C.A.O. Form Advice



Aspiring mature student Nurses (23 years +) can apply to pursue a degree Nursing course in numerous third level colleges throughout Ireland through the Central Applications Office (CAO). The Leaving Certificate is not necessary and instead The Assessment Test for mature nursing applicants is undertaken in April to select the successful mature applicants. 

CAO Application

When filling out your CAO application, mature student nurse applicants should apply to as many colleges as possible and also to the different forms of nursing courses available. You can apply for up to 10 courses and by doing this you are increasing your chances of success because it is easier to get into some courses and colleges than others.

Watch the CAO's Guide Video for Mature Applicants below. 

Remember: You must read the CAO Handbook and follow the instructions provided in the application form before submitting an application.


No Regrets!

Some former applicants have regretted that they did not utilize all their options in their CAO application form and learned afterwards that they would have been successful if they chose other nursing courses (Children’s and General Nursing, General Nursing, Intellectual Disability Nursing, Midwifery, Psychiatric Nursing) or other colleges which had lower entry requirements. You should not allow geographical distance or different types of nursing courses to prevent you from completing the ten choices available. You can always decline or accept an offer of a place but at least that opportunity of acceptance or rejection may not have been provided to if you if you had not filled in the ten options in the CAO form.


Further Information

For further application information it is essential that you go to the website www.nursingboard.ie/en/careers.aspx and download the invaluable booklet “Nursing and Midwifery a Career for you” which guides you through the application process.

Also see here for CAO contact information

C.A.O. Office

Central Applications Office, 
Tower House, 
Eglinton Street, 
Galway, Ireland. 
Tel. +353-(0)91-509800 
Fax +353-(0)91-562344

Website:  www.cao.ie

Best of luck!