Nursing Schools and Programs in Ireland
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Nursing Studies in IrelandNurses are respected worldwide for the love and care they give to their patients, but to qualify for one of these positions you first need to undergo a substantial period of education and training. Fortunately, there are now many organizations offering study abroad programs in the field of nursing; programs that give students the unique opportunity to study and live for a semester or year in a foreign country such as Ireland.
Nicknamed the “Emerald Isle,” Ireland is an island country in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the western coast of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island in the world. To the east of Ireland is Great Britain, separated by the Irish Sea and the North Channel.
Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, comprising five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, which covers the remaining area and is located in the north-east corner of the island. Ireland is home to roughly 6.4 million inhabitants, 4.6 million of which live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million in Northern Ireland.
A great place to live and study, Ireland boasts a culture that has had a significant influence on other cultures, particularly in the fields of literature, but also in the fields of science and education. Alongside its mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture also exists, represented by Gaelic games, Irish music, and the Irish language, which continues to share official status with the English language in the country, even though the number of people who speak the former is declining.
Nursing Education in Ireland
Nursing education in Ireland is widespread and available at almost all of the country’s major colleges and universities, both public and private. Many different degree and diploma options are offered in Ireland, including two-year degrees for nursing assistants and vocational nurses; and four to five year Bachelor degree programs for those seeking to become a registered nurse in the country. Graduate degree programs are also available, which allow nurses who possess a Bachelor degree to focus on a particular area of the nursing profession, often leading to a Master of Science degree in the field.
Students participating in Ireland’s undergraduate and graduate nursing programs are required to take a number of courses; courses that are interspersed with practical training in a medical setting. Some of the courses leading to these degrees include:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- General Chemistry
- Dynamics of Nursing
- Elementary Psychology
- Health Assessment
- Introd uction to Microbiology
- Nutrition Essentials
- Abn ormal Psychology
- Psychosocial Nursing
- Public Health Science
- Pediatric Nursing
A comprehensive examination or capstone project is often required for nurses in their final year of undergraduate education. Once students complete their education and training they are awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. However, before they can actually practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the country (or anywhere) they must first pass the National Nursing Examination.
Why Study Abroad in Ireland
Ireland boasts an excellent system of nursing education, with scores of high-performing universities and expert faculty members. It is also features a warm and friendly culture, with people who welcome the presence of international students. Outside of the classroom, the country plays host to an immeasurable number of sites and attractions for students to visit, including:
The Connemara Countryside
Covering 2.5 acres, of Connemara mountain countryside, this beautiful area is one of Ireland's five national parks. Students who visit this region should be on the lookout for two short, signposted nature trails, which start at the Visitor Centre in Letterfrack, affording views of the famous Ballinakill Harbor, Inishbofin and Inishark. The Connemara countryside is located in Letterfrack in the country of Galway.
The Cliffs of Moher
Situated just north of the city of Lahinch, on the coast of West Clare, are the Cliffs of Moher—one of the most breathtaking tourist attractions in Ireland. Boldly facing the Atlantic Ocean below, the Cliffs of Moher are the highest cliffs in Europe. The cliffs are also the site of ancient buildings once used as watch towers to warn of invading Vikings. From this landmark’s vantage point you can view the entire Clare coastline, the Aran Islands, and the beautiful mountains of Kerry and Connemara.
Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone
Located in County Cork, the Blarney Castle is one of Ireland’s oldest and most historic castles. An ancient stronghold of the MacCarthys, Lords of Muskerry, and one of the strongest fortresses in Munster, the castle’s walls are eighteen feet thick in places. As for the famous Blarney Stone, this symbol of Ireland is embedded in the Battlements at the top of Blarney Castle. Legend says that with one kiss of the Blarney Stone you will be bestowed with the “Gift of the Gab”—the power to talk your way into or out of any situation.