A third of non-Irish enrolments in Nursing come from Asia

By Gerry O Sullivan

Posted: 29 September, 2017

Student Nurse Population is 90% Female

Asia supplies over a third of new international entrants to nursing degrees in Ireland.  However the total enrolment of non-Irish students is only 4%.

The vast majority of Irish graduates with nursing degrees (96%) remain in Ireland for work immediately after graduation, according to new statistics published by the Higher Education Authority (HEA). The HEA study also found that 90% of those studying nursing are female. About 1,800 students will commence studying nursing at undergraduate or postgraduate level this month.


The ‘Nursing Fact Sheet’ looks at the student profile of those studying or graduating in nursing from Irish higher education institutions. It finds that 20% of nursing students come from Dublin while 9% have Cork addresses.

Among the key findings –

  • Overall nursing new entrants decreased by 6% between 2011/12 and 2015/16 but while full-time undergraduate nursing enrolments decreased by 3%, enrolments in postgraduate nursing courses increased by 43%. This reflects a small but growing shift to nursing as a postgrad programme.
  • 48% of Irish nursing new entrants were in receipt of a SUSI grant in 2015/16 (compared to 46% of all Irish new entrants in the same year)
  • 90% of nursing new entrants are female
  • 4% of nursing new entrants are non-Irish
  • Of the 2015 nursing graduate cohort, 94% are in employment nine months after graduation
  • 98% of nursing graduates employed in Ireland are working in Health Services
  • 71% of undergraduate nursing graduates are earning between €25,000 and €45,000 (compared to 50% of all graduates), 28% are earning <€25,000 (compared to 47% of all graduates) and 1% are earning €45,000 or more (compared to 3% of all graduates)
  • 44% of male postgraduate nursing graduate are earning €45,000 or more compared to 41% of females in the same cohort
  • The vast majority of Irish nursing graduates are remaining in Ireland for work (96%) compared to 88% of non-Irish Nursing graduates

OriginPercentage of Enrolment
Other EU35
North America7
Europe - non-EU3
South America1

Higher Education Factsheet - Nursing