Careers in Nursing and Midwifery

How to apply for a nurse or midwife programme


All applicants to the nursing / midwifery programmes must make an application to the Central Applications Office (CAO). Each nursing / midwifery programme has an identifying course code.

Prior to applying, you are strongly advised to carefully study the CAO handbook and the websites of the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), which offer nursing and midwifery programmes.
In relation to offers of a place on the programme, the CAO operates an Order of Merit (OOM) list. For full information on offer of places, consult the CAO handbook.

Number of places

The total number of college places available for nursing and midwifery in the HEIs is 1,832 and the breakdown is shown in the table below. Please note that these numbers may change for the 2020 intake as the Department of Health has increased places available to a number of programmes in healthcare. The exact number or programme location is not known as of 11 September 2020. The duration of each programme is four years with the exception of the Children’s and General Integrated programme, which is four and a half years.

The programmes lead to registration in various divisions of the Register of Nurses and Midwives. Abbreviations are used for nurses or midwives who belong to the different divisions:

  • RCN - Registered Children’s Nurse.
  • RGN - Registered General Nurse.
  • RNID -Registered Nurse Intellectual Disability.
  • RM - Registered Midwife.
  • RPN - Registered Psychiatric Nurse.
Programme Registration of NMBI division Number of places Quota for mature applicants Number of HEIs
Children's & General Integrated RCN & RGN 130 15% 4
General RGN 925 15% 13
Intellectual Disability RNID 210 35% 8
Midwifery RM 144 20% 6
Psychiatric RPN 423 35% 12

On successful completion of the programmes, you will be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree (BSc) Level 8 in nursing or midwifery from the relevant HEI.

The final end of season points required (2014-2019) for offers of places on nursing or midwifery programmes can be viewed here.

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