Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland?

Comparing the two Irelands

Ireland is an attractive location to live and work in the medical profession. It is known as the Emerald Isle due to its rolling green hills and fields. It also benefits from stunning beaches, lakes and mountains.

But the island of Ireland covers two separate legal jurisdictions: the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is under the legal jurisdiction of the United Kingdom. As a result, there are different bodies for nurse registration and visa applications.

Republic of Ireland
The Republic of Ireland experienced a period of rapid growth before the global economic crisis of 2008.After a period of austerity, life is getting back to normal and there is once again demand for recruitment in the healthcare sector.

Quality of life and pay for nurses in the Republic of Ireland

Income levels for nurses and quality of life are both high, but so is the cost of living, particularly in the capital city, Dublin, where rents are high. More affordable accommodation is available in other areas. Nurse incomes throughout the country are generally in line with the rates of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

Nurse Registration in the Republic of Ireland:

To work as a nurse in the Republic of Ireland you need to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, which you might also see referred to as An Bord Altranais in Irish.

An international nurse requires an overall score of band 7 in the IELTS examination in order to register. A band score of only 6.5 is required in the listening and reading modules.

Visa processing authority:

Currency: Euro (€)

Famous for:


St. Patrick’s Day

Irish dancing

Famous People:

U2 (band)

Pierce Brosnan (actor)

Oscar Wilde (playwright)

Bob Geldof (singer)

Colin Farrell (actor)

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland six counties in the north-east of the of the island of Ireland that are under the legal jurisdiction of the United Kingdom. It experienced a period of austerity, too, though not as keenly as in the Republic of Ireland

Quality of life and pay for nurses in Northern Ireland

There is a chronic shortage of nurses in Northern Ireland. The Government is currently trying to recruit 1200 nurses for vacant NHS posts, while the private sector probably needs a similar number of new recruits. Band 1 Pay rates may be slightly lower than in England and Scotland, but the gap closes as nurses progress through the pay scales, and the cost of living is much lower here, than in many other parts of the UK.

Nurse registration in Northern Ireland

Nursing registration is handled by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, just as it is in England, Scotland and Wales.

Nurses need to achieve band 7 in all modules of the IELTS™ examination in order to register to work in Northern Ireland.

Visa processing authority:

Northern Ireland facts

Currency: British Pound (£)

Famous for:

The Giant’s Causeway

Building the Titanic

Game of Thrones

Bushmills Distillery

Famous People:

George Best (footballer)

Rory Mc Ilroy (golfer)

Seamus Heaney (poet)

Liam Neeson (actor)

Van Morrison (musician)