Top Nursing Courses in Ireland


The Best Nursing Universities in Ireland

Last updated: 2 May 2024 Healthcare Nursing

International students pursuing nursing courses at Irish schools are granted a degree recognised across the European Union. This gives them greater mobility regarding the career options available across the continent and globally. 

Nursing degrees in Ireland train students to become Registered General Nurses (R.G.N) through a Bachelor's programme that lasts four years. Interested students can also take up a master's, taking 1 to 2 years, to specialise in child nursing, mental health nursing, maternity care and midwifery, and nursing for older people, among others. The ageing population across Europe and today's post-pandemic scenario have raised the demand for nursing graduates. Ireland is also among the top 5 highest paying countries for nursing careers, averaging around USD 56,000 yearly.

Over 40 schools nationwide offer nursing courses at undergraduate and graduate levels, and the below are the best in Ireland (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024: Nursing). If you want to study nursing in Ireland, arrange a free consultation with SI-Ireland today to discuss your study options.

nursing courses ireland

Top Nursing Schools in Ireland

1. Trinity College Dublin

The School of Nursing and Midwifery at Trinity College Dublin is a top-ranking nursing school in the country with many specialised courses. The programmes at the college range from general nursing to mental health, children's health, and community health, among others. The modules in the courses have been designed to provide evidence-based knowledge promoting excellence in nursing practice. The undergraduate courses at the college are not available for non-EU students, but there are a variety of postgraduate programmes for international students in various nursing sections. 

2. University College Cork

The School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University College Cork is a top-ranking educational institution with many nursing courses. There are courses for laying the foundations of a good nursing career, and pathways for education in specialised fields of nursing are also available at the university.

Nursing at UCC provides students with excellent opportunities to develop the relevant skills and knowledge to have a professional nursing practice in the country and other parts of the world. The college's infrastructure and faculty members ensure that the students are trained to deliver nursing care based on the best current practices in the healthcare field. 

3. University College Dublin

Being among the top 1% of higher education institutions worldwide, University College Dublin traces its roots back to a school founded in 1854. Today, Ireland's largest university offers various nursing programme certifications, diplomas and degrees. The nursing courses at the university are offered by the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems and prepare students to work with people who need dedicated healthcare. The nurses trained at the university care for the patient's physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social needs. The specialised nursing courses at UCD sharpen the student's critical thinking and analytical skills to assume leadership roles in the clinical care departments. 

4. University of Galway

The University of Galway was founded as Queen's College Galway in 1845 and has become one of the most prestigious universities in Ireland. College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences offers undergraduate and graduate nursing programmes and has state-of-the-art facilities to provide excellence in training as a nurse. The undergraduate programme runs for four years and includes a mandatory 36-week internship at Health Service Executive West, wherein students are paid a salary. Theoretically, the programmes are taught through lectures, workshops, seminars, skills training, experiential learning and reading time. 

5. University of Limerick

The University of Limerick’s Department of Nursing and Midwifery offers nursing programmes at the undergraduate level, with options in general nursing, mental health nursing, intellectual disability nursing and midwifery. The general nursing programme takes four years to complete and educates students to care for people in hospitals and community settings. The practical focus of the training starts with the first year itself, wherein theory is combined with clinical practice. The programme has a 100% employability rate a year after graduation and is offered in conjunction with the Health Service Executive West. 

6. Royal College of Surgeons

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) offers various nursing courses designed to prepare students for careers in healthcare. Clinical experience is a crucial component of nursing education at RCSI, and students are likely to spend a significant amount of time in healthcare settings, working under the supervision of experienced nurses and healthcare professionals.

RCSI nursing programs are likely to align with the regulatory requirements of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI), ensuring that graduates are eligible for professional registration as nurses upon completion of their studies.

Study in Ireland

Universities featured in this article:

  • University College Cork
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • University College Dublin
  • University of Galway
  • University of Limerick
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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