Working in Germany as a RN

  1. 1
    Hi im a New Grad RN from New Zealand and moved to Munich 7 months ago. I have recently just finished my B1 level of German language corse and would like to know what I need to do in order to get back to nursing here in Germany. I have done 6 months of Acute Stroke & Medical after which i decided to join my Husband who works here.. any suggestions will be highly appreciated.. also a little insight to nursing here.
    hamzasyam likes this.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 25 Comments...

  3. 1
    Are you fluent in conversational and medical German? (a major requirement for working in Germany)
    Last edit by sirI on May 1, '12
    health maker likes this.
  4. 1
    Hey Silva!
    You may be surprised to learn that Nursing in Germany is not a regulated profession like in most countries!
    Now, I am not German so I cannot speak for the current regulations regarding German nurse and certifications; however, I have done a lot of research into international nursing as I consider myself a "free spirit" and the only reason I did my degree in nursing was so that I could live everywhere in the world and get a job hahaha.

    Anyway, back to your concerns, as of October 2007 according to the National Nursing Research unit, Germany currently does not have a regulation of nurses and thus, the term RN or "Registered" nurse is obsolete and void. They did, however, begin to implement BSc degrees for nursing in 2004. Still, they have neglected to have registration. This isn't a bad thing as, not being registered gives you a lot of freedom and job options. Additionally, if you are registered in the country of New Zealand it gives you an upper hand. You can consider yourself a registered and regulated nurse by the standards of New Zealand and can apply for work at a hospital as a general "nurse". You will evidently have to draw up a resume and in the resume include the completion of the nursing degree, your current registration status with the regulatory college in New Zealand (not sure what it is, for me it is the College of Nurses of Ontario) and then perhaps as an additional step, you can incorporate an official transcript from your university.

    You may be eligible for other medical based jobs with your degree, not just a nurse. It is my understanding that nurses in Germany do not do what nurses in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA do. There is less autonomy and less responsibility.

    Good luck and can you please let me know how it goes? I would like to move to Germany as well and have been doing much research. Your experience would be much valuable to me!

    Sincerely Steve H,
    health maker likes this.
  5. 2

    I am a German nurse,

    the most things did Steve say, where correct. But Germany has and ever had regulation for nurses. But the nurses in Germany are not educated at the University, they are educated in specific nursing schools. I did both educations the German and the American ADN and now RN-BSN. The level of the German education is pretty much the same than the ADN, but in Germany you will have much more hours( clinicals and theoretical) it more relaxed, but the knowledge is the same.
    Working as a nurse is much different to the US, and I don't think that a American nurse will enjoyed. too less nurses for too many patients for too less money. I never will go back, if I don't have to.
    The BSNgrade is coming more and more in Germany.

    For your license, you need to contact the "Gesundheitsamt Muenchen". Maybe they just evaluate your education or in the worst case you have to do a complete new exam.

    For your Germanskills, you need to be fluently in speaking and writing for a job in a hospital, in a long care facility or "ambulant Pflegedienst" (nurses who go to the patients home) are maybe not so high standards.

    Good luck for you.
    If you have any question , let me know, because I know how hard it is to get their license done in anew country
    Nica-RN and Scooby-Dooby-Doo like this.
  6. 0

    out of interest: how does the German nurse scope of practice compare to the US scope of practice?
  7. 0
    Hi Monaluna,

    I am currently in Berlin, Germany and taking my initial German classes. I have until Nov to complete level B2. In the meantime, i am trying to extend my visa, besides that i am interested in having my BSN degree from California degree evaluted in comparison to German degree for the purpose of future employment. You mentioned the "Gesundheitsamt Muenchen" could you please direct me to this organization? and What exactly do they do? it would be great my degree evaluted. i have 2 degrees one in Bachelor of Arts in Management and a B of Science in Nursing.

    looking forward to your reply

    ps. anyone else with ideas please
  8. 0
    "Gesundheitsamt" means "Health Department".
  9. 2
    The ICU nurse in Germany is doing almost the same than here, because of the lack of enough physicians, but you are in absolute grey zone (you know what I mean?) If happen something you are not really covered by law. Nurses are responsible for everything around the pat, vent, ECMO, dialysis ....
    But we are not responsible for the correct order for medication, I give that what the physician had ordered, is that wrong and it is not my problem. It is good that I see it, but if not isn't my fault.
    Many things are different in many hospitals, in some they are doing the same than here in other not.
    For example blood drawing isn't a skill for a nurse, but many nurses are doing it, because they are tired of waiting for the physician.
    We don't have nurse aids, so we doing the work from them, too.

    On the floor, you haven't much time, so you don't think so much than here, you just work
    often you are alone responsible for 15 patients ( with everything)....
    you don't write so much than here...

    I hope you understand what I mean
    hamzasyam and One1 like this.
  10. 0
    Hi PWSFSU,

    are you planning to get your nurse degree in Munich or Berlin... It is a "state" task in Germany. I mean with states the German "Bundeslaender".

    For Bavarian it is
    Gesundheitsamt Muenchen, Dachauer Str. 90 80335 München, Deutschland
    089 23396300
  11. 0
    Thanks MonaLuna. We document so much to cover our own behinds, but it is sad to hear that German nurses have to work in grey zones just so stuff gets done..

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors