Students on this one-year programme will gain practical experience in healthcare clinical settings which, combined with an insight into theories relating to the nursing profession, will enable them to deliver high standards of care. Furthermore, this course will facilitate progression to third-level Nursing programmes. The first year of the programme will be delivery locally by SligoCFE and successful candidates will progress to complete their remaining years on the BSc (Hons) in General Nursing Studies at ATU campuses in Castlebar, Letterkenny or Sligo.


Education: Entry Requirements:

  • Leaving Certificate- Grade O6/H7 or better in five Leaving Certificate subjects. Leaving Certificate must include English or Irish and Mathematics.
  • Maths at F2 is acceptable to meet the minimum Maths entry requirement
  • Irish at F2 is acceptable to meet the minimum language requirements. OR *A Full level 5/6 QQI award


  • Mature applicants - (aged 23 on or before 1st January of the course commencement year) - These applicants do not have to meet the minimum entry requirements listed here and are considered on an individual basis (previous education, work experience, and demonstration of competence to undertake the programme) OR
  • Access programme (LCA students can gain access to this programme following completion of an access programme) OR
  • An applicant who is a minimum of 17 years of age with at least 2 years post Junior Certificate relevant experience. All applicants must demonstrate that they would qualify for the special rate of maintenance grant under the Student Grant Scheme (SUSI) and/or are in receipt of a Department of Social Protection (DSP) long-term means-tested social welfare payment and/or be from one or more of the priority groups or from any priority group identified as part of the next National Access Plan (2022-2028).
  • Applicants must demonstrate competence to undertake the programme.
  • Holders of a qualification that meets the requirements for entry to the Nursing Degree in ATU who have satisfactorily met the criteria and the specific module requirements are not eligible to apply for this course.
  • Holders of a level 8 NFQ qualification are not eligible to apply for this course.
  • Applicants who are currently enrolled at undergraduate level within HEI are not eligible to apply for this course.
  • Priority will be given to persons who reside in the cluster region, Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Roscommon.
  • Applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to provide evidence of English Language Proficiency through one of the following mechanisms: 1. A valid certificate in English language from one of the institutions listed below. 2. English language proficiency assessment conducted by relevant ETB during the enrolment process. 3. Recognition of prior learning, which may be applied to students who have, in the previous 12 months, successfully achieved a full award in a cognate discipline at an appropriate level on the National Framework of Qualifications, e.g., at NFQ Level 5 if applying for a course at NFQ Level 6. Minimum B2 in all skills on entry. * International Examinations: Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE), Minimum Grade - Grade B or higher * International Examinations: Cambridge Advanced (CAE), Minimum Grade - Borderline Fail Min 170 points * International Examinations: Cambridge Proficiency (CPE), Minimum Grade- Unsuccessful With min. 170 points * International Examinations IELTS, Minimum Grade 6 Note: IELTS certificates are only valid two years from the date of assessment. It is recommended that the same validity duration is applied to all other examinations.
  • Aptitude: Applicants must demonstrate competence to undertake the programme.

Course Content

  • Anatomy & Physiology 5N0749
  • Human Growth & Development 5N1279
  • Infection Prevention & Control 5N3734
  • Care Support 5N0758
  • Care Skills 5N2770
  • Communications 5N0690
  • Nursing Theory & Practice 5N3425
  • Nutrition 5N2006
  • Work Experience 5N1356
  • First Aid Response
  • People Manual Handling


Year one of this programme which is completed locally at SligoCFE, will enable the student to acquire the knowledge, skill, and competence to work under supervision in a variety of hospital and other healthcare settings as part of their progression to higher education and training.


There are no fees in Year 1. Normal HEI Fees apply in Year 2 and subsequent years.