Nursing in France

  1. Hi
    Just wondered if anyone had experience of working in France? We are thinking about relocating to Brittany and need as much info to help with the decision. Any info abut nursing in France would be welcome. Types of work, salaries, Problems with language (learning French currently but far from fluent).
    Any thoughts on this would be great
    Thanks
    Jen

    links to personal websites are not permitted on the forum per the TOS of this website.
    Last edit by suzanne4 on Oct 28, '06
  2. Visit jenig12 profile page

    About jenig12

    Joined: Feb '06; Posts: 5
    care pathways/patient rocords
    Specialty: 20 year(s) of experience in Elderly/ICP's/EPR

    32 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    Your biggest issue is going to be the language, if you are a EU resident, then you have no issues with immigration. But they will be quite strict on the language, and you will be required to pass the language exams.

    Types of work would be similar to that in the UK, only without the NHS. Both public and private clinics, etc.
  4. by   Amandine
    Yes language skills will be essentials. You won't get work without. Your licence should be European nowadays so that is not really a prblem. I find nurses in France quite skilled in technical procedures. For example here in Finland you cannot take blod samples or insert an IV catheter on a child where nurses do in France.
  5. by   jmd104
    Hi Jen,

    Just thought you might like an update on this subject from someone who is currently going through the process of working in France. I qualified with Ad Dip (Adult) in September 2007 and immediately move to Paris because of my husbands work. Having my diploma recognised over here was very simple, I had my diploma certificate and a copy of my NMC registration translated and once these were shown to DDASS (departmental registration authority - everything is regional in France!) they immediately validated my diploma's equivalence and registered me with ADELI making me eligible to work as a nurse in France. There was no language test to sit. On arrival I had no french language other than the few phrases I have used on holiday. I have taken one-on-one private french lessons twice a week for an hour at a time and can just about hold my own socially now but I am by no means fluent. I contacted the British and American Hospitals here and recieved less than helpful responses. Both establishments informed me that I would have to be completely fluent in French before they would consider me. A statement which is not helped by the fact that no-one seems to know how fluent is actually fluent!! There is no standard national french test to passed when looking for work. Having been told I would have to be fluent in French to work at the two english speaking hospitals (which incidentally are roundly criticised by the expat mum's at my childrens school for never having any staff on duty who can actually speak english!), I felt I might aswell try my luck at the local french hospitals even if it was just to find some part-time voluntary work to improve my french to a suitable level for work. I posted speculative letters to the hospitals close to me geographically to test the water intending to extend my search further once I'd had some feedback. Of the first three hospitals I applied to all three invited me to interview, the first interview resulted in a proposition of work but a delayed start of 4 months to improve my french due to the nature of the hospital which provided long term continuuing care and palliative care and would therefore require a higher level of french to converse with concerned relatives. The second interview resulted in the offer of a full time post in operating theatres, but this was a longer commute and I confess the idea of theatre nursing is not my favourite. The third interview resulted in a job offer to work on a surgical ward in a hospital 5mins away from my house, on a CDI contract and with a salary fairly similar to what I could've expected starting out in the UK, but topped up with various primes throughout the next two years. I will start my new job on 10th March to allow me time to sort out childcare and will be working 3 twelve hour day shifts per week which suits me down to the ground.

    The job situation is changing in France, they are having a shortage of nurses already and as in the UK have increasing numbers reaching retirement age expected to peak in 2012 I read in one nursing journal today. As a result of this there are regular employment exhibitions aiming to recrute nurses and also with the influx of many other nationalities (particuarly Anglo-saxon) attracted by the french way of life I have found that my english mother tongue has been more of a selling point for me than my poor french has been a hindrance. Most employers here are of the attitude that if you are motivated, once you are fully immersed in a world of working french your language skills will improve rapidly. It is cheaper and faster for them to take the risk and work with you while your language skills improve than it for them to train up new nurses, particuarly while the current discussions about 35 hour week and pay restructuring are happening.

    Sorry if I have rabbitted on too long but I felt it was important to say that it is possible and beyond that, it is not as difficult as everyone would have you believe. I was extremely worried about it before I moved here but there have been no problems with registering my qualifications and finding employment here and the french people and authorities I have dealt with have been extremly helpful and supportive to me.

    I would reccomend it to anyone, don't be afraid to take the plunge, I have met lots of expat nurses out here who have been too frightened to make the leap and are now unable to work as they have been away from nursing too long and now regret not taking the risk.

    Bonne Chance!!!!!

    Jo :innerconf
  6. by   suzanne4
    Since you already hold a EU passport, then it is not much of an issue for you, but those that do not, are required to pass a french language exam just as if a french nurse were to come to the US to work, they would need to pass one of the English exams before they could even get a visa.

    Glad to hear that things have worked out for you.
  7. by   FRmermaid
    Quote from jmd104
    Hi Jen,

    Just thought you might like an update on this subject from someone who is currently going through the process of working in France. I qualified with Ad Dip (Adult) in September 2007 and immediately move to Paris because of my husbands work. Having my diploma recognised over here was very simple, I had my diploma certificate and a copy of my NMC registration translated and once these were shown to DDASS (departmental registration authority - everything is regional in France!) they immediately validated my diploma's equivalence and registered me with ADELI making me eligible to work as a nurse in France. There was no language test to sit. On arrival I had no french language other than the few phrases I have used on holiday. I have taken one-on-one private french lessons twice a week for an hour at a time and can just about hold my own socially now but I am by no means fluent. I contacted the British and American Hospitals here and recieved less than helpful responses. Both establishments informed me that I would have to be completely fluent in French before they would consider me. A statement which is not helped by the fact that no-one seems to know how fluent is actually fluent!! There is no standard national french test to passed when looking for work. Having been told I would have to be fluent in French to work at the two english speaking hospitals (which incidentally are roundly criticised by the expat mum's at my childrens school for never having any staff on duty who can actually speak english!), I felt I might aswell try my luck at the local french hospitals even if it was just to find some part-time voluntary work to improve my french to a suitable level for work. I posted speculative letters to the hospitals close to me geographically to test the water intending to extend my search further once I'd had some feedback. Of the first three hospitals I applied to all three invited me to interview, the first interview resulted in a proposition of work but a delayed start of 4 months to improve my french due to the nature of the hospital which provided long term continuuing care and palliative care and would therefore require a higher level of french to converse with concerned relatives. The second interview resulted in the offer of a full time post in operating theatres, but this was a longer commute and I confess the idea of theatre nursing is not my favourite. The third interview resulted in a job offer to work on a surgical ward in a hospital 5mins away from my house, on a CDI contract and with a salary fairly similar to what I could've expected starting out in the UK, but topped up with various primes throughout the next two years. I will start my new job on 10th March to allow me time to sort out childcare and will be working 3 twelve hour day shifts per week which suits me down to the ground.

    The job situation is changing in France, they are having a shortage of nurses already and as in the UK have increasing numbers reaching retirement age expected to peak in 2012 I read in one nursing journal today. As a result of this there are regular employment exhibitions aiming to recrute nurses and also with the influx of many other nationalities (particuarly Anglo-saxon) attracted by the french way of life I have found that my english mother tongue has been more of a selling point for me than my poor french has been a hindrance. Most employers here are of the attitude that if you are motivated, once you are fully immersed in a world of working french your language skills will improve rapidly. It is cheaper and faster for them to take the risk and work with you while your language skills improve than it for them to train up new nurses, particuarly while the current discussions about 35 hour week and pay restructuring are happening.

    Sorry if I have rabbitted on too long but I felt it was important to say that it is possible and beyond that, it is not as difficult as everyone would have you believe. I was extremely worried about it before I moved here but there have been no problems with registering my qualifications and finding employment here and the french people and authorities I have dealt with have been extremly helpful and supportive to me.

    I would reccomend it to anyone, don't be afraid to take the plunge, I have met lots of expat nurses out here who have been too frightened to make the leap and are now unable to work as they have been away from nursing too long and now regret not taking the risk.

    Bonne Chance!!!!!

    Jo :innerconf
    hi!

    just wanted to add something: i've been in france since october 2007 and have been doing a french course, as i had no knowledge of the french language... i have been scared to apply for the equivalence of my diploma due to my lack of the french language, but summed up the courage after reading your message! so i went this morning to the DDASS and i don't know what i was worrying about! the woman who worked there gave me my french registration straight off and i hardly had to say anything... i was expecting a million questions, but she didn't even ask me why i was in france and had to insist that she make photocopies of my UK diploma and NMC verification letter (and their translations, which cost me very dear)! so i would recommend to anyone to just go to the DDASS to get their diploma verified... it really was a piece of cake! now i just need to look for a job

    good luck everyone!
  8. by   FRmermaid
    Quote from jmd104
    Hi Jen,

    Just thought you might like an update on this subject from someone who is currently going through the process of working in France. I qualified with Ad Dip (Adult) in September 2007 and immediately move to Paris because of my husbands work. Having my diploma recognised over here was very simple, I had my diploma certificate and a copy of my NMC registration translated and once these were shown to DDASS (departmental registration authority - everything is regional in France!) they immediately validated my diploma's equivalence and registered me with ADELI making me eligible to work as a nurse in France. There was no language test to sit. On arrival I had no french language other than the few phrases I have used on holiday. I have taken one-on-one private french lessons twice a week for an hour at a time and can just about hold my own socially now but I am by no means fluent. I contacted the British and American Hospitals here and recieved less than helpful responses. Both establishments informed me that I would have to be completely fluent in French before they would consider me. A statement which is not helped by the fact that no-one seems to know how fluent is actually fluent!! There is no standard national french test to passed when looking for work. Having been told I would have to be fluent in French to work at the two english speaking hospitals (which incidentally are roundly criticised by the expat mum's at my childrens school for never having any staff on duty who can actually speak english!), I felt I might aswell try my luck at the local french hospitals even if it was just to find some part-time voluntary work to improve my french to a suitable level for work. I posted speculative letters to the hospitals close to me geographically to test the water intending to extend my search further once I'd had some feedback. Of the first three hospitals I applied to all three invited me to interview, the first interview resulted in a proposition of work but a delayed start of 4 months to improve my french due to the nature of the hospital which provided long term continuuing care and palliative care and would therefore require a higher level of french to converse with concerned relatives. The second interview resulted in the offer of a full time post in operating theatres, but this was a longer commute and I confess the idea of theatre nursing is not my favourite. The third interview resulted in a job offer to work on a surgical ward in a hospital 5mins away from my house, on a CDI contract and with a salary fairly similar to what I could've expected starting out in the UK, but topped up with various primes throughout the next two years. I will start my new job on 10th March to allow me time to sort out childcare and will be working 3 twelve hour day shifts per week which suits me down to the ground.

    The job situation is changing in France, they are having a shortage of nurses already and as in the UK have increasing numbers reaching retirement age expected to peak in 2012 I read in one nursing journal today. As a result of this there are regular employment exhibitions aiming to recrute nurses and also with the influx of many other nationalities (particuarly Anglo-saxon) attracted by the french way of life I have found that my english mother tongue has been more of a selling point for me than my poor french has been a hindrance. Most employers here are of the attitude that if you are motivated, once you are fully immersed in a world of working french your language skills will improve rapidly. It is cheaper and faster for them to take the risk and work with you while your language skills improve than it for them to train up new nurses, particuarly while the current discussions about 35 hour week and pay restructuring are happening.

    Sorry if I have rabbitted on too long but I felt it was important to say that it is possible and beyond that, it is not as difficult as everyone would have you believe. I was extremely worried about it before I moved here but there have been no problems with registering my qualifications and finding employment here and the french people and authorities I have dealt with have been extremly helpful and supportive to me.

    I would reccomend it to anyone, don't be afraid to take the plunge, I have met lots of expat nurses out here who have been too frightened to make the leap and are now unable to work as they have been away from nursing too long and now regret not taking the risk.

    Bonne Chance!!!!!

    Jo :innerconf
    hi!

    your email has been so helpful... i'm a UK nurse who's been in france since october 2007.. i've been enrolled in a french language course since then, as my knowledge of french before was non-existant... i've been quite apprehensive about going to the DDASS until now... thanks to your message I went to the DDASS this morning and I honestly don't know what I've been waiting for... it really was piece of cake (except that I really got the feeling the woman didn't have a clue what she was doing... she searched for ages about what she had to do, and sent me to this other department, which in turn sent me back to her.. typical french bureaucracy!)! Anyway, so you can gather that I got my french equivalency and registration number! I am over the moon, will send off speculative CVs this week. they barely asked me anything, i could have gone there not knowing any french at all! so anyone hesitating, don't be afraid!

    good luck everyone!
  9. by   FRmermaid
    aaaaa
    Last edit by FRmermaid on Mar 6, '08 : Reason: accidentally saved twice!
  10. by   zuzi
    Je suis tres contente pour toi cherie. :icon_hug:. You will see two languages instead of one will open soo many doors for you, one day. Tell us about your place about nursing life in France, never know when one of us will be enough "vagabonde" to decide to change her life and come in France, looool. Let us know!

    Learn francaise, you will like it, you will love them, they are tres poethic and aussi boheme, looooool. Please eat beaucoup des gateaux pour moi also and listen enough songs, to fell their soul insiede. La key c'est l'amour, love France and people from there and they will love you for sure! The best way to learn french is to sing in french, loooool. Try it!

    Bissous pour toi cherie! MUAAAAAAAAAAH!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj9PvqUNuOQ
  11. by   alygraham
    Hi All, I have been reading your comments with interest. I am totally fed up with life in the U.K. and am very keen to move to Brittany. I qualified in 1986 so have the old RN qualification and not a diploma - does this make a difference?
  12. by   Silverdragon102
    Welcome

    Being a member of the EU I doubt you will have any problems but may need to have all your documents translated to French. A few have posted they had no prolems registering in France. Try looking for posts by Fred_IDE as he has posted a few things on France
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Jun 1, '08 : Reason: add
  13. by   FRmermaid
    hey! i'm a UK nurse who's working in France since the last few weeks... yes, you can still register with the DDASS with an old UK nursing qualification, but only if you have done more than 3 years clinical experience (which i'm sure you have)! good luck!
  14. by   alygraham
    What a wonderful thing the internet can be - replies already! Thank you both very much.

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