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  • Writer's pictureABBA Personnel Services Inc.

Ireland: Join The Clan!

Filipino nurses are the most preferred nurses in hospitals and health care institutions abroad. They are prized for their outstanding skills, compassion, care and efficiency. Their ability to understand and speak the English language is one of their greatest advantages in the labor market. It’s hardly surprising, then, why the Philippines is hailed as the largest exporter of nurses in the world.

Similar to the U.S.A. and some Middle East countries, Europe also hires hundreds of Filipino nurses. The United Kingdom is the leading employer of Filipino nurses in this continent, but its neighbor Ireland is another popular destination. Since it opened its doors to Filipino nurses in 2000, Ireland has accumulated 4,265 Filipino nurses working in its institutions, many of whom have already aquired immigrant status. This number is expected to rise in the coming years due to the country’s increasing demand for foreign nurses and strong preference for Filipinos.


Ireland is not exactly a Filipino nurse’s top-of-mind destination since many of its advantages are similar to other Western countries’. However, Filipinos soon learn the unique advantages of Ireland as they study its application process and compare it with other countries’. Here are the primary things that Filipinos find out in their search, which eventually lead them to choosing Ireland:

1. Fastest deployment among Western countries. Western countries like the U.S.A., United Kingdom, Canada and Australia are some of the most preferred destinations of Filipinos. However, getting deployed to any of these will usually last for several years due to the long lead times to process the necessary requirements. One will spend months or years on a successful NCLEX result and visa priority date for the U.S.A.; a successful IELTS and CBT score for the United Kingdom; or supplementary nursing classes for Canada and Australia. A nurse applying to Ireland, on the other hand, will usually need only 4 – 6 months to pass the IELTS and submit his/her academic and professional credentials. This fast process has made Ireland comparable to the process of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the U.A.E.

2. Few and easy requirements. Applying to Ireland is not only fast, but it’s easier compared to other Western countries. It is one of the few countries that does not need Filipinos to pass its nursing board’s official exam. It also requires candidates to undergo a simple medical exam. Its nursing board’s credential evaluation also involves a simple submission of academic and professional documents. Like other English-speaking countries, Ireland requires nurses to pass the IELTS too: Its passing score, however, is slightly lower than the United Kingdom’s where 6.5 in Reading and Listening and 7.0 in Writing and Speaking are acceptable.

3. Advantages are similar to those of other Western countries’. As a European country, Ireland presents a good number of benefits to Filipino nurses such as

a. a diverse community. Through the years, Ireland has transformed from a traditional homogeneous society to a country of various nationalities. As of 2015, 20% of the country’s population came from other countries. Its population includes groups from more than 20 countries, and the Philippines is one of them. Currently, there is an estimated 12,000 Filipinos in Ireland, one third of which are nurses. You will not only feel more at home with fellow Filipinos but will also earn friends from a multitude of backgrounds with this kind of community.

b. a liberated culture with equal opportunities. Other countries may have a diverse community, but foreigners will still be treated differently. Western countries, however, are known for their general openness and fairness to the differing beliefs, customs and ideas of people from other countries. In Ireland, foreigners are allowed to think, talk and behave as how they normally would, for as long as they show the same tolerance to the locals and other foreigners. At work, locals and foreigners are treated equally in terms of salaries; career evaluation; and opportunities for promotion.

c. an opportunity to migrate. Foreigners who have fallen in love with the country can also apply as immigrants in Ireland. After a few years of being employed on work visa, Filipinos can start applying for immigrant status so that they can permanently reside in the country together with their families. Many of the applicants that our agency has deployed to Ireland from 2000 to 2007 are currently on permanent residence so the possibility for you is not so far away.

d. modern health care standards and facilities. Hospitals and health care institutions in Western countries are very particular of international standards and practices. They ensure that they strictly abide by global standards; they practice objective and scrupulous work ethic; and their methods and equipment are up-to-date. Ireland itself is considered to be one of the countries with optimal health care as it was ranked 13th out of the 195 countries on the Healthcare Assess and Quality Index of the international medical journal, The Lancet. It bested out the U.S.A. and the United Kingdom which ranked 30th and 35th respectively.

e. no placement and processing fee. Western countries understand the importance of hiring the right people for their companies so they are willing to pay a high price for their recruitment. Ireland employers are willing to pay service fees to recruitment agencies today because hiring only the best Filipino nurses become more cost-efficient in the long run. This is good for both recruitment agencies and applicants since the former will not be forced to charge any placement or processing fee to the latter anymore. As a Filipino nurse, wouldn’t you want to work for an employer who sees this much value in you, in that you wouldn’t be required to pay fees just to get a job?

This combination of advantages may be compelling enough for you to apply to Ireland, but here’s one reason why you should apply to Ireland NOW: There are very limited vacancies in Ireland and they’re expected to be completely filled up before the end of 2018! Our agency, Abba Personnel Services, Inc., can attest to this since our company has deployed the most number of Filipino nurses to Ireland among all Philippine-based recruitment agencies. We have a deep understanding of how the Ireland market operates, and that includes the frequency and volume of vacancies that come in. From our experience, we have learned that this country’s nurse vacancies usually come in big waves or batches. The latest wave started in 2016, which allowed us to deploy 220 nurses until 2017, with 40 nurses currently being processed for deployment this quarter. Ireland is a much smaller country than other Western countries so it can only accommodate a certain number of nurses in its hospitals and health care institutions.


Interested in a nursing career in Ireland? Our employer will accommodate nurses with the following qualifications:

1. minimum of 1.5 years work experience in a 150-bed capacity tertiary hospital with not more than 8 months work gap

2. NMBI decision letter. The NMBI, or the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, is the statutory body that regulates the nursing and midwifery profession in the country. It acts as the country’s version of the Philippine Regulation Commission for nurses as it provides for the registration, control and education of all nurses practicing in Ireland. An NMBI decision letter indicates the body’s assessment on a nurse applying for a position in Ireland. It informs the applicant if he / she is

a. eligible for Registration.

b. required to provide further information.

c. rejected by the NMBI.

d. required to undergo the adaptation program or take the Aptitude Test.

Filipino nurses are usually required to undergo the adaptation program: Though their education and professional background are sufficient enough to have them start as nurses in Ireland, they will need to go through the adaptation program for 12 weeks to prepare them for this different work setting. Since the program should be implemented by the hospital where they’ll be working at, this requires Filipinos to fly to Ireland as soon as they can.

Filipino nurses are learning how to get their NMBI decision letters on their own because of its ease. A nurse will only need (a) an IELTS score of 6.5 in Reading and Listening and 7.0 in Writing and Speaking and (b) a simple submission of one’s academic and professional qualifications. The NMBI decision letter can be retrieved in the absence of a sure employer and its requirements are much easier to accomplish while the nurse is still in the Philippines. A Filipino nurse with an NMBI decision letter will only have to wait for 2 more months before he/she flies to Ireland.

For more information, please visit the NMBI website.

If you are a qualified applicant, you may apply to our agency for our various vacancies in Ireland. Our employers are conducting Skype interviews among nurses who already have the two important requirements. Come and #JoinTheClan by personally visiting our office with your pertinent documents or emailing your CV to

Angelie R. Matias is an Administrative Assistant in Abba Personnel Services, Inc. She joined Abba last year and has been helping the Business Develop Department in various special projects. She took Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, major in Business Economics, in Central Luzon State University.

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