Four nurses walk along a hall)

Overseas Aptitude Test – General 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. 


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 General 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 General Nurses.

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

Important note regarding the NMBI decision letter:

  • The onus is on each applicant to ensure that their NMBI decision letter is in date
  • The NMBI decision letter must be in date on the first day of the aptitude test
  • The NMBI decision letter is for one Aptitude Test (two attempts)
  • RCSI cannot answer any queries regarding NMBI decision letters. Please contact NMBI directly.

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

Application should be made for an AWS letter of approval. 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

Application should be made for an entry visa. 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 Wednesday (11 days before the test date). The completed form cannot be returned unless you are sure you are going to attend and you must attach your AWS letter of approval and your entry visa (if required).


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.

Test dates, at least twelve months in advance, have been included here to help with planning. There are currently (as at 30 November 2023) 31 tests planned for 2024. An extra test date/s may be added depending on demand. However, please note that the last test in 2024 will be no later than 30 November 2024 (but could be earlier). A test may be cancelled, for example, if there is an insufficient number of applicants. Please refer to this page for any changes to test dates.

If you have a request for a specific test date (other than the one that is open at the point of application) write it on the bottom of the proof of payment with a brief reason as to why it is being requested.

An applicant must be ready for the test date 11 days in advance of a test date, including having, in-hand, an in-date AWS letter of approval and an in-date entry visa. This is to allow for booking confirmation.

Possible Theory/MCQ Possible Practical/OSCE
(first attempt)
Possible repeat Practical/OSCE
(second and final attempt)
    23 March 2024
23 March 2024 24 March 2024 6 April 2024
6 April 2024 7 April 2024 27 April 2024
7 April 2024 13 April 2024 27 April 2024
13 April 2024 14 April 2024 27 April 2024
14 April 2024 21 April 2024 11 May 2024
11 May 2024 12 May 2024 8 June 2024
12 May 2024 18 May 2024 8 June 2024
18 May 2024 19 May 2024 8 June 2024
19 May 2024 25 May 2024 8 June 2024
8 June 2024 9 June 2024 6 July 2024
9 June 2024 15 June 2024 6 July 2024
20 July 2024 21 July 2024 10 August 2024
10 August 2024 11 August 2024 31 August 2024
11 August 2024 17 August 2024 31 August 2024
31 August 2024 1 September 2024 21 September 2024
1 September 2024 7 September 2024 21 September 2024
5 October 2024 6 October 2024 9 November 2024
9 November 2024 10 November 2024 30 November 2024
30 November 2024 1 December 2024 14 December 2024
11 January 2025 12 January 2025 8 January 2025
8 February 2025 9 February 2025  

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

1: Earlier test date request 

a. Whereas every effort will continue to be made to accommodate earlier test dates, all concerned need to be aware that there is no guarantee. This should be considered when making any arrangements.
b. Application to be submitted only by applicant with the agreement of prospective employer and agent. Application/representation from other sources will not be considered.
c. Only one email per applicant.
d. No other communication.
e. No other narrative to be included in the email.
f. Include the questions with your answers.
g. Only the following will be considered and only in the exact format as given.
h. Do not alter the questions in any way.
i: Do not include any other documents at this point.

Group 1: Expiry of NMBI Decision Letter 

NMBI DL: Must be in date on the first day of your theory/MCQ test

If your NMBI Decision Letter is going to expire before your test date then complete the following and return immediately to marianeary@rcsi.com 

1: What is your name?
2: What is your eight-digit RCSI number?
3: What is your current test date?
4: When does your NMBI Decision Letter expire?

Group 2: Expiry of immigration-related documentation

AWS letter of approval and Entry Visa: Must be in date when you enter the Republic of Ireland; upon entering Ireland there may be a further extension of 90 days (but you need to check this)

Based on the above: If your test date is after the expiry date of your immigration-related documentation then complete the following and return to marianeary@rcsi.com 

1: What is your name?
2: What is your eight-digit RCSI number?
3: What was the issue date of your AWS letter of approval?
4: What is the expiry date of your entry visa?
5: When did you enter Ireland?
6: If not yet in Ireland, when do you plan to arrive into Ireland?
7: What is your current test date?
8: What is the earliest test date for which you would be ready?
9: In no more than 25 words clearly explain why you are requesting an earlier test date under Group 2.

Group 3: Living in Ireland or fully ready to come to Ireland

Complete the following and return to marianeary@rcsi.com
1: What is your name?
2: What is your eight-digit RCSI number?
3: When did you enter Ireland?
4: If not yet in Ireland, when do you plan to arrive into Ireland?
5: What is your current test date?
6: What is the earliest test date for which you would be ready?
7: In no more than 25 words clearly explain why you are requesting an earlier test date under Group 3.

2: Postponement

If you change your test date you must be sure you comply with all immigration-related documentation (AWS letter of approval and entry visa). The onus is on you to ensure all documentation remains in date to include NMBI-related documentation plus immigration-related documentation.

You will be postponed to an available date that is after the test date that is open when your postponement request is processed. Submit the following to marianeary@rcsi.com.

  • Applicant name as per passport
  • Applicant eight-digit RCSI ID number
  • Agent
  • Prospective employer
  • Current test date
  • Reason for postponement
  • Are all parties are aware of postponement? (applicant/agent/prospective employer).

3: Cancellation of a test

A test may be cancelled, for example, if there is an insufficient number of applicants. If a test is cancelled, then an alternative date (may be earlier or may be later) will be offered to any applicant on the list.

4: Withdrawal from test

Submit the following to marianeary@rcsi.com.

  • 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 marianeary@rcsi.com. 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?

Queries

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.