Irish nursing programs are among the best in the world and lead in research and practical training alike. In addition to getting a high-quality education in nursing, studying in the Republic of Ireland also grants students with a degree recognized across the European Union and with the mobility associated with that, as well.

While aging populations across Europe make nursing an in-demand profession, investment in facilities, university hospitals, and private and public care institutions is growing in every European country. This means that training to become a nurse in Ireland will give you a good grounding in a well-respected career, while also teaching you what to expect once in the field.

Here are some of the top nursing schools in Ireland.

Best Nursing Schools in Ireland

1. NUI Galway School of Nursing and Midwifery

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor of Nursing Science – General or Mental Health, Bachelor of Midwifery Science, various postgraduate options
  • Language of Instruction: English

Dating back from 1845 when it was founded as the Queen’s College Galway, NUI Galway is highly ranked in international surveys of universities and has a rich history, as well as a great endowment ensuring that the facilities and laboratories offered to students makes the NUI Galway Nursing School the best nursing school in Ireland. The School of Nursing and Midwifery has the vision to provide educational programs that prepare “safe, skilled, competent and confident practitioners.” They are also dedicated to conducting important research to improve care, quality of life, and the wellbeing of people.

The Bachelor of Nursing Science is offered with a General or Mental Health focus and is taught over four years, enabling students to then apply to register with the Irish nursing board. During the first three years, students attend courses as well as to conduct practical training modules which require students to be in clinical practice for 35 hours per week. During the fourth year, the first semester is dedicated to clinical/theory instruction followed by a 36-week internship of clinical practice at HSE West, where students are paid a salary.

2. Trinity College Dublin School of Nursing and Midwifery

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: BSc Cur – General Nursing, several other undergraduate specializations, various postgraduate degrees
  • Language of Instruction: English

The School of Nursing and Midwifery at Trinity College Dublin is ranked second-best nursing school in Ireland and is well renowned worldwide, while TCD itself is one of the oldest and most respected universities in Europe. Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, it was meant to be a rival to Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England. Unlike them, only one college was set up, leading to the name of Trinity College Dublin.

TCD’s School of Nursing and Midwifery offers a range of undergraduate programs, from BSc in General Nursing to specializations in Children’s Health or Mental Health, etc. Afterward, a multitude of postgraduate options is available for further education.

The nursing degree lasts four years, integrating theory and practice, and preparing students to be eligible to apply as registered nurses. TCD provides the opportunity for clinical practice at two associated health service providers: St James’s Hospital in Dublin and The Adelaide and Mental Health Hospital Dublin.

Professional clinical practice is conducted alongside tuition for the entirety of the program, culminating in a full-time practice placement in the fourth year.

3. Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – RCSI Dublin

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: Postgraduate certificates, Master’s, etc.
  • Language of Instruction: English

RCSI Dublin is a medical royal college for surgery and also a medical school, based in Dublin and having received its royal charter in 1784. It includes schools of pharmacy, physiotherapy, and nursing alongside the main medical school.

As a top nursing school in Ireland, the School of Nursing and Midwifery in RCSI is the largest provider of postgraduate nursing education in Ireland and offers a multitude of ways for registered nurses to advance their knowledge and skills further, from certificate to Master’s level. It offers great leadership programs allowing nurses to develop into management positions and decision-making roles in their chosen fields. Its world-class study and research facilities further support these goals.

4. UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor of General Nursing / Children’s and General Nursing / Midwifery / Mental Health Nursing, several postgraduate opportunities
  • Language of Instruction: English

University College Dublin (UCD) is in the top 1% of higher education institutions worldwide and originates from a school founded in 1854. It traces its roots through a history of being the Catholic university of Ireland. It is currently Ireland’s largest university as well.

The nursing program prepares students for working with people either in care or looking for support in their health and wellbeing. It aims to develop nurses who are able to take into account patients’ physical, psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual needs.

Taught over four years, the General Nursing undergraduate degree includes clinical practice at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, St Vincents Healthcare Group, and several other clinical sites.

5. University of Limerick

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (General), also Mental Health and Intellectual Disability specializations, midwifery degrees
  • Language of Instruction: English

The University of Limerick, a top nursing school in Ireland, was founded in 1972. The nursing program here is taught for 4 years and prepares students to care for people in both hospital and community settings. By choosing to study General Nursing, you will gather the knowledge and skills to respond to various individuals, with evolving healthcare requirements.

The program is offered in conjunction with the Health Services Executive West (Limerick, Clare, and Tipperary North). It has a great success rate for graduates, posting a 100% employability rate in the year after graduation, in Ireland or abroad. This is thanks to a truly practical-focused learning program, where in-class tuition is combined with clinical practice from the first year of study.

At the same time, Limerick University provides a vibrant, active campus with lots of social, extra-curricular, and athletic outlets, as well as a great multicultural environment, beyond the same intake of c. 45 students in the nursing program every year.


I hope that this article on the best nursing schools in Ireland was helpful. To know more information like this, check out the Programs in Europe for International Students!