How to be a nurse in Costa Rica?

  1. I've been searching for a thread on this but I could only find the opposite. If I get my Associate's in Nursing here in the U.S. (Florida to be exact), what would I have to do to become a nurse in Costa Rica? (Btw, I might wait to get my bachelor's)

    I'm assuming that there's more to it than applying to a hospital.
  2. Visit crymar09 profile page

    About crymar09

    Joined: Jul '08; Posts: 2


  3. by   suzanne4
    You will need to have your Bachlor's degree to meet their requirements for immigration to work there. You have to go thru a licensing process as well as pass an exam in Spanish to prove your language skills.

    Applying for a job should not be considered until you get licensed there.

    You can contact their equivalent of the BON to find out the specifics to registration there, and if even possible for you to do.
  4. by   ashcook22
    I am also looking for work in Costa Rica. I am looking to move there next year and want to work as a nurse. I work currently in the NICU in FL but would accept any job. I have heard of maybe school nurses?? I would love to be in Tamarindo. I am really just looking for anyone who has any info on how to get the licensing process started and who to contact. Any ideas?? Thanks!
  5. by   ashcook22
    do you know how to get in touch with the board of nursing?
  6. by   timse
    Crymar09, I'm just curious, what motivates you to work in Costa Rica?

    I'm also a nursing student and I am also interested in possibly living in Costa Rica after I get my Bachelor's degree. Costa Rica appeals to me because it is the only country dedicated to peace. Costa Rica is also very environmentally-minded and is on the way to becoming the first carbon neutral country. About 12% of the land is in national parks! They also have a good healthcare system.

    Anyway, I was kind of surprised to find another student nurse who is interested in Costa Rica!
  7. by   Janelle VanPelt RN
    I have my nursing degree recognized by the University of Costa Rica and did a 1 yr social service assignment in order to have an unconditional license to practice nursing in C.R. This happened in 1996, Sept. thru Sept. 1997. It is not a quick process,considering I began transactions for the degree recognition in Sept. of 1994. At the time when my degree was recognized the country had just passed a new requirement for "new grads" of all health related professionals to have them serve the 1 yr. mandatory social service. I got a typical new grad salary for that year. I had already worked as a professional nurse with a BSN since June of 1988. While I was there I learned many interesting things. I'll share what I think is a VERY important detail. There are MANY more professionally prepared nurses than there are budgeted monies to pay for positions in their national health care system. There are a lot of nurses there who continue to work in positions they are over qualified for, waiting for someone to retire, or die, or for more money to become available for a new position to be created.
    I did not have to take any exam to show my Spanish proficiency. Currently my license in C.R. is considered inactive, and as far as I am aware, at any point if I should want to return and activate it, I could do so, paying the indicated fees of course. Many would consider that I was "lucky" to have had the 1 yr. service assignment that I received and I certainly agree in a way. I could have even recieved a continuation in that position, but there are more details that I will go into, only if someone is interested.
    All that being said. I don't regret for one minute the 15 months I lived in C.R. I still consider it my second home. The process for getting there can be daunting though and not for anyone who is impatient.
  8. by   sherryann
    Was just wondering, I live here in Costa Rica and travel back and forth to the USA to work.
    I have been here for four years and was under the impression that you had to have residency status in order to work legally in CR.
    If not can you give me some advice on how to obtain my license here.
    I am an RN with almost 25yrs experience ER/Trauma/ICU
  9. by   Janelle VanPelt RN
    You are correct as far as I understand things. I lived and worked there from Sept. 1996-Sept. 1997. I did a 1 yr. social service that each "new grad" nurse and any other health care professional was required to do at that time. I had actually graduated from nursing school in 1988, but since my degree was recognized by the U.C.R. in May of 1996 I was considered a new grad. Anyway, I submitted to the yr. of social service and worked there and got paid, but when it came time for me to renew my "contract" with the county where I had been working, somehow the subject of my not having a work permit came into play. I was planning to marry a C.R. man at the time, so we just moved up the date for our marriage to expedite my residency and thus the work permit. But the beaurocracy took so much time, that the position needed filling before I could produce the work permit and I lost my position. Regardless, what I understand is that there are many more graduated/professional nurses living in C.R. than what the system can pay for, so there are many overqualified people, working in nurse aid positions waiting for a budgeted position to open up, so I can't imagine that a foreign nurse would be too welcome into the workplace by the peers. Good luck with what ever you pursue though.
  10. by   sherryann
    Thank you so much for your speedy reply.
    I agree with you, things are tough here for Ticos/as.
    I do feel the same, foreign nurses not really welcomed here. Understandably so.
    Again, thank you
  11. by   Laurie Dula, NP-C
    How about Nurse Practitioners?
  12. by   Julie Slivinsky
    My husband's family is from Costa Rica and we just got back from there. I am an NP. They do not seem to have an NP role there. The closest I heard was a sort of WHCNP type role, but I don't think they could prescribe meds. Similar to the nurse situation, they also have an abundance of doctors there, so I don't know if they would ever develop an NP role, like we have in the US.
  13. by   brigrissom
    Quote from sherryann
    Was just wondering, I live here in Costa Rica and travel back and forth to the USA to work.
    I have been here for four years and was under the impression that you had to have residency status in order to work legally in CR.
    If not can you give me some advice on how to obtain my license here.
    I am an RN with almost 25yrs experience ER/Trauma/ICU
    Hi Sherry Ann,
    I am a Nurse Practitioner with dual board certification as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and an Adult Nurse Practitioner. I have been in nursing for 30 years and my life partner and I are considering moving to Costa Rica within the next 2-3 years. I read that you live in Costa Rica and are traveling back and forth to the States for work. I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit more about your experiences of living in Costa Rica. Also I am not quite ready to give up nursing yet and would be interested in any info you would be willing to share concerning working in the States while living in Costa Rica. Are you working with nurse travel agencies such as cross country nursing and what has your experience been with them? Any info you might have would be very much appreciated!
    Thank you so much,
  14. by   Christinelena
    What is a 1 year mandatory social service?