RCSI Launch FNM Aptitude Test for Overseas Psychiatric Nurses

Working within the healthcare sector brings about amazing opportunities as well as being a rewarding career. There is a real sense of fulfillment when working as a nurse or midwife and providing for the community. It’s a career path that takes you on a challenging yet gratifying journey.
At Servisource, we have a range of staffing sectors including our nurse and healthcare assistant placements in permanent positions both domestically and internationally across Ireland. We are always looking for dedicated staff and in turn, we offer excellent career progression opportunities.

If you are a nurse who has received your training outside of the Republic of Ireland, your first step should be to submit an application to the NMBI for recognition of qualifications. This involves comparing your credentials to Irish educational standards and specifications. 

In September 2022, approval was obtained from the NMBI for an RCSI Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery Aptitude Test for Overseas Psychiatric Nurses, which the RCSI’s Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery (FNM) developed. The test is designed to reflect the nature of the syllabus and knowledge required for a pre-registration programme in the Republic of Ireland as per the NMBI standards and requirements. We will outline some details of the test for you, so you can be prepared for it.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

To be eligible to apply, you must have an in-date NMBI decision letter stating that:
1. It is the Psychiatric Nurses Division that applies to your application.
2. You need to successfully complete a compensation measure and that one of the compensation measures is the RCSI FNM Aptitude Test for Psychiatric Nurses.
You can find out more information about this here.

What is the Structure of the Test?

Knowing the structure of the test will allow you to be in the best position to pass it.
There are two parts to the test:

Part One:

  • Theory or knowledge test or MCQ.
  • Must be successfully completed before Part 2 can be attempted.
  • The theory test consists of a supervised online assessment of professional knowledge and understanding.
  • Multiple-choice questions (MCQs) are used.
  • A minimum pass mark of 50% must be achieved in the Theory Test.
  • Required to answer 150 questions over a three-hour period.

You can find out more about Part One here.

Nurse OK with exam results

Part Two

  • Practical or OSCE test.
  • Objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) is used.
  • OSCE is an assessment methodology that enables the applicant to demonstrate competence in a simulated practice setting, known as a station.
  • You are required to complete 14 stations.
  • Each station assesses different competencies.
  • Applicant must be deemed competent in each competency at each station in order to pass the practical part.

You can find out more about Part Two here.

Both parts of the test are based on the NMBI Standards and Requirements for Nurse Registration Education Programmes and are what a newly qualified psychiatric nurse in the Republic of Ireland must be able to achieve. The test examines your potential suitability for registration as a psychiatric nurse with the NMBI and not just the suitability to work in one specific environment.

How to Prepare for Your Test:

Like every test, preparation is key and will set you up to be in the best possible position to pass. The RCSI recommends you base your revision on the NMBI publication: NMBI (2016) Nurse Registration Programmes Standards and Requirements 4th edition. The RCSI has a helpful Test Preparation page that offers minimum background reading topics and breaks down all stations and equipment.

What is the Fee?

The fee depends on the payment source and is stated as being either 2,500 euros or 2,800 euros depending on the applicant’s circumstances. More information about fees can be found here.

The above information is a basic guide but it is advised to keep up to date on the RCSI website for more exam details and news.


We wish you the best of luck with your exam and career.

For more information on our Permanent placements or to request a callback visit:

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