Be a Registered Nurse in Ireland?

This blog text concerns mainly those nurses who have their qualifications from an EU country. If you come from outside EU or your qualifications date back to pre-EU, you need to consult the first and foremost.

Sunset drive to Dingle. (C) Two Queens Travel Blog

As a EU citizen it is relatively easy to get registered to work as a Nurse in Ireland. Especially when your qualifications are from the EU era. Whilst going through the registration process myself, I realised that there is a need to write about this. There are many of us out there who have the interest to do nursing in other EU countries as well, and this might save you some try-and-errors. For me, the registration process was an easy one, but I strongly recommend that you take some extra time to avoid those awful gray hairs that a rushed process can cause. Do not leave the starting of the process to the point when you have paid for those one-way tickets to Ireland unless your spouse is going to support the whole family there.

The registration process is done in several parts, and it is important to realise that not everything is done on-line! Even in 2018 you still need to utilise your phone and the postal services to get things done. You can google up all the necessary steps to register yourself, and one place to definitely keep in touch with is the NMBI (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland) website. In this blog post I have also provided you with a rudimentary glance on how the process proceeds.

One step, that the NMBI doesn’t really require, but it might make things easier, is to register yourself for the EPC – European Professional Card. It makes things easier especially in situations where you might need to register yourself in multiple EU countries as you can link the EPC to the application itself. I chose not to utilise the EPC at this stage as it incurs its own costs on top of the registration to NMBI.

The registration steps. (C)

Do please take in account that all the information mentioned in this blog post are based on the individual experiences of the writer, and in your case things might go differently. Full information regarding the application and registration process can be found at website.



The First Steps. (C)

When you start to plan your registration to Ireland as a nurse, you need to visit the NMBI website, and print out an Application Request Form, and mail it to NMBI to the address mentioned in the form itself. As part of the information they require is your payment card details, which felt a bit awkward for me. Maybe this was because my previous payment card was copied at a service station in Helsinki just recently, or perhaps because this kind of system is so not according to safety measures in 2018 anymore.

To be sure about the whole process of mailing your payment card details (instead of emailing or giving the details over the phone) I contacted the NMBI.

I am writing to you from Finland, where I trained as a Nurse. As I am soon to relocate to Ireland, I am planning to register myself in Ireland as a nurse as well.
However, now that I am requesting the application from you, I realised that the application form should be sent to NMBI via mail, with my payment card details attached.
Would there be any way to send the form in electronic form (such as scanned version of the aforementioned form) via email, which is more secure way of sending payment details?
I am eagerly waiting for your prompt reply.

And I received a reply as follows:

Dear Sir / Madam,

Please be advised your Request for Application Form must be sent by post accompanied with credit card details.

EU EEA Registration
Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann/Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

So the answer was a definite no. If you are, however, insecure to send your payment card details over the postal services to another country, I would advise you to contact NMBI to ask for the possibility of popping by their office in Dublin to deliver your pre-application in person. This would also give you a good reason to check out your future country of residence…

One of the reasons why the NMBI does make the pre-application a tad more difficult is to cut down the amount of “just fun” applicants. When you provide them with the pre-application and they charge the 350€ registration fee there and then, before supplying the applicant with the real application form, it kind of cuts down the amount of people who might be asking for the information just for fun.



Let the Applying Begin. (C)

The next part of the whole process starts when the mailman drops a huge letter from Ireland to your post box. This letter includes the real application package – but don’t be alarmed at the amount of paper! One of the most important things in the letter is your application number, which allows you to create an account at the – and I recommend that you do it. Creating the account allows you to update your postal address should you move during the application process (and this is very important as you get your PIN number via post after the registration is complete!), and also you can check if the necessary paperwork has been processed for your application.

After finishing the cup of tea, whilst creating your account with NMBI, it is time to start the manual part of the application. It is relatively easy task, as you need to fill up the first part of the application by yourself. I recommend that you photocopy the whole application beforehand, just to be sure… And even if you are sure you can fill up everything right at the first go, it might be handy to copy those employer pages, as you need to distribute them to all employers that you have worked with ever since you graduated as a nurse. Again, I urge you to contact the NMBI if you have tens of years of experience or tens of employments under your belt.

And remember: READ THE INFORMATION AND ACT ACCORDINGLY! I managed to miss one tick from one box, and had to resubmit that one page again, after getting a nice email from NMBI telling me about this…

For your part of the application you also need

  • 1 recent passport quality photo
  • 1 copy of your passport which needs to be verified (and please remember to tell them what the copy is for, so that it can be verified in English!)
The Other Papers. (C)

Next parts are the most tedious ones.

1) First you need to contact your country’s regulatory office that governs the nurses registrations. They have to do their part for the application. In Finland, it was a very easy task: I just emailed Valvira, the Finnish regulatory body, and it seems that they have dealt with this kind of requests before – all it took was that one email and payment of their fee (90€) for them to send the necessary information directly to NMBI. Job well done.

2) Next step is to contact your university or college where you graduated from. And contact NMBI if they really need the copies of your diploma! For me this was the worst part of the application as my university of applied sciences, Metropolia, does clearly not want to do anything to help their (former) students to get a job overseas. If I had contacted NMBI prior to paying a fee of 350€ + VAT for Metropolia, I would have saved a lot of money as the nurse training in EU follows a standard, the NMBI might not need the actual translated paper.

3) Get the necessary verifications with stamps from your employers. Remember to copy enough of the employer pages from the application!

This means that you need to have a reference from every employment that you have since you graduated. Like I said before, ask NMBI for advice, should you have tens of years of experience or work places.

I noticed, during this process, that the easiest way to ensure the co-operation of the former employers, is to fill up the papers yourself, and then waltz in their office and ask for the signatures and stamps. Job done. And whilst you are at it: remember to ask for an envelope with the stamp and post the reference in that envelope yourself to NMBI. This way you know which one of the references are done, and which ones need posting still.



Waiting for the NMBI to work their magic. (C)

After sending the last of the reference letters and making sure that your university and the regulatory authority have done their part in your case, it is time to have that glass of wine and start to check out jobs.

NMBI informed me that the whole process of compiling the information and going through the application can take a month or more, but in the end my application was processed within two weeks from my last submitted letter. You can check the process from your NMBI account, and they will also issue a letter to you, and this letter is something that you really need.



Ready for work. (C)

You can check out job opportunities in Ireland before your application has been fully processed, but even to apply you really need the PIN number that the NMBI issues for you when you are registered. Even if you apply, no employer will invite you to an interview before you know your PIN. I applied (with an Irish address and phone number) for about ten places, and did not get any replies at all. Nada. But the moment the NMBI informed me of my PIN number, I applied to same places (and several more) and was rewarded by calls and requests for interview on the following day. This just goes to prove the importance of registering yourself prior to moving to Ireland! And when you apply for positions, remember that the Irish employers are more keen on reaching out to Irish mobile numbers than foreign numbers, so if you have a prepay from Ireland, keep it handy for the job hunt.

If you live in a country like Finland, where the registration as a nurse is valid for the lifetime, it is also worth remembering that in Ireland the active registration is valid only for the calendar year. To keep yourself in the active registry costs 100€ per year, and usually you have to pay the cost yourself. Some employers will reimburse this to you, but not nearly everyone.



My advise is to cast your nets out to as many companies as possible. Use websites like as they allow you to store your CV online, making the job application process so much more convenient as you can just click away the applications. As many job offers ask for your registration status, I added my PIN number in the reply and also on my CV.

A Drive In The Mountains (C) Two Queens Travel Blog

In Ireland it really matters where you work at and where you live at. Whilst checking out jobs, it is good policy to keep sites such as open as you can check the rental apartments as you consider on applying for the job. It’s good to keep in mind that renting in Dublin is ridiculously expensive (05/2018) and places such as Cork isn’t following far behind. And in many villages, and towns it is not just the rent that you need to concern yourself about – there is very poor public transportation system in the countryside, which might force you to buy a car. And the insurances are ridiculously high. The cheapest offer we got was about 6000€ / year, an amount they wanted us to pay in one lump sum.

Salary and taxation are also something that you should check out, at least prior to going for a job interview. Websites such as INMO (Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation) has a good scale of salary information for a nurse, and the basic information about taxation (and other things you need when moving to Ireland) can be easily found at Citizens Information.

One thing that is very important when going to Ireland is the PPS-number (Personal Public Services number), which is required for taxation purposes and also for other public services. If you need to pay emergency tax (60%) you will get it refunded on your following salary, so it is important to get the PPS as soon as possible sorted out! Your employer will help you with this and the payroll person knows much more about it.

Surf’s up at Doolin. (C) Two Queens Travel Blog.

I hope that this short text has been of help to you when planning to relocate to the Emerald Isle. If you need more assistance or have questions, you can always send me a message and I can try to answer or we can try to find out the best way to get the answer together!

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