I've decided to go back to study Nursing/Midwifery as a mature student, what next? 

After making the brave decision to go back to college and study for a nursing/midwifery degree as a mature student, many people ask us what they should do next. 


Nursing and Midwifery - A Career For You 2020 Booklet

The first thing that we always tell people is to read the Nursing and Midwifery – A Career For You 2020 booklet. This booklet is an excellent booklet that is published each year by the NCC – the Nursing Career Centre. The NCC is under the management of An Bord Altranais.

This booklet contains:


Free Guide

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Self-Assessment Questionnaire

Future candidates should then complete the self assessment questionnaire developed by the PAS – Public Appointments Service. This questionnaire is not compulsory but it is useful for helping you to decide if nursing and/or midwifery is suitable to your personality.


Applying with the CAO

It will be necessary to apply for your chosen nursing degree course(s) with the CAO – Central Applications Office before the 1st of February. The CAO is the organisation that sorts the exam scores and offers places to applicants to the vast majority of third level courses in Ireland.  As a mature student, you can apply for a nursing / midwifery degree course online at www.cao.ie.  

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.

For additional assistance with this you can refer to the CAO website www.cao.ie and our CAO advice page here: (link to CAO Advice)

For additional assistance with this you can refer to the CAO website www.cao.ie

Prepare for Success with our Preparation Course

After reading the Nursing – A Career For You booklet, you will be aware that applicants that apply for nursing as mature applicants will have to sit an exam called The Assessment Test for mature nursing / midwifery applicants. The Assessment Test is a computer-based assessment (as of 2018) and is conducted by the Public Appointments Service (PAS) on behalf of the Nursing Career Centre (NCC).  The points / scores from The Assessment Test are used by the CAO instead of Leaving Certificate Exam points when allocating places for each of the nursing degree programmes to mature applicants.

In order to help you reach your full potential in The Assessment Test we hold 1-day preparation courses at venues nationwide including Athlone, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Sligo, and Waterford. These courses are extremely popular and fill up each year. We have limited spaces available on each course so make sure to book early.

Register with the Public Appointments Service

This is a very important step that many people forget to complete. In order to be eligible to sit The Assessment Test you will have to register to sit the exam with the Public Appointments Service.  It is only possible to register between the dates that are given by the PAS. Registration has to be completed at www.publicjobs.ie


The Official Test Date

The official Assessment Test usually takes place in April of each year in the PAS office (Chapter House) in Dublin. The office is located at 26/30 Abbey St. Upper, Dublin 1.

Summary of the Application Process