Guest blogs · International Nurses' Day

What is it like being a Student Nurse in… Ireland?


Tara McCormack

Student Nurse

Trinity College Dublin



Being a student nurse in Ireland is bitter sweet. Because of the current crisis students are really valued and appreciated at ward level. The mix of theoretical and practical elements means that the programme is well rounded. There are multiple learning opportunities and progression options. However it is extremely difficult as a student to work 39hour shifts free of charge for the first three years with many students having to work 24-36hours on top of this in their own paid employement jobs. Student grants are minimal and barely contribute to the living costs meaning many students are left burnt out and living in horrible conditions. Our training is generally four years. However I am studying BSc Children’s and General Nursing Integrated course. So this is four and a half years. It’s pretty much 50/50 practical and academia. First Year is very much about basic nursing care on the wards. Second and third year are more specialist placements – PHN, Palliative, Theatre, ED etc.. Fourth year you prepare for 4x9weeks internship so it’s an opportunity to apply everything you’ve learnt over the four years and apply it as a intern (nurse) where your considered a member of the team. My dream role is Prehospital Nursing.


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