Despite the recent downturn in the Irish economy and the subsequent cutbacks in the Health Service; a strong demand remains for Health Careers in Ireland. In the sections below we have provided some information and tips for those interested in pursuing a career in the Irish Health Services.
Nursing Careers in Ireland
To qualify as a Registered Nurse in Ireland one must complete a Bachelor’s Degree in a Nursing Discipline. These Disciplines include General Nursing, Integrated Children’s and General Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing, Intellectual Disability Nursing and Midwifery. Completion of a Degree in one of these disciplines allows one to apply for registration in that Nursing Discipline. For example upon completion of a Bachelor’s Degree in Intellectual Disability, one can apply to become an RNID (Registered Nurse in Intellectual Disability Nursing).
Nursing Degrees can be completed in all Irish Universities and some Institutes of Technology. The duration of these courses are between four and five years. Places are granted to students based on their Leaving Certificate point’s total. The required points will vary for different courses and colleges depending on demand. Student’s undertaking Post Leaving Certificate Courses (PLC’s) may also apply for Nursing Degrees. A certain amount of places will also be reserved for mature students every year. Mature Students are over the age of 23 – you must have completed and passed the Leaving Certificate to apply for a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing as a mature student. Both Leaving Certificate and Mature Students apply for Third Level Nursing Courses through the CAO (College Applications Office). Applicants from outside the Republic of Ireland are assessed on equivalent exams to the Irish Leaving Certificate.
Third Level Nursing courses prepare Students through Academic and Practical Modules. Students will take part in practical placements in Nursing and Care Settings during the first three years of their course. These placements are unpaid. All nursing students must undertake a 36 week final internship during their final year of study. Students are paid a wage throughout their final internship.
Medicine Careers in Ireland
A career in medicine can be extremely rewarding and can provide for a good lifestyle. But be prepared – you will need to work extremely hard to become a medical practitioner in Ireland. To qualify for a Degree in Medicine you will need to score quite high in your Leaving Certificate. The minimum point’s criteria was 480 in 2010. Applicants to Medicine will also have to complete the HPAT Exam which examines an applicant’s logical reasoning, problem solving and social skills. Degrees in Medicine run over duration of 5 – 6 years.
You can also pursue a career in Medicine through Postgraduate Courses. You can apply for a Postgraduate course in Medicine if you have achieved a 2.1 in any Honours Degree. Postgraduate Applicants also have to sit the GAMSAT (Graduate School Admissions Test). However if you are considering entering a career in Medicine through this route it is advisable to complete a Degree in a Biological Science. The GAMSAT will test applicants’ knowledge of Science.