I want to work abroad in Switzerland

Posted
by Caitlin LH Caitlin LH (New) New Student Pre-Student

Hello!

I am a current undergrad student in America studying to be nurse practitioner (specifically OB/GYN). It is my dream to live abroad and work in Switzerland after I have gotten my degree. I am both an American citizen and a Swiss one. Does anyone have information about demand of NP, the process of moving and working there, or just general difficulties that will occur? Any advice is greatly welcomed.

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

1) how can you be "undergrad" student in the US already studying for NP while all NP programs here are grad level?

2) Clinical roles for NPs as compared with what NPs can do in the USA are not existing in Switzerland (like anywhere else in Europe except, sorta of, GB, for that matter). There are three programs in Swiss colleges for advanced nursing but, as far as I can see, they are oriented either on leadership/administrative or clinical research or CNS (which is hardly a real clinical role too). Again, as far as I can see, programs are not specialty track, so your women's health diploma will be pretty useless and you won't have neither base not network. The demand appears to be pretty low as only three limited programs are apparently enough for the whole country. And if you are in one of direct entry programs, you won't even have nursing experience.

3) You need to learn two of three languages to fluent level (German, Italian, French) and pass exams for each of them BEFORE you even start jumping through diploma evaluation hoops.

My hubby works in a transnational company which sends specialists to work abroad all the time. I know two people (one RN, one FNP) who mulled about possibilities to work in Switzerland while their husbands were sent there for year or two. Both ended up with next baby as they said it was utterly impossible even to get licensed as RN.

The golden rule of professional emigration, written by blood and tears: first decide where you want to end up working and only then invest in education/licensing/etc. FROM THE START THERE. Otherwise, continue to dream about relocating wherever you want after you get enough $$$$$ to retire.

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

On 7/21/2020 at 6:32 PM, KatieMI said:

how can you be "undergrad" student in the US already studying for NP while all NP programs here are grad level?

Maybe a DEMSN?

DannyBoy8, RN

Has 4 years experience.

On 7/14/2020 at 7:31 PM, Caitlin LH said:

Hello!

I am a current undergrad student in America studying to be nurse practitioner (specifically OB/GYN). It is my dream to live abroad and work in Switzerland after I have gotten my degree. I am both an American citizen and a Swiss one. Does anyone have information about demand of NP, the process of moving and working there, or just general difficulties that will occur? Any advice is greatly welcomed.

Switzerland sucks. They banned the building of traditional mosques and the Swiss are overt xenophobes. Sure they have the alps and the image of being "fair and neutral", but that is a facade. And you are specialized in OB/GYN unless you are a midwife, so don't try to play the same card that FNPs who specialized in mental health like to toss around - it's bs.

Edited by DannyBoy8

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

7 hours ago, DannyBoy8 said:

Switzerland sucks. They banned the building of traditional mosques and the Swiss are overt xenophobes.

I will keep my big fat mouth shut regarding the very same issue in some (QUITE significant) parts of the USA.

DavidFR, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology, ID, Hepatology, Occy Health. Has 35 years experience.

On 7/26/2020 at 9:11 AM, DannyBoy8 said:

Switzerland sucks. They banned the building of traditional mosques and the Swiss are overt xenophobes.

There are 260 mosques in Switzerland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_Switzerland

Sadly xenophobia exists in all countries. Things in Switzerland vary from Canton to Canton. I have Swiss friends who are not at all islampohobic or xenophobic. 

Surely we shouldn't judge a whole people by the actions of some? Isn't tarring everybody with the same brush exactly what islamophobes and xenophobes do?

DavidFR, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology, ID, Hepatology, Occy Health. Has 35 years experience.

On 7/22/2020 at 1:32 AM, KatieMI said:

 

2) Clinical roles for NPs as compared with what NPs can do in the USA are not existing in Switzerland (like anywhere else in Europe except, sorta of, GB, for that matter).

 

There are three programs in Swiss colleges for advanced nursing but, as far as I can see, they are oriented either on leadership/administrative or clinical research or CNS (which is hardly a real clinical role too).

While your first point is largely true things are changing in many European countries. It's true that the UK and Ireland lead the way as far as independent nuse practioner rôles go in Europe, but there are some advances elsewhere.

France established an LMD educational pathway long ago (LMD stands for  license, master, doctorat in French; that is Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate). There is a relatively new Masters in Advanced Practice, very clinically orientated, and nurses on completion are being invited to create their own newer more autonomous roles. Very exciting times. 

Swiss friends tell me things in Switzerland vary greatly from Canton to Canton, with each canton having it's own governng professional body. I would suggest that the OP's best bet for info would be to contact the nursing board in the Canton you're interested in.

As to your last point, I'm not sure how you'd define a Clinical Nurse Specialist where you are, but as somebody who was a CNS in the UK as long ago as the 90s, I would say that the term is an extremely broad one and these rôles vary. You say, and I quote:

"CNS (which is hardly a real clinical role too)."

That may be the case where you are but in the UK my rôle was certainly a real, autonomous defined clinical rôle even back then. I did know some other CNSs who were little more than doctor's handmaidens. A lot depended on where you were and the support you got from the establishment you worked for. Clinical Nurse Specialist a very fluid term. 

 

Edited by DavidFR

Leader25, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 38 years experience.

On 7/21/2020 at 7:32 PM, KatieMI said:

Otherwise, continue to dream about relocating wherever you want after you get enough $$$$$ to retire.

Would love to retire there.