Registering as a Nurse or Midwife with the NMBI

PCQ Healthcare mostly work with nurses from Europe who meet the requirement for Group 1 with the NMBI. For this reason we have focuses on this category of nurses with relation to the NMBI Registration process. If you are in a different category or are not sure which category you are in.

Group 1: EU/EEA trained, automatic recognition or acquired rights

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.

NMBI group 1

Automatic recognition

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.

Acquired rights

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.

European Professional Card and registration process

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).

Applying for an EPC

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

Registration with an EPC

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:

  • Your EPC certificate showing that your qualification has been recognised

In addition to the above, we also require:

  • A marriage or civil partnership certificate (if applicable)
  • A certified copy of your passport or identity card, and

The NMBI will not be able to return the documents you have submitted so please do not send original documents.

If you need any help let us your details and we will call you!

English Language Competence

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.

The applicant may submit a certificate of test results from either the International English Language Test System (IELTS) or Occupational English Test (OET).

Evidence required:

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
Listening 6.5
Reading 6.5
Writing 7.0
Speaking 7.0
Overall 7.0
OET Academic Test Minimum scores
Listening C+
Reading C+
Writing B
Speaking B

Please note that:

  • We only accept IELTS/OET test results that are less than two years old. If your test results are out of date, you will need to re-sit the IELTS/OET
  • You must provide IELTS Academic Test Report Form (TRF) number OR OET Candidate Number as part of Step 1 of the application process, detailed in the next section
  • NMBI will independently verify your scores
  • We only accept one test result and do not accept combined results


Remember that if you make an application, and don’t meet the English language competence requirements, the assessment fee is non-refundable

If you need any help let us your details and we will call you!