14 December, 2023 | Posted by Jenny Smith

Alternative Routes to Studying Nursing In Ireland

nurses in a medical setting

As with any career, there are traditional and alternative routes to studying nursing in Ireland.

The most common and traditional route to becoming a registered nurse in Ireland is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) degree. This is typically a four-year program offered by various universities and education providers across the country.

General entry requirements for a BScN program usually include completing the Leaving Certificate with specific grades in subjects such as English, Mathematics, and a science subject.

If you are applying for a nursing degree through the traditional CAO (Central Applications Office) route in Ireland, there will also be a minimum point requirement based on the demand for the course in the year you are applying. 

Alternative Routes to Studying Nursing In Ireland

The traditional route to studying nursing in Ireland often excludes worthy applicants due to exceedingly high points or entry requirements. 

One alternative route to studying nursing in Ireland is to gain a BSc (Hons) Health Care and Management Studies which has been developed to meet the entry requirements for all major post-graduate healthcare qualifications, including nursing, enabling students to achieve a desired qualification and career in their chosen profession in Ireland.

This qualification is a three-year, level 8 Honours degree awarded by University of Essex (UoE). 

This degree provides a path if you wish to pursue applied and technical roles in general health services.

It provides the requisite undergraduate requirements to support you in pursuing a specialised healthcare-related profession at the graduate level, including the following:

  • Nursing
  • Medicine
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Nutrition and Dietetics.

This degree lays the foundations to proceed to postgraduate specialisation in nursing, providing an alternative route to this much sought-after career.

If you are interested in pursuing a particular programme in a specific university after this degree please check the specific requirements as they can vary.

Portobello Institute provides individual support to each student who is hoping to pursue graduate healthcare qualifications in preparing their applications and for interviews to ensure students' chances of success are optimised.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland provides information on how to become a nurse or midwife.

Nurses provide autonomous and collaborative care for individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or well and in all settings. This includes the promotion of health, the prevention of illness, and the care of ill, disabled and dying people.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) defines the nurse as: 
a person who has completed a programme of basic, generalised nursing education and is authorised by the appropriate regulatory authority to practise nursing in their country. Basic nursing education is a formally recognised programme of study providing a broad and sound foundation in the behavioural, life, and nursing sciences for the general practice of nursing, for a leadership role, and for post-basic education for specialty or advanced nursing practice. 

It's important for individuals considering alternative routes to nursing in Ireland to carefully research the specific requirements and application processes for each pathway.

Additionally, staying informed about any updates or changes to entry criteria is crucial.

Prospective nursing students are encouraged to reach out to educational institutions offering nursing programs and the relevant regulatory bodies for the most accurate and current information.

Your Pathway to Nursing at Portobello Institute

If you are interested in Portobello Institute's pathway to nursing, or have any questions you can book a consultation call with our expert advisor Brandon McLean, email brandon.mcclean@portobelloinstitute.com or call 01 892 0035



Portobello Insider

Join our mailing list to receive the latest insights and exclusive content from your chosen department of interest