Education

Students bearing the brunt of oversubscribed nursing courses

As CAO points skyrocket across the country after the introduction of predicted grades, many colleges are witnessing entry requirements reach an all-time high.

UL’s latest crop of nurses started their four year Nursing journey today.

One such course that has been affected by these increased points is Nursing, which has experienced a huge jump in points.

Nursing entry requirements ranges from 462 points in UCD, to 475 and 498 in UL and UCC respectively, however, not all applicants with the points required received a place on the course.

The points really come to a peak in NUIG, where entry requirements are asking for a whopping 502 points in order to secure a place.

A flawed system?

Many nurses across the country believe the system is flawed and needs a revamp, with courses such as nurses requiring an interview combined with CAO points in order to measure candidates’ suitability.

Dr.Irene Cassidy, Lecturer and Course Director of Nursing in UL feels that although the places are extremely competitive, there is a valid reason as to why this is the case.

“The growing body of research, patient acuity and complexity of care, demands higher-order critical thinking skills, necessary for the provision of safe, high-quality care. 

“The rising points reflect the recognition and value of nursing and midwifery as complex, evidence-based professions,” Dr Cassidy said

However, she feels the introduction of interviews would have its “advantages and challenges”, saying:

“It would potentially allow an opportunity for students to present a personal picture of their motivations and enthusiasm for commencing an undergraduate programme,” Dr Cassidy added.

Alternative access routes

Many suitable nursing candidates have missed out on places due to the highly competitive points required, forcing students to complete PLC courses in order to get a place in college.

Pre-nursing student Aisling O’ Sullivan knows only too well the struggle of achieving these entry requirements: 

“After not getting the points in Nursing, I now have to complete a PLC course for the year at home. 

“I’ve always wanted to be a nurse and was always told I’d get on great in the field. It is tough watching all my friends move away from home to experience college life, especially when I thought I would most definitely achieve the points. 

“I never expected them to jump this high and I do feel at a disadvantage. Many other students who are much more book-smart than me will have succeeded with the entry requirements and yet I have not, despite my best efforts,” Aisling concluded.


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