Psychiatric nurse during a consultation)

Overseas Aptitude Test – Psychiatric Nurse

Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery

Application process

Information about how to apply for the RCSI Overseas Aptitude Test is available below.

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Step 1: Apply to NMBI

Apply to the NMBI for a recognition of qualifications, which involves comparison of your qualifications with the Irish education standards and requirements.

Possible outcomes:

  • qualifications recognised
  • submit missing document(s)
  • qualifications refused for recognition
  • a compensation measure is required

Click here for more information.

One of the compensation measures is the RCSI FNM Aptitude Test for Overseas Nurses.

Step 2: Prepare to apply for the test

Before you apply for a place on the test you are strongly encouraged to fully familiarise yourself with all of the information contained in this website. You should consider if you are:

  • eligible to take the test
  • ready/prepared to take the test
  • interested in taking the test

If required, you should have a prospective employer; an employment contract; and a preferred start date that is realistically achievable.

The preferred date, which must be written at the end of the proof of payment, cannot be less that nine weeks from the date of complete application for the test (unless you are living in Ireland and/or you have all the required documentation). There is no guarantee that a preferred date will be available. This must be considered when deciding on contract dates with prospective employers. If a place is not available as requested then the nearest available match will be given.

If a preferred date is not requested, then the test date open at the point of a completed application is given.

Step 3: Apply for the test

You will need to complete an online application and upload four documents with your application. Do not commence application until you have the four documents ready for uploading:

  • Recent photograph
  • Biography/biometrics page of passport/ID
  • Proof of payment (refer to Fees page)
  • NMBI decision letter that must: be in date; state it is the Psychiatric Nurses Division that applies to your application; and state that you need to successfully complete a compensation measure and that one of the compensation measures is the RCSI FNM Aptitude Test for Psychiatric Nurses.

Upon receipt of a complete application for the test, an invitation is sent within five days.

Step 4: Obtain an Atypical Working Scheme (AWS) letter of approval

If you require an AWS letter of approval, then application should be made. Allow sufficient time and check the website for expected time required. RCSI cannot answer any queries in relation to Immigration requirements (please refer to the Irish Immigration Service).

Step 5: Obtain an entry visa

If you require an Entry Visa, then application should be made. Allow sufficient time and check the website for expected time required. RCSI cannot answer queries in relation to Immigration requirements, including employment needs (please refer to the Irish Immigration Service).

Step 6: Confirm your place

No later than 17 days prior to a test date, RCSI FNM sends you further information regarding your test together with a booking confirmation form. The completed form must be returned by 10am (Irish Standard Time) on the Tuesday (11 days before the test date). The completed form cannot be returned unless you are sure you are going to attend and if required by Immigration then you must attach your AWS letter of approval and/or your entry visa. If you do not require an AWS letter of approval or an entry visa then you do not need to upload with your booking confirmation form. RCSI cannot answer queries in relation to Immigration requirements, including employment needs.

Step 7: Present for the test

MCQ: You are required to bring your passport plus a one-page copy of the biography/photo page of the passport. If you have got a new passport since applying for the test then bring both passports and a one-page copy of the biography/photo page of both passports.

OSCE: As the practical part is a simulated setting, you are required to present as if you are working in the clinical environment, taking into account all aspects pertaining to comfort, clothes (uniform) footwear, hair style, make-up and jewellery.

Important note regarding timeframe within which the test must be completed, effective for applicants taking the MCQ on or after 12 August 2023:

  • With reference to the specified repeat dates on the webpage: The applicant must complete both attempts at both parts of the test (as relevant) within twelve (12) weeks from the date at the first attempt at the theory part.
  • If not completed within this timeframe then the NMBI is notified that the applicant is not continuing with the test. 
  • In the event of exceptional circumstances an applicant may apply for an extension. 
  • The onus is on the applicant to ensure all documentation remains in date to include NMBI-related documentation plus immigration-related documentation.
  • Any change in dates must be agreed by agent and prospective employer. 

Step 8: Results

Results of the theory test are issued via email by 6pm on the day of the test. If you are successful in the theory test, you are invited to the OSCEs/practical test.

Results of OSCEs/practical test are issued via email by 2pm on the Wednesday following the test. If you pass then your results are sent to the NMBI, where you can then progress with your registration.

If either part of the test is failed on the first attempt, then a proposed date for the repeat is offered. If an applicant fails either part of the test on the second attempt, then the NMBI is informed.

Step 9: Registration with NMBI

When an applicant successfully completes the RCSI FNM Aptitude Test for Overseas Nurses, NMBI is informed. NMBI then emails the applicant advising how to proceed with the application for registration. The applicant can track the progress of the application via the MyNMBI online portal. The applicant must ensure that they have logged in to their account and updated their personal information to ensure that they receive this email.

Please direct all further queries to NMBI. RCSI cannot answer any queries regarding registration with the NMBI. You can find more information here.

RCSI has now completed its communication regarding the Aptitude Test and wishes each applicant a happy and successful career.

Future test dates are provisional. Please note: If there are insufficient numbers, then a test date may be cancelled and an alternative test date will be offered.

An applicant must be ready for the test date nine days in advance of a test date, including having the entry visa, flight ticket and passport in hand. This is to allow for booking confirmation.

Possible Theory/MCQ Possible Practical/OSCE (first attempt) Possible repeat Practical/OSCE (second and final attempt)
21 September 2024 22 September 2024 5 October 2024
2 March 2025 8 March 2025  

Please note:

  • Tests do not take place on a weekend that is linked with a public/bank holiday in the Republic of Ireland.

Withdrawal from test

Submit the following to

  • Applicant name as per passport
  • Applicant eight-digit RCSI ID number
  • Agent
  • Prospective employer
  • Current test date
  • Specific reason for withdrawal
  • Are all parties aware of the withdrawal? (applicant/agent/prospective employer)
  • Who paid the test fee directly to RCSI?
  • How much was paid

Note: Refer to 'Unused fees' on the Fees page.

Change in agent/prospective employer

An applicant can only have one application at a time for the test. You must withdraw, in writing, from the initial agent and/or prospective employer before commencing with another agent and/or prospective employer. The written evidence, together with the below form, must be submitted to Upon satisfactory receipt of same, the initial application will be withdrawn and a new application made then be made.

  • Applicant name as per passport
  • Applicant eight-digit RCSI ID number
  • Current test date
  • Agent at point of initial application
  • Prospective employer at point of initial application
  • Have you included written evidence of leaving initial agent and/or prospective employer?


If you have any queries, please:

  • Carefully read all the sections on this website
  • Discuss your query with your agent (if you have one)
  • If you still have a query after reading the website and discussing with your agent, briefly put your query in an email to ensuring to quote your NMBI six-digit reference number.