Nursing in France - page 12

Is there anyone who can fill me in on RN jobs in France. I prefer the city hospiitals, I work in ICU currently. I have many years exp in Med Surg also. Would like to hear from someone. If you know about pay scale and such... Read More

  1. 0
    Hello everyone,
    I'm looking to make a contact with anyone who has written an entrance exam in a French nursing school. I'm a Canadian nurse, recently relocated to South France and I'm in a process of preparing for exams which will be taking place from mid of March. I'm aware of the process, but interested in hearing about experiences of other foreign nurses living and working in France. Since I'm not a European national, I have to do at least 2 (or 1 year if I'm lucky) out of 3 years of nursing school here. Also, I have a quick question. Is ICU nursing here is a specialty (like pediatric, psychiatric, OR and anesthesia nursing?) and requires additional courses or is it "on the job training" process? I was an ICU nurse in Canada.
    Thank you very much. Looking forward to hearing from you all.

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  2. 0
    Hi Canuck1

    I'm an American licensed nurse living in France and yes I have taken the written exam last Oct. Unfortunately I did not pass it. It was very difficult and I was only living in France for 8 months when I took it. Before moving here I didn't know any french so my chances was very slim, but I tried it anyway. None of the foreign nurses that took the exam with me passed. There were only 6 of us out of about 600 candidates; the rest were french citizens. In addition they only have room for 62 students. I spoke with the school director and she said this exam's purpose is to find out if we have mastered the french language. The grading system is very strict. They take off points for every mistakes including spelling, punctuation, etc. If you are fluent in french (written and orally), then you should have a chance to pass it. But note that even for those born in France has extreme difficulties with the IFSI entrance exams. Some even take preparatory courses. As for me I will try again once I've mastered the language.

    here are the 3 specialisations:

    - Puéricultrice
    - Infirmière anesthésiste (IADE)
    - Infirmière de bloc opératoire (IBODE)

    This info can be found at All that is about nursing in France is on this website. It even has practice questions for all the 3 exams you need to pass.

    Good luck!

    Last edit by roe8 on Mar 4, '09
  3. 0
    Hi all,

    Are there any foreign nurses (outside the EU) in this thread who have suceeded in becoming a nurse in France or in getting their diploma equivalent in France? I can't seem to find any statistics about this. After reading so many disappointing informations, I'm becoming convinced that its near impossible.

    Thank you!! Any help or new info is appreciated.

  4. 0
    Hi Roe,

    Thank you very much for your reply. I have done some preparation for the exam and I speak and write French. I arrived in France in December, so I did not have as much time to prepare, but I did not have to start learning the language from the beginning like you did. It does not mean anything of course, and I know that the grading system is strict. Since you have had the experience of writing the test, I have a few more questions for you. I am under impression that foreign nurses fall under a different category and that we don't have to compete with the rest of French candidates. Do you know if you had the same questions on the exam as the rest of the candidates and did you have the same amount of time to write the test or less? I find it difficult to deal with French administration, because no one seems to have a clear answer. Several sources provide different info.
    I thought I would comment on your last posting also. I don't know personally another foreign nurse here, but when I spoke to the secretary in one of the schools here in Toulouse, she told me that last year they have taken one Canadian nurse and two from Eastern Europe. So it seems that, in fact, that it's possible for a foreign nurse to succeed here.
    Where about in France do you live? I'm in Toulouse. Do you enjoy life here and are you planning to settle permanently or this is just an adventure?

    Thank you again for you help. Looking forward to your answer.
  5. 0
    Hi Canuck1,

    The exams for foreign nurses is different and shorter. We only have to take the "epreuve de culture générale" that lasts 1h30. It consists of 5 small texts with questions that we have to answer and elaborate on. Our questions are a bit more specific because they expect us to know more than the students who just got their bac. You should start reading about the french culture and the health statistics here. I actually knew each topic well and you probably know them as well. I did lack some vocabulary primarily medical jargon that I needed to express myself. Just be careful not to have any grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors.

    Yes we do not have to compete with the other candidates as supposedly they are open to accept 2% of foreigners. So in my case they could have only accepted 1-2 foreigners assuming that they have passed all 3 exams.

    There are a lot of ambivalent information here which makes it so frustrating. Even the school director didn't seem to be comfortable to provide me detailed information, or maybe she doesn't even know.

    Anyway I'm living in Paris and will be likely staying permanently.

    Hope this helps,

  6. 0
    Hi Roe,

    thank you very much for a quick response. It seems that I've got all the info regarding the test for foreign nurses right. I think I'm in the same boat as you are, because even though I speak French, I lack in medical terminology. But oh, well, I will try anyway.
    As I'm relatively new here, I don't have many contacts. I'm wondering if you are interested at all in keeping in touch.
    Passe un bon week-end et a bientot.

  7. 0
    Dear Canuck1

    Sure we can keep in touch.

    Good luck!!

  8. 0
    Hi Everyone!! Thanks for all of the information. I'm an Australian nurse living in Montpellier for one year. I have post graduate education in Oncology/haematology and Apheresis.

    I would like to stay longer but it seems almost impossible for me to nurse here. I would love some more information on becoming and "aide-soignant". How good does your french have to be? I can get my point across in french and Im taking pretty intensive lessons to improve but I'm nowhere near ready for an exam I'm going to need to work as SOMETHING to stay here. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Also, are there any nurses in Montpellier that are interested in a language exchange?

    Yours hopefully, Meg
  9. 2
    Hi Meg,
    your French must be, in fact, quite good to work here in France. If you have your work visa, you can try to apply to any hospital in Montpellier to work as an "aide-soignant". I'm sure you will not have a problem getting a job, because I know for a fact than we (nurses from USA, Canada, Australia and NZ whose diplomas are not recognized here) can work as nursing assistants. With huge shortages of any personnel hospitalier here, you will be able to get a job.
    As far as exam realize that this is not an exam to get the licence...this is exam to enter a nursing school here.... This is more applicable for nurses who are intending to settle here. If you are only staying here for a year or so, I do not think that it would be in your plans to go to nursing school...If you had more time, you could have pulled some strings, like lobying a Minister of health, to avoid going to school. I know someone who has done it in the past. After all you have a post-grad degree and tons of knowledge. This level of nursing does not even exist here.
    For additional language experience you can join a language club in Montpellier. I'm sure it exists, as we have one here in Toulouse.
    Good luck,
    Gingilly and meg5090 like this.
  10. 0
    Hello Dudette. I am looking to move to France in a couple of years. I am currently in school for my RN in the USA. I would love to speak to you more about the nursing practice in France and also ask you some questions about life in general in France.
    Thank yourdnrs:

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