- Nurse Registration
- English test
You belong to Group 1 if you trained as a nurse in the EU or EEA and meet the “automatic recognition” or “acquired rights provisions of the EU Directive 2005/36/EC (the Directive). This Directive sets out the minimum training standards for nurses and midwives to practise in their country of training and across the EU. It lists the dates adopted by each country to implement the EU standards for the training of general nurses and midwives. This date is known as the reference date.
If you trained in an EU country, as a general nurse or a midwife, then your training may meet the “automatic recognition route to registration” set out in the Directive. If you started your training on or after your country’s reference date, the NMBI may be able to automatically register you when you apply to register as a nurse or midwife.
To check what date your country implemented the Directive, please refer to the table below which lists some countries in the EU. For an extensive list please visit the NMBI website. If you trained in one of these countries on or after what is called the “reference date” then you may also have an automatic right to registration.
If you trained in the EU or EEA before the reference date for your country, then you may have “acquired rights” to registration based on your post-registration employment experience as a general nurse or midwife.
The term “acquired rights” means that if you have a certain amount of post-registration experience as a nurse or midwife you may have a right to join the Register. To check this, please contact the “competent authority” in the country where you trained. This is the organisation within each country which is responsible for registering nurses and midwives. In Ireland, the competent authority is NMBI.
|Country||Reference date for General Nursing||Reference date for Midwifery|
|Croatia||01 July 2013||01 July 2013|
|Czech Republic||01 May 2004||01 May 2004|
|Hungary||01 May 2004||01 May 2004|
|Italy||29 June 1979||23 January 1983|
|Latvia||01 May 2004||01 May 2004|
|Poland||01 May 2004||01 May 2004|
|Portugal||01 January 1986||01 January 1986|
|Romania||01 January 2007||01 January 2007|
|Slovakia||01 May 2004||01 May 2004|
|Spain||01 January 1986||01 January 1986|
If you are not sure which category you are in please fill in the form at (LINK) and we will contact you within 1 working day to discuss your personal situation.
The European Professional Card (EPC) aims to further facilitate the free movement of professional in the EU and EEA. The card is intended to simplify the recognition of professional qualifications, enhance transparency for EU citizens and increase trust among authorities across the EU.
For overseas nursing applicants, the EPC affects Group 1 applicants only.
From January 2016, nurses responsible for general care can apply for the recognition of their qualification in EU countries through the Internal Market Information System (IMI).
The EPC is not a physical card, but rather electronic proof that you have passed administrative checks and that your professional qualifications are recognised by the host country.
If you are a nurse responsible for general care and wish to apply for an EPC, you must do so through the EU’s online portal, the IMI. The EPC relates only to the recognition of professional qualifications and does not give you the right to practice as a nurse responsible for general care in Ireland.
Make an application for your EPC on the IMI portal
If you have been issued with an EPC, you will still be required to apply for registration with NMBI. At this stage, you will be required to provide the following:
In addition to the above, we also require:
The NMBI will not be able to return the documents you have submitted so please do not send original documents.
From 2 April 2018, applicants for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland who have qualifications from outside of Ireland must now satisfy the Board that they have the necessary knowledge of English to communicate effectively in their practice.
NMBI accepts International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Test, IELTS Academic Test for UKVI, and the Occupational English Language Test (OET) as evidence of English language competency.
Please refer to the tables below for the minimum levels in each of the tests that are accepted by NMBI:
|IELTS Academic Test||Minimum scores|
|OET Academic Test||Minimum scores|
Please note that:
Remember that if you make an application, and don’t meet the English language competence requirements, the assessment fee is non-refundable