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Nursing Overview - Ireland Registration Break Down Part 1

Step 1 – Applying for the Overseas Application Pack

So you’ve decided that you want to take your nursing career to Ireland! Congratulations! The first thing you need to do is apply for nursing registration. This can take a minimum of 6 months so we recommend you start this sooner rather than later. Step 1 is applying for the Overseas Registration Pack.

We’ve gone over eligibility criteria and English language requirements previously so we won’t repeat it here. If you missed it you can check our Irish Nursing Registration Overview here.

What Application Group do you belong to?

Group 1 & 2 – refer to Nurses who qualified within the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA). If you fall into Group 1 or 2 please visit the NMBI website.

Group 3 – refers to those who qualified outside of the EU or EEA. Most Australian and New Zealand applicants will fall under this group, so we will be focusing on this.

Once you’ve determined you’re in Group 3 you’ll need to download the Overseas Registration Application Request Form which can be found on the NMBI website website here.

The NMBI application form

The form is broken down into 5 sections.

Section A is a basic privacy form you’ll need to complete while

Section B requires you to fill out basic personal contact details and select the Division you wish to be registered in. We recommend you put our Dublin office address as your postal address to save yourself time with International postage. Any correspondence can be scanned and emailed to you by our Dublin office. We’ll give you our Dublin office details when you are at this stage.

Section C is where you are asked to Provide evidence of your English Language Skills

Section D & E is where you provide payment details for the Application Pack Fee

Section B

What are the Registration Divisions of the NMBI?

The NMBI has ten divisions eg: General/Children's/Psychiatric/Intellectual Disability & so on. The division you are registered under is a reflection of how your undergraduate university course was structured, rather than your practical nursing experience or speciality. Because of the way universities courses in Australia and New Zealand are structured, the majority of applicants will fall under the General Division or Midwifery Division.

If you have completed your training as a general nurse/midwife (as is the case in Australia and New Zealand) but then have subsequently gone on to gain considerable practical experience in a secondary field eg Paediatrics, Mental Health, Public Health, you will still NOT be considered for a division other than General/Midwifery. This is because of how Australian and New Zealand undergraduate degrees are structured.

If you wish to apply for a different division eg Paediatrics, Psychiatry, Public Health, you will need to submit further evidence that you have completed an appropriate education and training program in this field. NMBI will then consider your application as a General Nurse/Midwife first and then subsequently assess your application in the secondary division.

If you specialise in Paediatrics, Mental Health, Public Health or any other alternate, it is important to note you may not meet the requirements of the NMBI to be registered in your secondary division. You may still be able to work in the speciality, under the General Nurse division, however this will be at the discretion of your potential employer at the time you apply. Meeting these requirements is applicant dependent and ultimately up to the registration board.

For further information on this you can visit

So I’ve selected my division – now what?

Section C
Provide evidence of your English Language Skills.

You can do this through 3 Pathways.

Pathway 1 – Trained in English in an NMBI recognised country - Most Australian and New Zealand applicants tend to fall under this pathway.

You’ll need to provide evidence that your qualification was completed in an NMBI recognised country. These countries include – Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and the UK. You will need to provide a letter or email (with the universities letterhead/logo) stating:

  • The location of the training institute
  • The name of the training program
  • Dates of attendance
  • Confirmation the training was taught in English

Pathway 2 – Registered and Practice in English
You’ll need to provide evidence that for the last 3 out of 5 years, you have practised in an NMBI Recognised English speaking country. You’ll need to provide a letter or email from your employer (with their letterhead/logo) stating:

  • The location of employment
  • Dates of employment
  • Confirmation that practice is primarily conducted in English

If either of the above pathways are taken you will not need to sit an English exam.

Pathway 3 – Submission of IELTS or OET Results

If pathway 1 or 2 cannot be done you will need to sit the International English Language Test System (IELTS) or the Occupational English Test (OET). For more information on this pathway visit the website.

Section D & E

Application Pack Fee - This is a non-refundable €350 fee that is paid to the registration board. You’ll need to complete the payment details in order to receive your application pack and commence registration.

One you have completed the form, it will be posted to NMBI in Dublin. It will take 1-2 weeks to receive the Application Pack (Step 2) and you can move straight through to Step 3 of the Registration Process.

Next week we’ll be diving into completing the application pack so stay tuned!

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