Hear about how we helped Erika Melass

My move to Ireland as a Nurse

My name is Erika Melass and here is an insight into my move to Ireland as a nurse and how Bowler Bentley Recruitment helped me do this. My husband has Irish Citizenship through the foreign birth registry and a move to Ireland was something that we had been considering for some time. As is often the case the actual decision to move by a defined date happened rather quickly and we had to scramble to get things done before we flew to Ireland.

Having done quite a bit of research beforehand into what I had to do in order to register as a nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI, also known as NMBI Decision Letter) I set about collecting all of the documentation that was required. The process of registering with NMBI as a nurse who was trained in South Africa essentially consists of two parts. The first is to establish if my qualifications and work experience as a nurse is recognized by NMBI. Once this has been established then I have to register as a nurse with them.

There is quite a lengthy process to follow for the first part. I had to contact the educational institution where I had studied in order to obtain the transcripts and syllabus relating to my studies. Considering that I had completed my initial nursing studies more than three decades previously I was somewhat skeptical that there would be any records of it. I was hugely surprised and impressed that the administrative people were most helpful and kept good archives as they were able to provide me with all of the required documents as well as complete the NMBI qualification form within a two-month period.

My original qualification certificate was in Afrikaans, and this had to be translated into English by a certified and sworn translator which was an NMBI requirement.

The next hurdle was to complete an employment history document provided by NMBI. This was submitted to my current and previous employers where I had practiced as a nurse in one form or another. Fortunately, these forms were completed very quickly by all concerned.

Yet a further requirement from NMBI was a Certificate of Good Standing which is issued by the South African Nursing Council (SANC). As the name suggests it is a certificate that confirms I am a nurse in good standing with SANC. The document is sent directly to NMBI via email and the original is then couriered by SANC to NMBI. I am pleased to say that I could track its journey and it arrived safely.

We then travelled to Ireland and arrived just in time to celebrate St Patricks Day in Dublin. It was really special as it was the first time that it had been celebrated in public in two years due to Covid restrictions.

After our arrival, I was very lucky to be introduced to Kevin Bowler who is the MD of Bowler Bentley Recruitment. They specialise in recruiting nurses from all over the world for placement at various hospitals in Ireland. Kevin went out of his way to assist me in finding work. He arranged a number of Zoom interviews that culminated in me being offered a fantastic job at a very prestigious private hospital. He also assisted me hugely with various administrative processes and I am extremely grateful for this.

I am awaiting the final outcome of the recognition of my qualifications and work experience by NMBI and so in the meantime, I am working as a healthcare assistant at this private hospital. Once recognition is granted, I will commence an adaptation period. Upon successful completion of this and approval by NMBI, I will then be appointed a Senior Staff Nurse. I can’t wait.

My journey has not been without its challenges and the odd sleepless night, but it is so worth it, and I am grateful to be embarking on a new chapter in my life.


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