Writing RGN next to my name

I begin this post by reflecting on how things have made a 360 degree turn in my universe. Looking back, I was very skeptical about the idea of leaving my home country. I remember telling myself and my colleagues that I don’t have any plans of going abroad. This may sound silly, but I was terrified of the exams that are required to work outside the country (thanks to my irrational fear of failure). But at some point in my life, I decided to take a leap of faith and that huge step brought me here. Who would have thought that I’d make it through to where I am today?

After months of enduring (and almost giving up!) the entire application process for the NMBI, I was blessed to be signed off after the 6-week adaptation program as a competent nurse. My adaptation ended last December 16 and I felt that being able to finish the clinical placement was one of the best Christmas gifts I have ever received.

It took quite a while for me to be included in the Register because my adaptation culminated when Christmas was around the corner. I have no reason to complain – I had the luxury of time to spend the holidays with my new found family here in Cork City. I slept, practiced calligraphy, went window shopping with friends and ate loads of food!

When I went back to work at the 2nd week of January, I had no idea it was the last week for me as a pre-registered nurse. By the end of the week, my application for registration with the NMBI was finally approved! January 12th marks the day that I can officially take and use the title of a Registered General Nurse in Ireland.

A mixture of emotions overflowed when I learned about the good news. I was overjoyed, excited and scared. I was overjoyed because all the efforts and tears (yes, I cried on several occasions) finally paid off. I was also excited to wear the hospital uniform the following week. We weren’t allowed to use the blue tunics unless we have our registration. My uniform was waiting for me since day 1 and I couldn’t be more eager to have them on. However, I was scared of the added responsibilities of being a registered general nurse. For a couple of weeks, I was hiding inside the comfort zone of having a preceptor/mentor. But, the rude awakening is: I’ll be flying on my own now.

Still, I remind myself that what was once a dream is now in my hands’ reach. I comfort myself with a quote from Christopher Columbus, “you can never cross the ocean, unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” For those who think they are unable to reach for their goals and dreams in life, I wish to inspire you with my story. Never give up, work hard and pray harder.

This is me. Denise Marionne Tubat, PH-RN, RGN at your service.


  1. Inspiring! Godbless sa imo dinha. I am scheduled for the rcsi aptitude exam on april. I hope to meet you in Ireland puhon hehe dako kaayog tabang imong blog sa amo. Salamat kaayo! Kuddos!


  2. Hi Denise! I recently came across your blog as I am doing my research on becoming a nurse in Ireland. I couldn’t find a detailed information on this Adaptation Program that overseas nurses have to go through to get into their register. So I was glad to have found your blog. Anyway, I just want to ask, what exactly is this adaptation program? How is it done? All
    I know is it’s a 6 weeks program where you undergo a sort of preceptorship? Is that correct? Is it anything like working as a volunteer nurse in the Philippines where you have an assigned mentor to whom you work side by side with? Are there paper works or case studies that needs to be done as well or is it purely clinical exposure? How do they assess you? Is it purely a subjective assessment on your skills or competencies? Is there like a pass/fail marking system? I’m sorry for bombarding you with questions. I just really want to have an in depth knowledge on the steps and what better way to know that to ask someone who has successfully done it. I hope you don’t mind.


    1. Hi JM. The adaptation program is a 6-week process where you are inducted to the hospital. It may take up to 12-weeks depending on your manager/preceptor’s assessment. You work with your assigned preceptor during the entire duration. Each hospital have their own program approved by NMBI so it may be different from one another. In my case, we had a week of lectures. No case presentations or anything like that. Not even tests. More on ward exposure and simply getting into the institution’s system. And, the adaptation assessment booklet can be downloaded from the NMBI website. I read that before I underwent the program, at least to make me aware of the compentencies that I am being assessed. I suggest you have a look at it too. At the end of the program it’s either ticking the box for “competent” and “not competent.”


  3. Thank you for responding. What’s the success rate of this adaptation program? Have you heard of anyone who didn’t pass the adaptation? Is it better than taking the Aptitude Test? Who gets to decide which assessment method should a candidate go through? Is it the NMBI or does it depend on your employer?


    1. From what I know, most hospitals would require adaptation program and the aptitude test for nursing care homes. So it kinda has to depend on the employer and yourself too. I don’t have number to tell you the success rate, but I do know a couple of people who were unfortunately unsuccessful with the program. But if you have good clinical experience, I don’t think you will fail though. I don’t know about the aptitude test except the fact that I was never keen on taking it because I’m a poor test taker. And besides, I believe I needed enough time to ‘adapt’ to their healthcare practices and I felt that the program would definitely help me do that.


  4. Oh I see. So what happens if you fail the adaptation program? Are you given a second attempt at it or not? Can you take the aptitude test as an alternative? Do you know of anyone who failed the adaptation program and was forced to go back home?


    1. The decision letter asks you to choose between the adaptation program or the exam. Whatever option you decide, you have to do your best to pass because if you fail whatever you chose you cannot proceed with the other option. If you’re unsuccessful with the program, you have the option to make an appeal. If the appeal isn’t positive, then you will have to go back to your home country. Yes, there are some who had the unfortunate experience.


  5. Do you know what were the common reasons why a candidate would fail an adaptation? Do you know any success stories with those who made an appeal?


    1. Based on what I heard, it’s really about not being able to cope with the work load – maybe because of one’s own clinical experience, lack of initiative, or poor handling of culture shock. Other times, they may have encountered difficulties between other staff. In the adaptation, I think you really need a high dose of perseverance coupled with adequate interpersonal skills. You’d have to impress your preceptor but not brag, always ask and don’t show that you know everything even if you do. They always appreciate a helping hand so offer one as much as you could. I heard there was one who had an appeal and she was granted to do another adaptation program but I couldn’t tell you more about it, I don’t have any other information, I’m afraid.


      1. Thanks for responding to all of my questions. I wouldn’t be able to get these information from anywhere else. I’m just reluctant to give it a go because of my recent awful experience with trying to get into an overseas register and failed in my attempt. So, I’m gonna be terminated and have to go home. My only option at this point is Ireland because they accept some of the credentials that I have now but I just wanted to make sure that it’s worth the risk.


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