Nursing in France - page 13

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

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    Hi Canuck1,

    Thank you for your encouragement but I've hit a speed bump. Problem: To become an aide-soignant with eu status you also need to complete an exam and then do a practical placement to obtain equivelancy. To get nursing equivelancy I still need to sit an exam and start at uni. The problem is I only have one year here as that was the only way to get a working visa without an employer. In retrospect I should have applied for a student visa and enrolled into nursing school here. That way i could have stayed longer and worked as an aide-soignant at the same time. Now Im not sure what to do. I was thinking of trying to be an aid-de-vie. (help out the oldies in their homes). This involves putting ads in the paper. A bit scarier and not really what I was planning for my time here. Oh well, I guess I cant be fussy now. For future nurses planning on coming here who are not from the eu..a word of advice..its really hard and despite my extra qualifications the only way to nurse is to go back to uni here.

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    My husband is getting his MBA in Grenoble, France. I am hoping to go with him in the Fall. It seems like it might be hard for me to get a nursing job! I am a Bachelor's prepared RN with 4 years ICU experience. I also have my Master's in acute care. I am a licensed Nurse Practitioner with prescriptive authority. I would hate to have to be an aide soignant/nursing assistant after all that schooling. I have considered trying to get my PhD in France, but have had hard time finding nursing school programs online. Any suggestions on what I should do?

    Also, I don't really speak French...yet. I am currently learning and hope to take an immersion class!

    ANY advice would be appreciated!

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    Hi Sarah! I'm an American nurse married to a French national and I've been living in France for the past 5 years. Although it was never my intention to work here, I was curious to see if I could work in Paris with my BSN if I chose to. Unfortunately, I found out that France does not recognize a nursing diploma outside of the EU (as mentioned in several previous posts). You also have to be very fluent in the language in order to work here as a nurse. From what I read in some french nursing sites, you would need to attend a nursing school here in France (Instituts de Formation en Soins Infirmiers-IFSI) and obtain a french diploma first.

    Here's a site in french that explains the process:

    So yes, it's true. It's very difficult for American nurses who don't speak french well to work as a nurse in France.

    If you're interested in what the pay is like, here's an example:

    Good luck!
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    hi sarah,
    happy easter first of all...unfortunately i would have to join katiare and to confirm her answer to your question. as an american nurse you would have to go to a nursing school here in france, no matter how many years of experience and education you've got under your belt. this, in fact, is half of the problem if you plan to settle here and to eventually work as a nurse. the main problem is to enter a nursing school here. frankly, if you don't have a good command of french language, you don't stand a chance to pass an entrance exam, which is somewhat difficult, especially for someone whose native language is not french . hence, this answers your question as to the level of language proficiency expected to practice nursing in france. the only thing that is not so bad is that as foreign nurses we don't have to compete with the rest of the candidates to enter the school. when i was writing an exam in one of the schools in toulouse there were 5000!!! french candidates. so, as foreign nurses we only compete among ourselves...5 is not as bad as other perk is that we have a chance of entering directly in the 2nd or 3rd (final) year of school . perhaps this is where the years of education and experience matter.

    as to the question regarding phd in nursing in france...this does not exist. only starting this year nursing education will have university equivalency (or bsn in us). so, the system in this respect is about 20 years behind us and canada. i'm sorry to give you this news( which is not quite encouraging), but this is a reality. if you are still interested, you could start preparing for an exam along with learning the language. i will gladly answer other questions you might have or make additional suggestions.

    hope my answer helped you somewhat.

    good luck

    misscherie likes this.
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    Thanks for the responses to my post! Sad to know that France is so far behind in terms of the advancement in nursing. What other sorts of jobs do you think that I could be looking for? Could I still work as a nurses aide? Could I find work as a personal caretaker? I'm getting a little old to be an au pair/nanny plus I'm married so I wouldn't want to live with a family. I will take any and all suggestions about living in France! Also, I'm assuming it's the same throughout the EU- my husband is also looking at school in Switzerland and Austria, will I run into the same problems?

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    Each country will have their own requirements when it comes to nurses educated outside the EU.
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    hi sarah,
    yes, you can work as an aide-soignant (health care aid) in france, but you still have to have a good level of communication in french. there is no additional schooling etc. required, but there is an oral exam (to test your knowledge of french) and practicum at the hospital of course.
    the question about personal care taker. you still have to have an accreditation from the governing body (which is called ddaas - direction départementale des affaires sanitaires et sociales). this is the channel through which you go to obtain your authorization to work as a health care aid (not the same as work permit!!!). and from there on you can work for an organization or privately as a care taker, providing you’ve obtained a work permit.
    you mentioned that your husband is looking for a possibility to go to switzerland. this country is not a part of the eu, it is an associated member of the union. both american and canadian nursing diplomas are recognized there and the system is very similar to what we are used to. saying that, it is an absolute must that you speak one of their 3 official languages: french, german or italian. american and canadian nurses can also work in england where our diplomas are recognized.

    so as you see, there are some possibilities, even if you decide at the end to come to france. it all takes time, effort and patience.

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    would i be able to email you or could you email me? i have heaps more questions for you! and you have been so helpful already!

    my husband and i are 99% sure we'll be heading to france in the fall! my french isn't fluent yet, but i'm working on it. we'll be very close to geneva, switzerland, so maybe if i get better at french i could commute?


    mod notelease do not post email addresses as per terms of service
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Apr 21, '09 : Reason: TOS
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    Hi Sarah,
    I've sent you an e-mail to the address you've indicated.
    Talk soon.
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    I am so glad I found this thread. I have studied French for years so finding this thread was a real treat. I see several members in this thread with whom I'd love to chat but first I think I'll just introduce myself and jump in here. I'd love to hear back from any of you.
    I'm an RN in Portland, Oregon, and have studied French for a very long time. I tried to do a minor in linguistics when I was in college because I love the 'science' of language. I took French all through high school and a portion of my time in college as well, then just continued on my own after that, in various ways. In the last year, I passed an exam called the DELF at the B1 level. It's an exam given by the French government that tests non-native speakers in their level of daily, "practical" French. It's administered at centers around the world, including in the US. The certificate can then be used in francophone countries to indicate one's level in the language, for applying for work, school, etc. It's sort of an equivalent of the TOEFL exam for non-native speakers of English coming to the US. The DELF has 6 levels; B1 is in the middle.
    So, I have made two attempts in my career to work in a francophone country. About 12 years ago, I researched going to France and found out that it would be nearly impossible, as many in this conversation have noted. I gave up and then tried again about 7 years ago by trying to work in Montreal. It almost worked. I passed the Canadian nursing exam, took two trips to Montreal, found a hospital interested in hiring me, was waiting to take the French language exam (required for professional license applicants) and then got a letter regarding a unique immigration regulation in Quebec, that I could not get around, so I had to give up on this project too. But I had a very FUN time in the attempt! I had many interesting adventures in this project but it was a bit stressful too. At this point I no longer have a desire to work as a nurse in a French speaking county but my interest in the language and in France continues.
    I have plans to visit Paris a year from now with a nurse friend from work. I'm thrilled with my plans because I have only visited Paris once a very long time ago.
    Sorry for the long intro, but couldn't help it. Cheers everyone! Hello from Portland.

    Last edit by akdennis58 on Apr 23, '09

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