egan is a registered nurse with many years of experience working in acute Cardiac settings in the USA and Mayo. Sharon became involved with Croi and has been assisting in health screenings in the Mayo area, which are both enjoyable and rewarding. While all screenings involve memorable moments, one of pride is one where a person was found to have hypertension, he followed up with his GP as advised and was found to have coronary artery disease, and subsequently required an angioplasty, he went on local radio to advocate the importance of the Croi heart screenings .

On completion of the MSc Sharon has had the opportunity to change directions professionally, becoming a practice nurse in a medical centre and developing a cardiovascular prevention programme in the practice. Sharon was also invited, as a result of the MSc Preventive Cardiology, to give a talk at the chronic disease prevention conference, her topic on hypertension and its management through lifestyle modifications and medical management. She was invited back to speak again at various educational events. The MSc programme has opened many doors for Sharon and has been positive both professionally and personally, as the Alumni has provided a wealth of knowledge and strength, through like-minded people all coming together to support each other’s practices.

Lorna Keating

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Class of 2017

Lorna has worked in the area of cardiology and cardiothoracic nursing for the last 25 years and has completed an MSc in Preventive Cardiology 2016-2017, Professional Certificate in Heart failure 2010, First Line Management diploma 2007, Post Grad in Cardiac Nursing 2005.

 At present she works as a clinical nurse specialist in cardiac rehabilitation in Naas General Hospital (NGH) and as part of her role, she provides clinical expertise in Cardiac Rehabilitation and Chronic Cardiac Disease Management. She is also involved in the dissemination of research within in the multidisciplinary area of cardiac rehab along with data collection, audit and assist with service planning. She proivdes education and training to patients and staff and patient advocacy is a significant part of her role. She is currently a council member of the Irish Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation (IACR). In 2018 as a result of her MSc research into erectile dysfunction (ED) in CR, she has now set up an ED clinic in NGH to assist men who suffer with ED post their cardiac event.   


Sheila Heery

Public Health Nurse

Class of 2017

Sheila graduated from the MSc in Preventive Cardiology with first class honours and an award for best research.  Subsequently her research was published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. She currently works as a Public Health Nurse in Kerry; with a secondment as Healthy Ireland lead for Primary Care services.

She qualified as a registered general nurse in 1999, since then has worked in Ireland, UK, Australia and Saudi Arabia. She values continuous professional development and through the years has completed a BSc in general nursing, a higher diploma in CCU nursing, a diploma in health sector management, post grad diploma in public health nursing and most recently a MSc in preventive cardiology.

This MSc programme highlighted the multidisciplinary input which is required and the importance of targeting all determinants of health which influence CVD risk factors, and not just a medicalised approach. This MSc provided Sheila an amazing opportunity to network and create contacts with other professionals who share the same vision to become ambassadors for prevention.

Laura Tobin

Project Manager, Healthy Ireland

Class of 2014

Laura accepted a place on the MSc in Preventive Cardiology as she was very interested in the unique perspective on chronic disease prevention.

She found the course content and teaching were really excellent and the learning she gained during that year has been the springboard for her move from a Physiotherapy clinical post to her current role as Healthy Ireland Project Manager within a large acute hospital group.

The learning gained is applied every day as she strives to implement the Healthy Ireland Framework.

“I would have no hesitation in wholeheartedly recommending the programme to any potential students”

Dylan Keegan

Research Assistant

Class of 2018

Dylan discovered his passion for nutrition and healthcare while enrolled in the Masters in Food, Nutrition, and Health course in UCD. 

The MSc in Preventive Cardiology afforded Dylan amazing opportunities to learn about disease prevention, patient-centred care and the impact of small lifestyle changes on a person’s overall health. 

After completing the MSc, he began working in Croí and NIPC, managing databases, reporting and analysing projects and working as the administrator for Croí’s Centre for Lifesaving Training. Additionally, through Croí, he provided support at health screening events both in-house and in the community, carrying out blood pressure, pulse check & anthropometric measurements, and providing healthy lifestyle advice.

His research project ‘’Clinical outcomes of a phase III cardiac rehabilitation programme in the West of Ireland” was awarded ‘Best Research Project’.

Dylan currently work as a Research Assistant in NUIG, working on two projects; one focused on out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and community first response, and one focused on the national ambulance service response to Covid-19.