Nursing in South Korea

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I have searched around for some answers tomthis question and have not been able to find anything helpful. Here's my sitch: I moved to South Korea to be with my fiancé, thinking I would be able to find something nursing related when I got here. Only to find out pretty much the only way I can be a nurse is if I speak Korean and go to nursing school here. So I'm very disappointed and frustrated because I miss nursing so much! I was wondering if anyone new of any other ways to do anything healthcare related in South Korea. I was also wondering if it would be possible to do telephone triage nursing from over here. I could take care of a lot of night shift calls, due to the time difference. Any help or information you could give me I would really really appreciate! Thanks so much!I should also mention I'm a USA RN with a BSN with 3 years med/surg/neuro experience. Thanks! ?


5 Posts

Hey there. I am a US educated RN who used to live in South Korea trying to find a work as RN. Unfortunately, there is no way they will allow you to work unless you speak fluent Korean in almost all hospitals there. Funny thing is I, myself, am a Korean and having AAS didn't help anything because apparently I didn't have enough credits (although I already had my RN license in the States and have had about 1 year of working experience as RN) and Korean nursing programs are either 3-year-diploma program or BSN.

I ended up finding a job at one of the biggest medical centers in Seoul. Not as an official RN but they did appreciate the fact I was foreign educated. I guess this only happened because department I got a job at was one of special clinics in hospital - where they only had foreign patients coming in everyday. I do not think you could work there though unless you are fluent in Korean.

On the other hand, working at above mentioned job, I learned there are couples US military hospitals who will hire American civillians and will not require you to have Korean RN license. One of most well-knowns are called 121 general hospital (I think they call Brian all goods or something these days). Sorry I cannot seem to remember address for job site. Try googling 'em up and good luck!


28 Posts

Hi cjpark. I am Korean as well and looking for RN job in Korea. I have a BSN degree and been working 7 years in varies area. Somehow, I always want to work with my people in my country :)

Do you enjoy to work there? Could you tell me a little bit about it? I am dying to know :)

I hope you are still member of allnurses. Thank you!

Did you try to get a position at Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital? Military hospitals do hire civilians, and you do not need to have a Korean nursing license. Visit webpage for Allgood Army Community Hospital @ 65th Medical Brigade


24 Posts

Hi there,

I think it might be hard to get a job as a nurse in Korea without speaking Korean even I finished Diploma of Enrolled nursing course in Australia back in the yrs and am also Korean, am trying to transfer to any Korean nursing college, but it is also hard because of my Australian degree. I said above, even as a Korean lol Korea needs many nurses now but the country refuses foreign nursing degree and now i am in a trouble so am trying to transfer to college in Ireland because Australia and NZ are too expensive for transferring.

Anyway, if you live in Seoul or anywhere in Korea, let's get to know some information if you don't mind. Add me please on instagram - vince_yuu or vinceyuu on kakaotalk.

All the best


1 Post

Hello there!

I just arrived in South Korea from America and I am looking for RN job.

Have BSN degree with 24yrs experience, I can also speak and write Korean.

My question #1 - do I have to take an exam to work as RN in Korea?

Question #2 - where can I apply?

Seona, BSN, RN

18 Posts

Specializes in Motherhood for SickKids. Has 15 years experience.

As Korea Health Personnel Licensing Examination Institute shows,

□ Eligibility

- A person who graduated from a university, college, or junior college with a major in nursing. Those who are expected to graduate in Korea must confirm that they have graduated within February of the following year of the application. If they fail to have graduated from the school within the period, their passing will be invalidated.

- A person who graduated from an overseas university majoring in nursing recognized by the Minister of Health and Welfare; and has been licensed as a nurse by the competent authorities.

- A person who was studying at an overseas nursing school recognized by the Minister of Health and Social Affairs as of July 8, 1994 and graduated from the school with a major in nursing.

Pretty much same to apply other country's nursing exams, you must prove that you graduated from a nursing school which is equivalent to Korean nursing school education, and all the contents of materials are in Korean language, so if you are unable to read and understand Korean, it is impossible.

It is given only once a year, usually after mid-January.

(application process starts in early October, so foreign school graduates should start the process in May as above website in Korean language)