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The general process and entry requirements for mature student nurses and midwives

Below we have outlined the entry requirements and general process for applying as a mature student nurse.

We are a private education company who specialise in preparation courses for a number of career opportunities, including the NMBI Mature Nursing Test which is used to assess entry of mature candidates that wish to study Nursing and Midwifery at third-level in Ireland.

Please note we are not affiliated with the official process, so can only provide general information. We would always encourage you to consult the official sources for definitive information on each respective exam year. 

What is a Mature Student Nursing Applicant?

If you are aged 23 years or over, you are classified as a mature applicant. Mature applicants can apply for nursing / midwifery degree courses but they must also pass The Assessment Test as part of their application. Applicants are judged on the results of The Assessment Test instead of their Leaving Certificate Exam (or equivalent) results. Therefore you are not required to have completed the Leaving Certificate in order to apply. You simply need to be over 23 years of age by January in the year of application.

Further details for Mature Applicants are available on the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) website.

Step 1 – Applying with the CAO

In order to study Nursing at third level, the first step is to apply for places through the Central applications Office (CAO). Applications are usually taken from early November each year. The deadline for applications is usually the 1st of February every year however there are late application options.  The CAO are the official body that provide information for filling out your CAO application. See below for official CAO links.

Step 2 – Registering for the official Assessment Test

The official Mature Nursing Assessment Test is conducted by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). Registrations for the official test will be made on their website. You can see the latest information they have available on the website (usually in April) here:

Step 3 – Taking the official Assessment Test

The assessment test usually takes place in April/May each year.  The NMBI will outline when the testing window will commence to mature applicants on their website and through their Information Booklet. Any queries about the official assessment test should be directed to the NMBI directly.

Preparing for the Mature Nursing Assessment (optional)

Many candidates like to prepare for this assessment test and that is where we can help. We deliver preparation courses for the aptitude tests that mature nursing / midwifery applicants will need to undertake. Our courses are optional but they are very popular every year and provide full tuition on the 3 sections of the assessment with substantial practice material.

Read more about our preparation courses here

Further Links and Resources

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Prepare for Success with our Preparation Course

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Every year we at Career Services successfully prepare hundreds of candidates for the Mature Nursing Assessment Test. We are Ireland’s No. 1 Assessment Preparation Provider and our track record, technological abilities and experience is second to none. We understand this can be a daunting process but our exceptional preparation courses give you everything you need to take your Assessment test with confidence.

Find out more about how our assessment preparation courses can help you to prepare in this competitive process here.

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