Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Deirdre Kelleghan from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

Deirdre Kelleghan

Amateur Astronomer

Smart Futures

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Deirdre Kelleghan
Being a self-employed artist is probably the most difficult job really. You need to be highly motivated in the tasks you set for yourself. You need to be able to work on your inspirations and be totally focused on your targets. If your painting does not work first time you need to be able to learn from your experience and use what worked in another piece. Your ability to have confidence in your journey exploring your choice of subjects in paint is important. As regards doing workshops, bringing fun into the entire effort is the most important element to achieve. Your audiences will learn in a more sustainable way and produce drawings to be proud of.

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Care Assistant
Lydia Peppard

Lydia Peppard
Speech and Language
Lisa Kelly

Lisa Kelly
Siobhan Canny

Siobhan Canny
Dr Jan Steiner

Dr Jan Steiner
Ambulance / Paramedic
Keith Hayes

Keith Hayes
Clinical Nurse Manager 2
Ejiro O'Hare Stratton

Ejiro O'Hare Stratton
Rachel Berry

Rachel Berry
Social Worker
Mary Ita Heffernan

Mary Ita Heffernan
Recruitment Manager
Frank Morrison

Frank Morrison
Contact Details


Can you be part of building a high quality health service for a healthier Ireland? 

Can you be part of building a high quality health service for a healthier Ireland? 

Our Opportunities... header image
How We Recruit...
What are the main entry requirements and recruitment procedures?.

How to apply

All positions in the HSE are advertised on the HSE Website. Click here for current job vacancies.

Since 2009, all recruitment has been centralised to the HSE National Recruitment Service (NRS), Arás Sláinte Chluainín, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim. The NRS can be contacted by email at

The Public Appointments Service (PAS) conducts some recruitment campaigns on behalf of the HSE. If this is the case, the job advertisement will contain a link to the Public Appointments Service.

You must use the Application Form particular to the post advertised. Applications may be downloaded, details typed in and returned by email or alternatively, you may print off the form, fill in by hand and return by post. Most application forms are compentency based and will contain guidelines on how to complete.

Completed application forms must be returned to the designated address no later than the time and date specified in the advertisement for the post. Application forms received after the closing date will not be accepted. Candidates must ensure that applications are posted/e-mailed in sufficient time to guarantee arrival not later than the latest time stipulated for acceptance.

The acceptance of an application form from a person desiring to be a candidate, or an invitation to attend for interview or any other selection method is not an admission by the organisation that the applicant possesses the prescribed qualifications or is not disqualified by law from holding the post.

For further information on completing Competency Based Application forms, please click here.


Where to go for current vacancies?

Click here to search jobs and visit our website at


Working With Us...
What are the main occupation types employed?

There are a broad range of occupations in the Health Sector.  When thinking of the Health Sector one might assume that it is mainly Doctors and Nurses, however there are a vast number of careers within the sector.  The types of careers are categorised as follows:

  • Medical: positions in the medical area include Medical Consultants, Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors, Public Health Doctors and Medical Officers.
  • Nursing: within the nursing sector positions may arise for Clinical Nurse Managers, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Staff Nurses, Theatre Nurses, Emergency Nurses, Public Health Nurses and Midwives.
  • Dental : Dental positions include Dental Surgeons and Orthodontists.
  • Allied Health and Social Care Professionals:  Included in this category are all therapies e.g. Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech & Language Therapy, Radiography, Psychology, Social Workers, Emergency Medical Technicians and Audiology.
  • Management/Administration/ICT:  There is a broad range of careers in this category from, Finance to General Administration, Human Resources, Health Promotion, Corporate Affairs and ICT.
  • General Support Staff: the roles in the general support area include: Attendants, Drivers, General Operatives, Nurses Aides, Homehelps and Supplies Officers.
  • Technical and Maintenance: these include Draughtsmen/Technicians, Electricians, Engineer/Engineering Officers, Maintenance Craftsmen/Technicians, Mechanics, Plasterers, Plumbers and Technical Services Officers.
  • Catering and Housekeeping: opportunities include Catering Officers, Chefs, Cooks, Dining Room Staff, Housekeeping Staff, Porters and Laundry Staff.


What types of work contract are offered?

The HSE offers both permanent and temporary employment opportunities. 

While there has been a reduction in the level of recruitment due to the Government moratorium on recruitment and promotions introduced in 2009, the HSE continues to recruit in many skill areas.

To check for available vacancies within the HSE click here.


What are the key attractions?

As an employer, our aim is to attract and retain good people. This means taking care of our employees. Working in a rewarding and challenging career is just one of the many benefits you'll enjoy as a HSE employee. Here are some of the other benefits on offer:

Competitive salary and increments

There are too many careers within the health sector to outline what the salary scale for each one is, however the Health Service pay scales can be found on the the HSE Website. Please click here to view.

Pension Scheme - click here

Travel and Subsistence click here

Time Off - Leave and family friendly working arrangements click here

Training and Development Opportunities click here
Health Services Staff Credit Union click here

Cycle to Work Scheme click here

Mediation Service click here


What locations do you operate from?

The HSE delivers Services nationwide.  For more information click here


What are the current employment trends?

There are skills shortages in certain areas such as Consultants, Nurses in theatre and ICU and GPs.

A detailed analysis of demand and supply for various health professions was conducted by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit, which provides details of possible skill shortages based on an analysis of demand and domestic supply for a variety of health care professions. To view the report, please click here.

All vacancies in the HSE are advertised on the HSE website.  To view vacancies, please click here.


Describe any particular characteristics of your workforce?

The HSE is committed to having the right number of people, with the right skills, in the right place, and at the right time.

We are committed to impementing our Health Services People Strategy, which recognises that engaging, developing, valuing and retaining our workforce, enables them to deliver the best possible care and services to our patients and clients.

We recognise that well managed and engaged employees’ leads to better healthcare outcomes for patients. This Strategy will allow us to maximise the potential of all of our staff through the provision of an engaging work environment. By creating a culture of innovation and support our people can use their talents and abilities to lead change and bring about quality improvements at all levels.


Who We Recruit...
Career opportunities for school leavers.

Click here to visit our website.


Career opportunities for college graduates.

Click here to visit our website.


Career opportunities for experienced talent.

Click here to visit our website.


Career opportunities for adults wishing to return to work.

 Click here to visit our website.


Opportunities for those wishing to gain work experience.

There is no national policy on work experience in the HSE. You are advised to check with your local HSE office/service if you are interested in work experience in the sector. 


Education and Training... header image
What qualifications are required?

All positions within the health sector have minimum qualifications attached to them. Certain professions, e.g nursing, medicine, and therapies require that you study and qualify in that particular area. 

There are many positions within the health sector with very varied qualifications, therefore there is something for everybody.  To check out the eligibility criteria for many positions in the HSE, please click here.

All positions are advertised on and  job specifications will outline the minimum qualifications required for that particular post. 


What are the typical routes into this sector?

There are numerous entry routes into the various roles within the Organisation. Opportunities are available for school leavers, college graduates, return to work adults and so on.

All positions in the HSE are advertised on the HSE Website Recruitment is now centralised to the HSE National Recruitment Service (NRS), Arás Sláinte Chluainín, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim.

The Public Appointments Service (PAS) conducts some recruitment campaigns on behalf of the HSE. If this is the case, the job advertisement will contain a link to the Public Appointments Service.

Recruitment to positions in the HSE is subject to the provisions of the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act, 2004 (the Act) and is regulated by the Commission for Public Service Appointments (CPSA.) Therefore appointments made to the HSE must comply with the core of principles of probity, merit, equity and fairness might be applied on a principle basis. All suitably qualified candidates are eligible to apply for positions with the HSE.

Explore Occupations in the Medical and Healthcare area here


Meet our People...
"Our main aim is to maintain a child in the care of its parents and all supports and interventions are given in an effort to achieve this"
Social Worker
Mary Ita Heffernan
"Work within the HSE is usually very challenging and tends to keep you on your toes. You won't get bored"
Recruitment Manager
Frank Morrison
"The role of a paramedic is very demanding and it is challenging to ensure the patient receives the best level of care"
Ambulance / Paramedic
Keith Hayes
"I enjoy the fact that there is a lot of patient contact and that we have the opportunity to make a real difference to people's lives"
Rachel Berry
"We also attend to Caesarean deliveries and assist the mothers and fathers with the immediate care of the new born"
Siobhan Canny
"I spend four mornings a week in a local primary school where there are two language units"
Speech and Language
Lisa Kelly
"I believe that it would be very helpful for every doctor to work as a nurse or nursing aid, at some stage in their career."
Dr Jan Steiner
"The person coming into the job would need to be patient, able to negotiate and work under pressure, as well as work on their own initiative"
Clinical Nurse Manager 2
Ejiro O'Hare Stratton
"I could be on the wards assessing staff performance or assessing the practical skills of those staff doing their FET Level 5 training"
Care Assistant
Lydia Peppard

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Global Opportunities... header image
Are there overseas opportunities available?

Healthcare is an international sector and therefore qualified healthcare professionals generally will be able to find suitable and relevant employment abroad.


Are there opportunities in this sector for non-Irish nationals?

While the HSE is an equal opportunities employer, in line with current Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation work permit requirements, applications from non European Economic (EAA), Bulgarian or Romanian citizens will only be considered in the event that an EAA citizen cannot be found to fill a vacancy. However, we welcome applications from holders of the following documents;

  • Work Visa
  • Work Permit
  • Work Authorisation

EEA nationals who do not require work permits / visas / authorizations are nationals of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Romania.

Non- European Economic Area applicants who reside within the State

In order that the National Recruitment Service can process your application it will be necessary for you to submit the following scanned documentation:

A scanned copy of your passport showing your identification i.e.the first page of your passport showing your photograph and personal details and current immigration stamp showing you have permission to be in this State


A scanned copy of your current Certificate of Registration (GNIB card) showing Stamp 1, Stamp 4/ 4EUfam, Stamp 5


A scanned copy of your current Certificate of Registration (GNIB card) showing Stamp 3 and scanned copy of the following:
Marriage / Civil Partnership Certificate


Spouse's passport showing their identification and current immigration stamp and their current GNIB card showing Stamp 1,4, or 5.


If your spouse holds a Stamp 2 for the purposes of PhD study, please include a copy of their passport showing their identification and current immigration stamp and their current GNIB card showing Stamp 2 and documentary evidence from the relevant educational institution showing that they are a PhD student.

Applications that are not accompanied by the above documents where necessary will be considered incomplete and will not be processed any further. This means that your application will not be submitted for the ranking exercise and subsequent invitation to interview.
For more details on EEA countries please see visit the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation website

Please note:
The HSE welcomes applications from suitably qualified Non-EEA Nationals that have refugee status. We would be grateful if such applicants would provide documentary evidence confirming their status.



About this Sector... header image
Please give an overview of your sector?

The Health Services provide thousands of different services in hospitals, health facilities and communities throughout Ireland. These range from public health nurses treating older people in the community, to caring for children with challenging behaviour, from educating people on how to live healthier lives to performing highly-complex brain surgery, from planning of major emergencies to controlling the spread of infectious diseases.

At some stage every year, everybody in Ireland will use one or more of the services provided. They are of vital importance to the whole population.


What is the size and scope of the sector?

The Mission of the Health Service in Ireland is to 'Improve the Health and Wellbeing of People in Ireland'. We aim to ensure that :

  • People in Ireland are supported by health and social care services to achieve their full potential and
  • Can access safe, compassionate and quality care when they need it and
  • Can be confident that we will deliver the best health outcomes and value through optimising our resources

The HSE is the largest organisation in the State, employing over 105,000 people, with expenditure in the region of of €13 billion, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Almost every one of us will use a service provided by the HSE during any given year.  

An employee of the Health Services could be working in an Acute Hospital setting, a Community-based setting, a Residential Care Home, a regional office or have a corporate function to name but a few.

The following are the categories of staff employed by the HSE:


  • Consultants - Specialty areas
  • Area Medical Officers
  • Chief Medical Officer
  • Senior House Officers
  • Registrars
  • Psychiatrists
  • Public Health Doctors


  • Dental Surgeon
  • Dental Craftsman
  • Dental Nurse 


  • Clinical Nurse Managers
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Clinical Nurse Managers - Specialty areas
  • Staff Nurses - All Disciplines
  • Staff Nurses - Speciality Areas
  • Public Health Nurses
  • Midwives

Allied Health and Social Care Professionals

  • Physiotherapists (Basic Grade, Senior, Manager)
  • Radiography (Basic Grade, Senior, Manager)
  • Speech and Language Therapy (Basic Grade, Senior, Manager)
  • Occupational Therapy (Basic Grade, Senior, Manager)
  • Social Work (Basic Grade, Senior, Manager)
  • Emergency Medical Technicians
  • Audiologist
  • Dietitian
  • Orthoptics
  • Psychologist

Science / Laboratory

  • Analytical Chemist
  • Biochemist
  • Medical Scientist
  • Pathology technician
  • Physicists

Management /Admin / ICT

  • General Administration
  • Specialist Areas:
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • ICT
  • Corporate Affairs etc

General Support Staff

  • Attendants
  • Drivers
  • General Operatives
  • Nurses Aides (Care Assistant)
  • Homehelps
  • Supplies Officers

Technical and Maintenance

  • Draughtsman/Technician
  • Electrician
  • Engineer/Engineering Officer
  • Maintenance craftsman/technican
  • Mechanic
  • Plasterer
  • Plumber
  • Technical Services Officer

Catering and Housekeeping

  • Catering Officers
  • Chefs
  • Cooks
  • Dining Room Staff
  • Housekeeping Staff
  • Porters
  • Laundry Staff

All our positions are advertised on .


What are the current issues affecting this sector?

Recruitment and promotions in the Health Services currently operates on the basis of the Pay and Staff Numbers Strategy.  This means that each employer needs to operate within their own budget and all senior posts must be sanctioned by the Department of Health.

It is Government policy, in the case of Medical Consultants, to move to a consultant delivered service, and in the case of the other grades to increase their numbers in order to meet the requirements of integrated care delivery and address community and primary care needs particularly in respect of children at risk, the elderly and those with disabilities.

Reiterating his commitment to the recruitment and retention of 1,208 additional nurses and midwives in 2017, the Minister for Health has also confirmed that there will be an 130 additional undergraduate nursing places available on college courses for 2017 entrants.


What changes are anticipated over the next 5 years

The HSE's Corporate Plan 2015-2017 sets out how we aim to improve the health service over these three years.

We want to provide a health service which becomes world class, is available to people where they need it and when they need it. It should provide people with the very best outcomes which can be achieved, as this is what everyone who uses our services expects. We have therefore set ambitious goals and priorities which will stretch us. We may not be able to achieve all of them but we will certainly make every effort to do so.

Safer, Better Healthcare and ensuring that the patient is at the heart of everything we do are central to our Strategy. This emphasis seeks to ensure that people’s experience of the health service is not only safe and of high quality, but also caring and compassionate.

The delivery of better quality care requires that the HSE puts in place the most effective clinical care pathways that are integrated across acute, community and residential care settings. This is necessary to ensure that patients and service users are supported at all stages of the care journey and in the setting that is most appropriate to their needs.

To deliver on this and as part of the health service reform programme, seven Hospital Groups and nine Community Healthcare Organisations have now been established. Delivery of the National Clinical Programmes will take place through these new structures. Work will continue in 2015 to ensure that these integrated clinical programmes are embedded as part of the operational service delivery system.

Ongoing improvements of our Health Services have a particular focus on:
a) key infrastructural changes such as Hospital Groups and Community Healthcare Organisations;
b) service improvements in areas such as integrated care and services for people with a disability; and
c) strategic enablers such as the individual health identifier. The following are the key reform programmes being progressed:

  • Continued developments of Hospital Groups, including the National Children’s Hospital.
  • Continued development of the Community Healthcare Organisations.
  • Strenghening of the clinically led, multidisciplinary, patient centred Integrated Models of Care Programmes
  • Continue to develop and implement ICT reform in line with the eHealth Strategy under the leadership of the Chief Information Officer.
  • Implement the Health Services People Strategy 2015-2018.
  • Strenghten our efforts to attract high quality staff to our Services, particularly in occupations such as medicine and nursing.
  • Continue to implement Healthy Ireland, which is our national framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Ireland.
  • Continue to embed health and wellbeing goals and key performance indicators throughout all reform programmes for both staff and service users.





Do you have any statistics relevant to the sector?

There are currently 108,225 people employed in the Public Health Service in Ireland. This includes the following Staff Category / Grade group breakdown:

a) 9,587 Medical/Dental

b) 35,534 Nurses

c) 15,109 Health and Social Care Professionals

d) 16,554 Management/ Administration

e) 9,444 General Support Staff

f) 19,648 Other Patient and Client Care

Source: HSE March 2017

A significant number of people are also employed in the independent and private health care sectors, which includes GP practices, private hospitals and clinics.

Employees of the HSE bring a range of skills, talents, diverse thinking and experience to the organisation. The HSE is committed to creating a positive working environment whereby all employees inclusive of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependents, age, physical or mental disability, civil status, membership of the Traveller community, and geographic location are respected, valued and can reach their full potential. We aim to develop the workforce of the HSE which reflects the diversity of HSE service users, and which is strengthened through accommodating and valuing different perspectives, ultimately resulting in improved service-user experience.


Are there any areas in your sector currently experiencing skills shortages?

Yes - there are certain career areas within the HSE that are currently experiencing skills shortages.

These include:

  • Medical grades, including Consultant and Non Consultant Hospital Doctors (NCHD)
  • Health and Social Care Professionals and
  • Nursing grades. 


The main skills shortages are for NCHDs and Consultants in the areas of Emergency Medicine and Psychiatry, particularly in certain locations of the country.

There is also evidence of a significant undersupply of GPs in Ireland at present. By 2025, the predicted shortage of GPs here will potentially range from 493 to 1,380 due to increased levels of access to free GP care.


In the Nursing area, there is a shortage of Nurses in Theatre, Emergency Medicine, Midwifery and Mental Health.  

All 1,500 Nurses graduating this year will be able to access permanent jobs in hospitals across the country and other areas of the health service. 

Allied Health Professions

There is evidence that there will be shortages in some Allied Health Professions such as Speech and Language Therapy, certain Audiology grades and some other therapy grades.

Did you know ...

By 2025, the predicted shortage of GPs here will potentially range from 493 to 1,380 due to increased levels of access to free GP care.


About Us... header image

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is responsible for providing Health and Personal Social Services for everyone living in the Republic of Ireland. The HSE provides thousands of different services in hospitals and communities across the country.  

These services range from public health nurses treating older people in the community to caring for children with challenging behaviour; from educating people how to live healthier lives to performing highly-complex brain surgery; from planning for major emergencies to controlling the spread of infectious diseases. At some stage every year, everybody in Ireland will use one or more of the services provided. They are of vital importance to the entire population.

The HSE is the largest employer in the state, with over 100,000 employees. More than 67,000 are direct employees, the remainder are employed by agencies funded by the HSE. The HSE aims to be an Employer of Choice, and offers a wide range of challenging career opportunities that enable our staff to make an important contribution to the health services, to public service and to the lives of everyone living in Ireland.

The HSE is divided into various functions listed below:

  • Acute Services
  • Primary Care
  • Social Care
  • Mental Health
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • National Cancer Control Programme
  • Quality & Patient Safety
  • Clinical Strategy & Programmes
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Communications
  • Health Business Services
  • Audit

We aim to deliver healthcare by living our values of Care, Compassion, Trust and Learning.  For more information please see our Corporate Plan 2015-2017.