Overseas Aptitude Test

Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery

Application process

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

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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.

You must be ready for the test date two weeks in advance of a test date: including having your Entry Visa and flight ticket in hand. This is to allow for Booking Confirmation. 

Possible Theory/MCQ Possible Practical/OSCE Possible repeat Practical/OSCE
5 February 2022 6 February 2022 26 February 2022
12 February 2022 13 February 2022 26 February 2022
13 February 2022  20 February 2022 5 March 2022
26 February 2022 27 February 2022  
5 March 2022 6 March 2022  
6 March 2022 13 March 2022
2 April 2022 3 April 2022
3 April 2022 9 April 2022
7 May 2022 8 May 2022  
8 May 2022 15 May 2022  
11 June 2022 12 June 2022  
12 June 2022 (postponements) 18 June 2022 (postponements)  
9 July 2022 10 July 2022  
13 August 2022 14 August 2022  
10 September 2022 11 September 2022  

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.

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. The RCSI FNM recommends that this period of 15 weeks should be utilised by the applicant in preparing for the test.

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.

By 17 days prior to your test date you will receive an email with information and a confirmation booking form. To secure your place on the test, you must return the completed confirmation booking form no later than 12 days prior to the test. If a confirmation booking form is not received by the due time and date, then the applicant is postponed to the postponement test date on the timetable.

The list for each test is finalised with the NMBI ten days in advance of a test. Therefore, no additions can be made to the test list within 10 days of a test.

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 AWS 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 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 postponement date on timetable listed on the website and a fee may be charged.

Applicant checks regarding quarantine/isolation, COVID-19 testing and other requirements

For the purpose of the RCSI FNM Overseas Aptitude Test, an applicant is strictly considered by RCSI as a healthcare worker (HCW) in relation to quarantine/isolation and COVID-19 testing requirements. This is the case whether or not an applicant has an employer (public or private) in the Republic of Ireland.

An applicant must adhere to the Health Service Executive (HSE) requirements for HCWs that are current at the time of the test.

An applicant is responsible for ensuring that they are familiar with the most current HSE requirements including any change in the lists of countries that have/have not an 'emergency brake' applied (designated and non-designated countries).

Derogations as referenced in the HSE document do not apply to the Overseas Aptitude Test.

Applicants are advised to check with their prospective employer if there is any requirement beyond that detailed by the HSE.

RCSI cannot answer any queries regarding HSE requirements.

An applicant must not present for any part of the Aptitude Test if they:

  • are in self-isolation/self-quarantine, for whatever reason
  • have a diagnosis of COVID-19
  • have any symptoms that indicate they might be suffering from COVID-19
  • are still waiting for the results of a test for COVID-19, for whatever reason.

An applicant must:

  • fully comply with the face-covering requirements: ensuring the mask type, fitting, use, cleaning and disposal are correct
  • fully comply with hand hygiene standards
  • fully comply with coughing and sneezing etiquette
  • maintain a minimum of two-metres social distancing at all times on the hospital grounds and in the test centre
  • not congregate in groups anywhere on the hospital grounds or in the test centre. 

Please note that confirmation of an Overseas Aptitude Test date must be submitted by an applicant to RCSI on or before 12 days prior to the test date. This confirmation includes that the applicant will strictly adhere to the HSE quarantine/isolation and COVID-19 testing requirements and RCSI FNM requirements.

Failure by an applicant to adhere to the HSE requirements and RCSI FNM requirements will have consequences including prevention from attending the Overseas Aptitude Test at that time.

In the case where an applicant is arriving into the Republic of Ireland only to do the Overseas Aptitude Test and then returning home, all of the above applies but the possibility of needing to repeat the test must also be considered.

For more information, refer to (but ensure the most current):

What to bring to the 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.

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

  • Send NMBI Reference Number and applicant name and a brief explanation as to why a postponement is being requested.
  • This will be considered and you will be contacted as to whether or not a postponement fee of €200 is required.
  • The applicant is postponed to the postponement date on the timetable.
  • 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. 


  • Send NMBI Reference Number and applicant name and a brief explanation for the withdrawal.
  • Refer to 'Unused fees' in the Fees section of the website.

Change in agent/prospective employer

If an applicant changes agent and/or employer, then the following process must be followed:

  • Send an email to first agent/employer and copy marianeary@rcsi.com in the email.
  • When satisfactorily complete, the application is withdrawn.
  • A new application may then be submitted.
  • If an applicant was not initially linked with an agent/employer and is now linked to either or both, then just notify marianeary@rcsi.com of the change.

Please note: An applicant can only have one application at a time for the test. 

Change in passport details

If you change your passport after you apply for the test, please do not email RCSI about it. Photocopy the biog/photo page of both passports, staple them together and bring them to the theory part of the test.

Not fit to attend test

After receiving the reminder email, if an applicant is unfit to attend the allocated test date, they are placed on a holding list and the following process must be followed:

  • When the applicant has been medically cleared and has a flight booked or is in Ireland, request agent/prospective employer (or applicant directly if independent applicant) to email the below information to marianeary@rcsi.com:
    • NMBI reference number
    • RCSI reference number
    • Name
    • Earliest date (as per timetable) that the applicant could take test

When received, an invitation for the next available space will be sent. Please note: it is not possible to predict or guarantee when a space will become available.

If the applicant is not ready to come off the holding list after three weeks, they will be moved to a postponement test date.

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.
  • Allow sufficient time to prepare for the test before going on a wait list for an earlier test 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 postponement date on the timetable and a fee may be charged. 
  • An earlier test date is not guaranteed and this must be considered when booking a flight.

Application to go on a wait list for an earlier test date

(Please note that the wait list will be deleted 10 days before the test.)

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: Does applicant have Entry Visa? (Yes or No)
8: Does applicant have ATWS? (Yes or No)
9: Current test date
10: Specific earlier test date/s requested (must be highly likely will make the test date and that there is sufficient time to prepare for the test)
11: 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.

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 as an RGN. 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. Click here for more information.

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


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.