Nursing Studies QQI Level 5 Course Code: (5M4349)


This programme introduces learners to the theories and practices of nursing care.  It is a valuable foundation course for those who wish to pursue a career as a registered nurse or that as a healthcare assistant. The course incorporates a broad knowledge base, in all aspects of healthcare and provides students with a working knowledge of hospitals, nursing homesdisability and community based services. 


  • Candidates should be of Leaving Certificate standard or equivalent.
  • Abbeyleix FETC welcomes applications from mature students.  Applicants are assessed on relevant life and work experience.
  • All entries are subject to interview.
  • Applicants are required to complete an online assessment before commencing a course.  This assessment confirms if the applicant has the required level of English and Maths (if applicable) to complete a Level 5 course.
  • Garda Vetting: At the start of the course students are requested to complete the Garda Vetting process. Completing this process and receiving clearance is a mandatory requirement for work placement. 


  • Anatomy & Physiology (Mandatory)
  • Human Growth & Development (Mandatory)
  • Nursing Theory & Practice (Mandatory)
  • Communications (Mandatory)
  • Work Experience (Mandatory)
  • Intellectual Disability Studies
  • Palliative Care Support
  • Safety & Health at Work
  • Care of the Older Person

Additional Certification 

  • Patient Manual Handling
  • CPR & AED
  • PHECC Training

*Subject to change


1 academic year full time – 5 days per week


Holders of a QQI Level 5 Certificate in Nursing Studies may seek employment as a Healthcare Assistant in hospitals, nursing homes, community, and disability sectors. 


Students can apply for entry, on a competitive basis, to the Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and Midwifery in Irish Universities, Technological Universities and also to UK Universities. 


There are no tuition fees payable to Abbeyleix Further Education and Training Centre. However, please note there are costs involved in taking a course e.g. materials, additional training and QQI exam fees. A student registration fee must be paid on joining the course.


VTOS/PLC places are available on the course (please contact the Centre for further information). The range of financial support available to students includes: Student Maintenance Grant (SUSI) and the Back to Education Allowance. For further information click on HEA Student Finance and SUSI

*Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board reserves the right to refuse course admission and/or completion.


Certificate in Nursing Studies Level 5


Abbeyleix FETC

Mountrath Road


County Laois

R32 TX30


Start Date: September 2022                                     

End Date: June 2023


  • Study Room
  • Free Parking
  • Disabled Parking
  • Canteen


Helen Kavanagh, Centre Manager



(057) 873 1127


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Centre Opening Times

Monday 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed
* Bank Holidays and Public Holidays – Closed



Read what our past students have to say about their experience with the Healthcare Programme courses at Abbeyleix FETC

“Returning to education was a new beginning for me. I initially studied QQI Level 5 Nursing Studies at Abbeyleix FETC and worked for a number of years in the childcare sector. When I saw a QQI Level 5 Healthcare Support course advertised in 2017-2018, I decided to merge my former learning and skills, with my intention of securing employment as a healthcare assistant. Thankfully with the encouragement and support from all staff including my teachers, my time here was truly enjoyable. Making new friends to whom I’m still in contact with was such an added bonus. By following my choice of career as a healthcare assistant, through my studies at Abbeyleix FETC, I found that it gave me courage to seek employment again. I now work as a healthcare assistant for the CPL agency. I am based between The Irish Prison Service, Portlaoise and the Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore. I find myself referring and reflecting back upon the skills and theory that I have learnt in Abbeyleix FETC on a daily basis. This learning and knowledge will stay with me for my life time. Abbeyleix FETC has given me the opportunity to follow the path of my choice of career and secure employment. Attending Abbeyleix FETC was a fantastic experience for me and it has given me the confidence in myself in which I felt I had lost. Thank you so much for your enormous support and encouragement to keep me going. I am truly grateful to all of the staff at Abbeyleix FETC. I wish you and all upcoming students the very best of luck in the future.”
Bridget Moore
Healthcare Support 2017/2018