Mature Student Nursing / Midwifery


Career Services – The Entrance Exam Experts (est. 1987) is an education company that provides Ireland's No. 1 preparation course for the entrance exam taken by mature student nursing / midwifery applicants. Each year we successfully prepare hundreds of candidates just like you for the assessment test for mature nursing / midwifery applicants. We know it’s a daunting process but don’t worry our highly acclaimed course will give you all the tools you need to take your assessment with confidence!

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I'm thinking about applying for mature student nursing / midwifery

So, you have decided to or are thinking about the brave decision of going back to college to study for a nursing / midwifery degree as a mature student. That’s fantastic! Maybe this is the career you have always wanted to pursue or maybe it’s just something you have recently decided upon, either way, becoming a nurse or midwife is an exceptional career decision.

This career provides a great deal of personal fulfilment. In addition, nurses understand that they are making a difference in the lives of the people they care for on a daily basis.  Hence, it is a very popular career path for mature students. 

However, this popularity also means that each year the number of mature applicants is significantly higher than the number of places available and subsequently the selection process for mature students for nursing / midwifery degree courses in Ireland is highly competitive. 

The purpose of this page is to give you the knowledge that you require to help you achieve your goal.

Am I a mature applicant?

If you are aged 23 years or over, you are classified as a mature applicant. Mature applicants can successfully apply for nursing / midwifery degree courses if they pass The Assessment Test. You will be judged on the results of The Assessment Test instead your Leaving Certificate Exam (or equivalent) results. 


What is The Assessment Test? 

The Assessment Test is an assessment conducted by the Public Appointments Service (PAS) on behalf of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). In previous years this was a written assessment however this was changed to a computer - based assessment in 2018.

The assessment test has three test sections: Numerical, Verbal and Job Simulation Exercises

The 2018 assessment test for mature nursing is took place in the Public Appointments Service office in Dublin. There were no assessments in regional locations for the 2018 assessment. The online assessments take place in the PAS office (Chapter House) in Dublin. The office is located at 26/30 Abbey St. Upper, Dublin 1. You must be successful in The Assessment Test before being considered for on an offer for your chosen nursing degree course.

Our service is designed to give you the best opportunity to pass The Assessment Test and to gain entry into your desired nursing/midwifery degree course


Excited about pursuing nursing but worried about the Assessment Test? 

You are not alone! Those that went before you all felt the same way. Many applicants worry about these kinds of tests. We often hear concerns like “Maths isn’t my strong point”, “I am not a fast reader”, “I find numbers difficult”, “I panic in exams” …

Sound familiar?

Our Preparation Course is proven to relieve these fears and boost your confidence for the assessment test.

We are here for you through the process and will guide you all the way. 

Want to see what applicants say after attending our course?  See here 


The Career Services Preparation Course

At Career Services, we have designed a preparation course specifically to allow you to perform to the best of your ability for the mature student nursing/midwifery assessment test. 

The course follows a blended learning approach. This means that you will benefit from extensive tutoring during the classroom course, and you will also be able to continue practicing your skills on our online e-learning platform during the weeks before the test.

Our course has had unprecedented success and has helped thousands of applicants just like you achieve their dream of being accepted into their chosen nursing / midwifery degree course. 


3 Important Steps

These are the three main steps in applying for a nursing/midwifery degree course as a mature applicant:

1. Apply to the CAO

Like all candidates wishing to apply for a 3rd level nursing or midwifery degree course in Ireland you will have to apply for your course through the CAO before the 1st of February.


2. Register with PAS (Public Appointments Service)

Upon successfully applying for your 3rd level nursing course through the CAO website, you will be eligible to sit The Assessment Test for mature applicants which take usually takes place is April of each year.  In order to sit the test you must also apply to sit the assessment test through the PAS website. It is important to note that There is a difference between registering an account on the PAS website and applying to take the test through the PAS website. You must first register (create an online account) with them and then you will be able to apply to sit the test between a certain time frame. This is a very important step. It is only possible to apply to take the test between the dates that are selected by PAS (usually from the beginning of February to the middle of February)


3. The Assessment Test and Preparation

The Assessment Test will likely be a computer-based assessment as it was for the 2018 exam. The Assessment Test is conducted by the Public Appointments Service (PAS) on behalf of the Nursing Career Centre (NCC) and usually takes place in April of each year.   The assessment test has three test sections: Numerical, Verbal and Job Simulation Exercises.  You must be successful in The Assessment Test before being considered for on an offer for your chosen nursing degree course.

Here at Career Services we provide the number one preparation course for The Assessment Test. Our course has had unprecedented success and has helped thousands of applicants achieve their dream of being accepted into their chosen nursing degree course. When you hear your colleagues referring to a preparation course for this exam, it is the Career Services preparation course that they are talking about! Don't just take our word for it, see what mature students just like you have to say about our course here: Testimonials 


Getting Started 

We realise that this application process can be very daunting, so we have designed this website to help answer any questions that you might have. You can begin by clicking on the links on the left menu. We think that the ‘Getting Started’ link is always a good place to start.

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"We are certain that you will be happy with your decision to do our preparation course. In a survey of 1143 customers, 99.8% would recommend us to a friend.” – Patrick Nealon, Course Director


And here are some of the reasons why...

• Established 1987

• Course venues nationwide to suit you including: Athlone, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford

• Comprehensive study of each section in a simple and easy to understand approach – other course providers just scratch the surface

• Tons of take-home practice material and online practice material – including practice tests for the maths and verbal sections

• Very friendly tutors who are experts in the assessments 

• Excellent customer service

 Find Out More


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Important: Career Services is a privately run education company. We have no affiliation to the Public Appointments Service (PAS). It is the PAS who run The Assessment Test on behalf of An Bord Altranais. We base our preparation courses on the types of tests that have appeared in previous years and have had great success with this method. Our courses aim to give candidates the very best tuition with the information that is available at the time of the preparation course but obviously we  can take no responsibility for any future changes that the PAS make to the exam.