Overseas Aptitude Test

Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery

Test preparation

The test is designed to reflect the nature of the syllabus and knowledge required for a general nurse pre-registration programme in the Republic of Ireland as per the NMBI standards and requirements.

The test addresses the NMBI domains of competency for the pre-registration general nurse programme in an attempt to ensure patient safety and public protection. The domains of competency and indicative content of the NMBI requirements and standards must be fully and carefully considered in order to help guide your revision for the test. 

RCSI does not recommend specific reading. Multiple sources might be considered including your notes and textbooks from your own training but be sure to use the most up-to-date research-based sources.

In addition to your revision that is based on the NMBI standards and requirements, essential minimum background reading is detailed below.

In preparation for the tests from January 2019 until further notice, it is essential that you base your revision on the NMBI publication: NMBI (2016) Nurse Registration Programmes Standards and Requirements. 4th edition. Refer pp 11-72.

You are encouraged to check this webpage on a regular basis for additions and updates regarding revision and preparation.

Diagnostic tests

Diseases and conditions

Infection prevention and control, and waste management

Each applicant is individually and fully accountable for protecting themselves and others against COVID-19 and must adhere, at all times, to: coughing and sneezing etiquette; hand-hygiene; social-distancing; self-isolation/quarantine requirements; safe use of personal protective equipment (PPE); and any other requirement as determined by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NEPHET). Aspects pertaining to COVID-19 now form part of the Aptitude Test.

Some COVID-19 links:

Other links:



Medical preparations


Nursing process, example references

Professional issues


  • Hinkle JL. Ceever KH (2014) Brunner & Suddarth's Textbook of Medical - Surgical Nursing (13th ed) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Wolkers Kluwer Health
  • Dougherty L. Lister S (2015) The Royal Marsden Clinical Nursing Procedures (9th ed) Wiley Blackwell

Each station has specific equipment, which must be used as part of the care at that station. If something is not at the station, then it does not need to be used as part of the care at that station.

Sample equipment and photographs of OSCE stations are available below.

Theory test station

OSCE stations