Not sure about France, but staff nurses in England and Ireland make much less than the U.S., and the patient ratios are generally worse, so 14-15 pounds/hr for an experienced nurse was the typical "local hospital wage." If you worked in a bigger city you might make up to 20-25 pounds an hour, but that was if you were working agency or in some kind of float pool, which demanded you were flexible to float around to different NHS hospitals and/or to different units that needed you. The cost of living is higher, so top agency pay was about like a new nurse here. I have no idea what the wage is in France. Europe and the UK tend to view nursing as altruistic, almost charity vs. a career to make decent money in. Surprisingly, nursing isn't as respected in the UK as the U.S. A British friend of mine told me that years ago and I didn't really believe her, but then after I lived there a few years I found that to be true. It's almost as though people look down on you for nursing (not sure if they feel sorry, are indifferent, or actually look down on you. Once someone told me "It's different over here than the U.S. Here, when you aren't smart enough to do anything else you become a nurse." Just their opinion of course, but I heard similar commentary a few times). I also knew more people that quit nursing than actual nurses. Not ragging on UK nurses or the UK, but there is a palpable difference as far how nursing as a profession is viewed. A staff nurse working 36-40 hours a week anywhere in England, from London to the rural Cotswolds, will have a hard time making rent on a very regular/just decent place to live...They do get a week or two more vacation a year, but at some point day to day money to spend matters, and it's not good. I read in some of the responses that France pays better. If that's true that would be surprising, and a good thing for sure.