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The demand for people with a nursing qualification is on the increase and government health authorities from many Western countries, including Ireland, are actively recruiting qualified nurses from abroad to help fill vacant positions. However, many overseas qualified nurses do not meet the requirements for working in Western countries.

Gaining an International nursing qualification can open up a lot of doors for you to work all over the world. And there are options for overseas qualified nurses to upgrade your nursing qualification, without having to go back to do a full 4 year Nursing degree.

DIFC offer a Top-Up Nursing pathway for overseas qualified nurses, which means you can top-up your Nursing qualification to be recognised in Ireland and Europe in just two years. Here’s how it works.


Step 1 – Complete DIFC’s Pre-Masters Programme

The Pre-Masters programme offered by DIFC helps International students to adjust to Western styles of teaching, improve their English skills and learn critical academic skills that will be vital for being successful in your intensive Nursing degree.

Key Facts about the Pre-Masters Programme:

  • Start Dates: September & January
  • Entry Requirements: 5.0 IELTS plus an internationally recognised Diploma in Nursing
  • Course Fees: €12,600


Step 2 – Study Bachelor of Nursing (International) one year programme with St Angela’s College, Sligo

On successfully achieving a B grade in your English for Academic Purposes (EAP) module and a pass in your Research Project with DIFC, you will be eligible to progress to study the one year Bachelor of Nursing (International) programme.

This innovative top-up Bachelor of Nursing (International) programme is aimed at preparing nurses to work globally and is delivered in St. Angela’s College Sligo, a College of National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway). The degree programme is designed to ensure that students attain the academic credit to work in a variety of clinical settings.

Key Facts about the Bachelor of Nursing (International)

  • State Date: September
  • Location: Sligo in the North West of Ireland
  • Course Fees: From €10,250 (€2,000 scholarships for academic excellence may be availability)

There are also other alternatives for top-up nursing pathways via the Pre-Masters programmes with the University of Bradford and University of Salford in the UK, as well as University College Cork in Ireland.


Step 3 – Apply for Registration with the relevant Nursing Board

It is important to note, that the Bachlor of Nursing (International) programme does not automatically lead to registration with the Irish Nursing Board. This is the same for all Irish Colleges delivering nursing programmes for overseas nurses. Each person must apply independently to the Nursing Board and registration is based on original Diploma and experience as well as English Language, which is at 7.0 IELTS.

The degree however, does enhance career opportunities and makes the applicant more attractive to prospective employers.


Advantages of completing the Top-Up Nursing Pathway with DIFC and St Angela’s College

  • International Nursing qualification achieved in just 2 years
  • Adjust to western style teaching before joining the intensive top-up Nursing qualification
  • You can work part-time (up to 20 hours) during your studies with St Angela’s College, plus during the Summer (please note, you cannot work during the Pre-Masters programme)
  • If you gain registration with the Irish Nursing Board, you can stay and work full-time in Ireland for 12 months after completing your degree
  • You will obtain an internationally recognised Nursing degree which will help you with your employment in your home country and internationally

For more information about how to top-up your Nursing qualification, contact DIFC here

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