• 05 March 2019
  • 9 min read

An introduction to nursing in Ireland

  • Claire Quinn
    Student Nurse and Vlogger
  • 0
  • 2929

Claire is a second year adult nursing student from Ireland, but studies in the UK. In this blog she tells us why nursing in Ireland is such a fantastic opportunity. Her vlog was created in collaboration with our sister site, Healthcarejobs.ie, so for more information on nursing in Ireland head over there!

Play video: In Claire's first video, she talks about what nursing is like Ireland and why it's full of fantastic opportunities.

Hi everyone my name is Claire, I'm a second year nursing student.

Today I'm going to give you an introduction to working as a nurse in Ireland - stay tuned to find out more!

Also take a look at this blog post on how to become a nurse or midwife in Ireland


The first thing I'm going to talk about today is the HSE, which is Health Service Executive. This is the Irish Health System, it was established in 2004 under the Health Act.

HSE is responsible for the management and delivery of Health and Social Services for everyone who needs it across the Republic of Ireland. Their values include; care, compassion, trust and education.

Types of nursing available in Ireland

Next I'm going to talk about the types of Nursing in Ireland.

There are general Nursing, psychiatric nursing, intellectual disability nursing, children's nursing and then we also have the integrated program, which is currently available at Trinity College Dublin, which is children and general nursing integrated in a four-and-a-half-year course.

At the end of this program you'll be a qualified children's nurse and an adult nurse so this is a really good program to go for if you aren't sure whether you want to be a children's or an adults nurse then you get to decide at the end of your course.

You also have the best of both worlds because you've both the qualifications regarding further education.

After you get your nursing degree there is the opportunity in Ireland to do a post-grad.

So this is a diploma in nursing, these courses take one year in most universities and you can complete them in areas such as critical care, oncology and cardiac.

This will further your job opportunities and enable you to get higher paid jobs and a higher range of job opportunities within specific areas that you qualify in.

The many roles of a nurse

What is the role of a nurse?

The primary role of a nurse is to be the advocate for the patient who is unwell and to take care of them to the best of your ability.

Nursing offers you to be able to make a big change to somebody's life.

The main advantages of Nursing include job flexibility and career opportunities because there is often more career opportunities than just being a staff nurse as we'll get on to later, so stay tuned for that!

There’s always the opportunity to travel with nursing, as my dad likes to say it's a passport to the world of stability, so it’s amazing for opportunities.

It's a vocational job so you get great fulfilment from helping people every single day.

There is currently over 65 thousand nurses in Ireland at the moment although in recent years there has been many nurses immigrating to places such as Australia for a better work/life balance, although I personally think Ireland is a great place to be a nurse and I certainly would love to be a nurse in Ireland someday.

Working as a nurse in Ireland opens up a whole new world of opportunities.

Average salary in nursing

The average salary for nursing is currently, in Ireland, is €38,000 a year.

This is affected by your years of experience, your job role, whereabouts you work; for instance if you work in Dublin you might get paid more than if you work in Limerick or anywhere else but it depends on where you work.

Also if you're in a speciality role you're more likely to get paid higher.

Also if you're in a nurse practitioner role then you are more likely to be on a higher salary than just a staff nurse.

Registration with the NMBI

All nurses and midwives who practice in Ireland by law must be kept on the register which is maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, which is known as the NMBI, and each year it is necessary to pay an annual retention fee.

This is known as ARF. It is really important to keep your Irish nursing registration in check.

All nurses and Midwife who practice in Ireland by law are to be kept on the Irish Nursing and Midwifery Council register every year.

You will receive a reminder in the post or by email telling you to renew this if you don't not pay your annual retention fee, your ARF, by 28 days.

After receiving this reminder you will be unable to work as a midwife or nurse in Ireland until you were put back on the register - this is a big consequence for not paying just one hundred euro per year so I recommend everyone to pay that in time so that does not happen.

ARF in 2018 was 100 euros, it does depend on the year how much it costs and also if you are earning more in your job post such as a nurse practitioner then you will have to pay slightly more.

For information on working as a healthcare assistant whilst registering with the NMBI, then read this blog post!

Different types of nursing and healthcare professions in Ireland require different registering bodies in order for you to be able to work - check out all this information in the blog post what sectors require registration and registering bodies.

If you're a healthcare professional that's graduated outside of Ireland, then look at our blog on CORU registration process for non-Irish qualifications.

There are so many opportunities

Many people are unaware the opportunities that nursing can bring. Before I started nursing I was completely unaware of the different roles available to people who trained to be in this.

Of course everyone knows the staff nurse role which is the typical role that most people go to straight after qualifying to give them experience and to gain understanding about the place they're working in.

There's also such roles as the nurse practitioner, which are now called ANP which is advanced nurse practitioner. There also is the CNS which is clinical nurse specialists - these are nurses that specialise in a particular area and they are the expertise in that area.

There's Education roles available for people who want to work in universities and colleges providing education about Nursing and they will go back to university maybe and do more educational degrees.

There's also the opportunity to be student mentors. So for mentors for students who are on placement there's the opportunity to be a mentor to a student.

There's more management roles such as being a sister of a ward or a ward sister, these will be in charge of the wards and more dealing with the managerial side of the role of Nursing and less ward based.

There’s also the chance to be a matron which oversees a few wards and they're kind of the head of the department and liaise with the ward sisters as well.

There's also the nurse prescriber role which can prescribe medicines to patients and they can see patients in clinic settings just like a doctor.

There's many different settings nurses can work in such as hospitals, care homes, nursing home, the community, going to people's homes, the GP, schools, the army and sexual health clinics, just to name few.

'If you like meeting new people then it's a perfect role for you because you're meeting new people every single day of the week and it's a very sociable role.'

What you need to be to be a good nurse

There's many good attributes that are needed if you want to be a really good nurse but I would recommend some of these to be the most important - being a good listener is so important because you have to listen to our patients have to say and sometimes our nursing jobs are very detective role.

You're listening to what they have to say and you need to pick up on the slightest things because patient won't say things more than once.

If you like meeting new people then it's a perfect role for you because you're meeting new people every single day of the week and it's a very sociable role.

It's also great if you're a good communicator because you're constantly talking with patients, liaising with doctors, other nurses, the sister, OT's, physios, you name it.

If you want to make a difference to society nursing is a great role to be able to do that in. You can see the difference you make to a patient within a few days.

They could be going from bed bound to being able to walk again after an operation.

This is really really nice to see and you really feel like you've made a difference to somebody's life.

You’ll learn throughout your career

You’re committed to lifelong learning as a nurse.

You're constantly learning, it doesn't matter how many years of experience you have. Every single day is a new learning opportunity so if you're somebody who loves to learn then nursing is great for you.

If you are approachable, as a nurse I feel like it's really important to be able to be approachable even if patients are scared of you then that's not very good.

So it's really nice to patients to be able to tell these things and for them to think that you're approachable also if you like to assist people to keep independent and to help people live healthy lives.

So to conclude with, what you might be saying is, why a nursing job?

But I think it's an amazing job to help assist people in everyday life get better and live a more fulfilled and independent life and you can help somebody do that every single day.

You will return home and feel fulfilled with the work you have done not many jobs can say that.

So I hope this was a good overview of being a nurse in Ireland and if you've any questions leave them in the comments.

Thank you so much for listening, I hope to see you guys soon!


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About the author

  • Claire Quinn
    Student Nurse and Vlogger

Claire is a student adult nurse from Ireland, but studies in the UK. She makes vlogs for her channel, Claire Quinn - Nursing Secrets, where she shares tips and advice from her own experience as a student nurse.

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  • Claire Quinn
    Student Nurse and Vlogger

About the author

  • Claire Quinn
    Student Nurse and Vlogger

Claire is a student adult nurse from Ireland, but studies in the UK. She makes vlogs for her channel, Claire Quinn - Nursing Secrets, where she shares tips and advice from her own experience as a student nurse.

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