Overseas Aptitude Test

Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery

Application process

All future test dates are provisional.

When one test closes, the next one opens. A test typically opens approximately 3.5 months in advance to afford time to complete the necessary steps below.

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Submit various documents to the NMBI for a full regulatory assessment. Upon completion of the NMBI regulatory assessment, a decision letter (which has an expiry date) is issued. This NMBI decision letter must be in date on the day of your first attempt at the MCQ.

One of the outcomes of the regulatory assessment may be that you have to undergo one of two compensation measures, one of which is 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 on these webpages. You should consider if you are: a) eligible to take the test; b) ready/prepared to take the test; and c) interested in taking the test.

You will need to complete an online application and upload four documents with your application:

  • NMBI decision letter
  • Biog page of passport/ID
  • Recent photograph
  • Proof of payment

Your application is processed within three working days and you are contacted via email. If satisfactory, an invitation is sent for a place on the next available test.

To allow for the next steps to be met and to allow for travel and other arrangements, each test opens approximately 15 weeks in advance. Only one test is open at a time and as soon as one test closes the next one opens.

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If you require it, application is made (without delay) for an Atypical Working Scheme (AWS) letter of approval. Provided all required documentation is submitted in a satisfactory manner this can take a minimum of four weeks. RCSI cannot answer any queries in relation to immigration requirements; please refer to immigration.

Application should be made, without delay, for an entry visa. Supporting documents required may include your NMBI decision letter and your AWS letter of approval. RCSI cannot answer queries in relation to immigration requirements, including employment needs, please refer to immigration. Provided all required documentation is submitted in a satisfactory manner this can take a minimum of eight weeks.

No later than 18 days prior to the test for which you are scheduled, you will receive a reminder email.

In order to secure your place on the test for this date, you must reply as per instructions in the reminder email. If a reply is not received by the due time and date, then the applicant is postponed to the test open at that time.

To avoid unnecessary test date changes, please consider the following:

Applicant checks

To allow for the various processes required between receiving an invitation to the test and the date of your test, a test opens on average 3.5 months in advance. To avoid unnecessary postponements, each applicant must carry out frequent checks, including:

  • Check if you need an employer in order to apply for your AWS – if yes, then it is recommended you secure an employer before applying for the test.
  • Check if you have applied for/received your ATWS and that sufficient time has been allowed. This can be applied for 90 days before your test date and be sure to include all the requirements correctly.
  • Check if you have applied for/received your Entry Visa.
  • Check that your NMBI Decision Letter will be in date on the first day of the Aptitude Test.
  • Check that you will have sufficient time to correctly self-isolate for 14 days and nights after arrival in the Republic of Ireland. You may be required to extend your self-isolation beyond the 14 days and nights. Examples include: if you test positive for COVID-19 while in self-isolation; if you are a close contact with a person with COVID-19 while in self-isolation (all precautions must be taken to avoid this situation); local quarantine facility requirement; or other.
  • Check that you will be ready for the allocated test date.
  • Check if you will be ready for an earlier test date and wish to go on a wait list.
  • Check if you need to postpone. Pease note that your test date will be changed to the last date on timetable listed on the website and a fee will be charged.

Cancelled test

Ongoing postponements continue to be an issue. If there is a high number of postponements for a test, then it will be cancelled and an alternative date will be offered.

Process regarding postponements

  • Request to be emailed by agent/prospective employer to marianeary@rcsi.com noting only the applicant’s name and NMBI reference number: No other information to be included.
  • The applicant is then put on the last test date on the timetable on the website.
  • A postponement fee is paid and a proof of payment is emailed to marianeary@rcsi.com.
  • A new invite for the last test date on the timetable is sent to the applicant.
  • Only upon receipt of this invitation may an application be made to go on an earlier test date.
  • Please note that swapping places with another applicant is not permitted.

Postponement fee

An administration cost of €200 will be charged for each postponement for/by each applicant. This will come into effect from 1 March 2021 (there is no charge for postponements requested up to 28 February 2021). The date of 1 March is to allow each prospective employer and agent and applicant sufficient time to check the status of each application in order to avoid postponements and the subsequent cancellation of tests or tests being run with below capacity numbers.

Wait list – application for earlier test date

  • Request to be emailed by agent/prospective employer to marianeary@rcsi.com using below table only.
  • There is no charge for an earlier test date, but please remember that any subsequent postponement will incur a fee.
  • Apply only to go on wait list for an earlier test date if highly likely applicant will make the date.
  • The test open at the time of the request is not available for the purpose of a wait list.
  • In the event that an earlier test date is offered and not taken up, then postponement will be to last test date on the timetable and a fee will be charged. 
Application to go on a wait list for an earlier test date
1: NMBI reference number
2: RCSI number
3: Applicant name
4: Agent
5: Prospective employer
6: Is applicant now in Ireland? (Yes or No)
7: Is applicant now ready to travel to Ireland? (Yes or No)
8: Does applicant have Entry Visa? (Yes or No)
9: Does applicant have ATWS? (Yes or No)
10: Current test date
11: Specific earlier test date/s requested (must be highly likely will make the test date)
12: How many weeks in advance do you need the invitation for the preferred earlier test date?
13: Additional comments, if required

If any aspect of your application changes, please email marianeary@rcsi.com.


Results of the theory test are issued via email by 9pm on the day of the test. If you are successful in the theory test, you are invited to the OSCEs/practical test. Unless specifically requested, you do not need to bring any documentation with you.

Results of OSCEs/practical test are issued via email by 2pm on the Tuesday 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.

To bring to test

  • Your passport.
  • A photocopy of the photo page of your passport (black and white copy will suffice) with your NMBI (six-digit) or RCSI (eight-digit) reference number written on the top right-hand side of the page.
  • Your reminder email and attachment.
  • Your email detailing your specific dates and times.
  • Two black pens.
  • Hand sanitiser.
  • Face covering.
  • A uniform for the Practical/OSCE part.

Provisional dates for 2021

Possible Theory/MCQ Possible Practical/OSCE Possible repeat Practical/OSCE
9 January 10 January 30 January
16 January 17 January 30 January
17 January (cancelled) 23 January (cancelled)
23 January 24 January 13 February
30 January 31 January 13 February
31 January (cancelled) 6 February (cancelled)
6 February 7 February 21 February
7 February (cancelled) 14 February (cancelled)  
21 February 27 February 13 March
27 February  28 February 13 March
6 March 7 March  20 March
13 March 14 March 10 April
20 March 21 March 10 April
21 March 27 March 10 April
27 March 28 March 10 April
10 April 11 April 8 May
11 April 17 April 8 May
17 April 18 April 8 May
18 April 24 April 8 May
24 April 25 April 8 May 
8 May 9 May 12 June 
9 May 15 May 12 June 
15 May 16 May 12 June 
23 May 29 May 12 June 
29 May 30 May  12 June 
12 June 13 June 3 July 
19 June 20 June  3 July 
3 July 4 July  
7 August (postponements) 8 August (postponements)  


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 marianeary@rcsi.com ensuring to quote your NMBI six-digit reference number.