Why become a nurse in Ireland?

Many Filipino nurses are currently working their way to seek employment in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and United Kingdom. While they are doing their best to work in these foreign countries, I am equally preoccupied with my quest towards becoming a nurse in Ireland. Perhaps many will wonder why I prefer to go to this country. Let me tell you why.

First, there are numerous job opportunities waiting for nurses in Ireland. Surprisingly, the process of becoming a nurse in this country is easier than in the U.K. The minimum required IELTS scores are also lower than other countries. The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) requires their overseas applicants to obtain the following IELTS band scores: Listening and Reading – 6.5, Writing and Speaking – 7.0, Overall Band Score – 7.0.

To give you a little background, NMBI is Ireland’s version of the Philippine’s PRC. It is the governing body that regulates the registration and practice of nurses and midwives in Ireland. In order for a Filipino nurse to practice one’s profession in this country, one should accomplish and send to the NMBI an overseas application registration form and pay the assessment fee of 350 Euros. An application pack, containing more than 20 pages, will be sent to your address where you and several authorized institutions (such as the school, PRC, and your employer) will have to comply. You need to wait for a decision letter before you can become a nurse in Ireland. For most Filipino applicants, the decision letter will state that one should undergo an adaptation program that lasts for 6-12 weeks. Read more: NMBI Guide for Overseas Applicants

In addition, you do not need to shell out more money than those required in other countries. In Ireland, you have the option to choose between taking the RCSI’s CBT and OSCE (costs around 2,000 Euros) or the adaptation program. No need for expensive tuition fees for bridging programs and no need for large amounts of ‘show money.’ Also, most Ireland hospitals have generous relocation packages that usually cover the following expenses: NMBI registration (495 Euros), economy plane ticket to Ireland, visa processing costs and more. There are several recruitment agencies that could help you land a job in Ireland.

Furthermore, there is a real possibility of earning an Irish citizenship and experiencing the benefits of being an Irish citizen. For those who aim to have a permanent and long term employment, being a nurse in Ireland is the key. After 5 years, you can start applying for Irish citizenship and hopefully bring your family and dependents with you in the country.

And finally, Ireland is just beautiful in itself! There are hundreds of castles and the place is full of mystique and charm. Who would not want to visit this country? Here are 10 magical reasons to visit Ireland.

These are just a number of reasons why I chose Ireland over other places. Perhaps I am still taking baby steps in this journey to the Emerald Isle but I will get there soon, with God’s grace. Cheers and I hope to see you in Ireland!














  1. HI! Do you know someone who already took the aptitude test there in Ireland? I have no idea on what review materials will I use for that exam. I am offered a job at Naas General Hospital and I’m not sure if they conduct an adaptation program.

    Thanks for the reply!


    1. Hello Pat! I’m sorry but I only know those who took the adaptation as of the moment. They say you can check RCSI website to view the topics related to the exam. I haven’t tried that so maybe you can check that out. 😊


  2. IS it our choice if we can take the adaptation program instead of aptitude test?I don’t want to take osce anymore. I am traumatized.hahahaha..I am in the UK now but I don’t have the pin yet.I am planning to start NMBI application this January.

    Another question, do i need to be currently employed as a nurse to apply for NMBI?Because i have an employment gap of 2 years because of this NMC thing. Thank you so much.


    1. Hello Sarah.

      It will depend on your employer if they will require you to undergo the adaptation or take the RCSI aptitude exam (which is similar to UK’s CBT+OSCE).

      You don’t have to be currently employed as long as you have at least 1 year experience within the last 5 years. You will also have to explain your work gaps in a particular section of the NMBI application. 🙂


      1. hello, I would like to ask if I can I take a reference from my previous employer instead of my current employer.? because my current employer is not cooperative with reference forms they do not like to fillup such forms.thank you


        1. Hi Eva. I’m not sure about that. That would mean you will not declare your current work experience in your NMBI application. Can you not try to ask your current employer to fill out the form again? How about trying to make things easier for them, offer to fill out the form in their behalf and maybe they can just sign it afterwards? Just find ways to get them to sign. Good luck with your application!


  3. Hello po Maam, I have read that you had problems with your employer reference. The thing is I have same problem as well because my employer in Riyadh won’t seal or stamp my document because they have a policy regarding it. Did you eventually have a stamp or seal on your employer’s form? I hope you can help me. Thank you.


    1. Hello Dawn.

      Yes, my employer didn’t put the seal/stamp on the employer’s form however they provided me with a letter/certification explaining why they did not provide the seal. They also attached a certified certificate of employment (with their own letterhead and dry seal) to verify my work experience. 🙂


      1. Thank you for you response. It’s hard on my part because my employer is in Saudi Arabia but I will try to ask for their stamp again and ask for their explanation if they won’t stamp. Thank you po.


  4. I guess employer’s reference is such a hustle my last place of work shut down and nmbi is asking for reference still I got my former director to sign it but still nmbi won’t update my account it’s now 4 months since it was marked outstanding I don’t know what to do


  5. Hi Maam, may tanong po pla ako since you’re already working as a nurse in Ireland, can you please differentiate the work-setting and ,as well as, the quality or standard of care there in Ireland? If you can compare it to the Philippines standard of care? Thank you po 🙂


    1. Hi Dawn. This is a very difficult question since I am only aware of my employer’s work set-up and I haven’t been to other hospitals. My workmates also tell me that our hospital is very different from the rest. So what I’ll be sharing to you might not be a generalized view of the entire health care system in Ireland especially the marked difference between the private and public hospitals. I’m in a private sector, most, if not all, of my patients are well-off and have insurances. My current nurse-patient ratio is 1:6 during the day and 1:9 at night. From where I work, nurses are highly knowledgeable on the patients test results and are also mainly responsible for relaying these results to the house doctor or consultants. At some point, we can even suggest further tests/procedures. Also, we have a multidisciplinary team in the hospital. Dietitian, physiologists, OT, palliative, and specialty nurses like diabetic, neurology, cardiac rehab, tissue viability are also widely involved in patient care. It’s a whole lot different here than in our home country. Also, the hospital where I’m employed is accredited by JCI which will explain that there are high standards expected from the institution. I guess the work setting will entirely differ from one hospital to another, nevertheless, I hope that what I shared will give you an insight about what it feels to work in Ireland. 🙂


      1. Hi Maam, I really do appreciate your answer. The hospital where I was working before is also JCI accredited and I know that they really have set high standard of care especially in patient safety and infection control. Are they super strict there? Thank you.


        1. That’s great. At least you have been working at a similar standard/level. Are you going to work in a JCI accredited hospital here in Ireland? If so, I wouldn’t think you need major adjustment. I find that the forms, documentation and policies are very similar to where I worked before (which was accredited by JCI in the past). There are some nurses who are strict and some who are not. But they have been really helpful with my transition here.


        2. Hi! I will be working in Beaumont Hospital but I am still currently processing my application. I am also under CPL and Chesam. I am worried because my experience is in ICU but they will assess me first and they said they will place me in medical ward for the meantime. I hope I will be able to adapt. I really appreciate your response. Thank you.


  6. Hello ma, this post has really been helpful as I have been expecting the NMBI application pack for almost a month now and hopefully it’ll arrive soon.
    I need to know if it’ll be better to apply for work with an agency in Ireland while processing my registration with NMBI or wait till the decision has been made by them. Thanks in anticipation.


    1. Hi there. If you are from overseas, there are some advantages of going with an agency even at the very beginning. If you registered an agency’s address in your NMBI application, it will take a short time for the pack to arrive because it will be sent directly to your agency. Also, if there are any concerns with the application, your agency will be the one to contact NMBI. But if you prefer to do the application yourself, that is also possible. Maybe having an agency saves time, in my opinion.


  7. Hi ma’am. I find your blog a great help for us nurses dreaming of working in Ireland. May I ask if NMBI require to have your work experience done in a tertiary hospital? or are they accepting primary hospital? that is actually one of my concern. thank you!


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