Newly graduated non-spanish speaking nurse moving to Spain!!!! NEEDS HELP!!!

  1. i am a recent graduate in adult nursing and will be moving to spain in may 2004 i do not speak spanish but hope to learn. does
    anyone have any info about english nursing homes in the almouradi area or any suggestions on working in spain and using my skills? alison
  2. Visit Alison H profile page

    About Alison H

    Joined: Oct '03; Posts: 1


  3. by   suzanne4
    Usually in order to work in a nursing home or any capacity as a nurse, you would be required to have a nursing license for that country. And of course that exam would be in Spanish. Also take inot account that if you start studying Spanish in the US, make sure you get the Catalan version, not the one from Mexico or Cuba, as they are actually quite different and you will get confused if not aware of the subtle changes. There are various cassettes/CDs available, even at Costco, for learning this type of Spanish.

    I have been to Spain many times in the past few years, and would recommend looking into some programs that teach English skills to the nurses or doctors that are there, a talent that you already have.
    Look into using a talent that you already have and are familiar with.
    You will need to obtain a work permit no matter what you are doing, so remember to take the proper documentation with you. Much easier to prepare while you are stateside than trying to request it when you are overseas.

    Good luck on your new venture.
  4. by   Andrew B
    My wife and I moved to Playa Flamenca near Torrevieja (COSTA BLANCA SOUTH) in May last year with our two children ages 12 and 9.

    Are you moving anywhere in this area?

    Or are you just considering moving to Spain?

    If so I can recorrmend an excellent family company who specialise in affordable properties and relocating families.

    Your welcolme to email me for information of this company, or any other queries you may have.

    Kind Regards,

  5. by   zacarias
    Moving to Spain would be a dream but very difficult!! It is next to impossible to get a legal job in Spain if you are not an EU citizen. Of course, being a trained and licensed nurse will help you.

    I would recommend Pimsleur's method for learning Spanish. It is the quickest way to get fluent. One poster mentioned that you needed to get the Catalan version of Spanish, I think they meant Castilian. Most Spanish tapes/books are taught using Castilian.

    Catalan however, is actually an entire different language and would prove useful to know in Barcelona for example. Learning Catalan after Castilian Spanish would not be so difficult as they are fairly similar.
  6. by   suzanne4
    I was correct when I said Catalan. There are books available for this. The area of Spain is called Catalonia and the Spanish is quite different from what we are used to in the US. If you purchase training tapes from Europe most will contain a Catalan version.
  7. by   mariaf
    Alison I am not yet qualified but will also be moving to Spain, probably Costa Blanca area, in the future as my (Spanish) husband wants to go back.

    Fortunately I speak Spanish (learned from Linguaphone - a slog but well worth it as you gain a very good accent) but like you ,am wondering what my job prospects would be as for some reason there do not seem to be many non Spanish nurses even in tourist areas where there are many English patients.

    Have you had any success, or does anyone know how difficult it is to enter practice there? I am an EU citizen.

    Maria - Nursing student
    Last edit by mariaf on Feb 21, '04 : Reason: Forgot to sign off
  8. by   suzanne4
    For starters, you will probably need to write the nursing exam in
    Spanish, just as the nurses from Spain would take their exams in
    English if wanting to work in the UK or US. So you will need to be
    quite fluent.

    You may want to consider possibly looking for a position with a
    private physician who has a large foreign patient practice. You
    would not function directly as a nurse, but more for information,
    etc. Also, look at some of the companies that do emergency
    evacuations in the area. They don't always require that you have
    a license for that country. But then you will need actual nursing
    experience for that. The second problem that you are going to
    face is that you are going to be going without any type of prior
    work experience in the US, post degree. This will actually be
    your biggest problem.

    You may also want to consider talking to some of the nursing schools
    in the area there. They may need someone to teach English for the
    nurses, but again, you are without the experience.

    Good luck...........................
  9. by   mariaf
    Thanks Suzanne.

    It's true I wouldn't have experience as such. I'm in the UK, and half my hours in nurse training are being spent in practice on the wards, in the community etc - I suppose that wouldn't count would it, or am I just being hopeful!

    I have actually lived in Spain before for a few years but not in nursing; I taught English then; so I will keep that in mind.

    Thanks for your help

  10. by   suzanne4
    The hours that you spend in clinicals are just that. You have a teacher over you. You are a student during those hours and are functioning as such. You are not receiving any money for that, so it does not count as work experience when you are applying for a job. You are also not doing all of the same things that an RN would be doing.

    Last edit by suzanne4 on Feb 21, '04
  11. by   traumaRUs
    There is a USNavy base at Rota Spain - maybe get a job in the military clinic there? I was stationed with hubby in Spain at Zaragoza AB but it has since closed down. Good luck.
  12. by   Havin' A Party!
    Alison -- What a great opportunity! Spain is gorgeous and the food to die for!

    You do have some challenges as pointed out here.

    I too was under the impression that the Castilian dialect would be the way to go. My uncle was from Catalan, and told us that their version was more "gypsy" oriented, and less the official tongue.

    (Also, know that the Spanish spoken in Cuba -- and Argentina -- is quite close to that of Spain. Agree that Mexican-Spanish and other Caribbean-Spanish is way, way different.)

    All the best to ya!
  13. by   mariaf
    Thanks Trauma for your encouragement.

    Also for your honesty Suzanne.

    However I will not let 4 years of nursing training go to waste! Having spent time as both a patient and visitor in Spanish hospitals, my view is that their nursing care is nothing to write home about anyway. Family/visitors are usually expected to administer all personal care, observe IV drip status etc. I understand this is beginning to change - very slowly, as with all in Spain. Plus, nurses are poorly paid.

    If I cannot find employment of the type you have both mentioned, then I will probably go down the translation/interpreting route. However, one area which is growing fast in Spain is the area of homecare. More and more British are retiring and spending their last days on 'The Costas'. Spain offers the traditional routes for the elderly and infirm of
    1) family care (not an option for most expatriates) or
    2) a nursing home.
    However, many expats are British and are accustomed to a UK social services system of homecare, and want and expect to remain in their own homes as long as possible. They very often have resources to pay for homecare, and I have been told by some of them that a nurse trained in the UK or US or elsewhere familiar to them, with or without post-reg experience, would be preferable. Expats sometimes complain that native Spanish nurses - and doctors - have a manner which is, shall we say (I don't want to start a war!) rather more brusque in areas such as pain relief. Let's just say the empathy is not always as visible?!

    Finally (thank you all for bearing with me) a note on the Castilian/Catalan topic. Having spent 10 yrs or so living in different parts of Spain (I remember I took my written driving test in Spanish and actually passed first time, whereas some of my Spanish colleagues didn't!) I would recommend that, if you are going to learn one version of Spanish, you learn ordinary Castilian (Castellano) Spanish. This is because it is understood everywhere you go in Spain. Yes, even by local-dialect speakers who claim not to understand it. They do. If you specialise in learning Catalan, Aragonese, Valenciano or any other Spanish dialect you risk being misunderstood if you move to another part of Spain. The Catalonians, unlike other areas proud of their local dialect, have succeeded in gaining official recognition for it as a separate language, and as such local schools teach all subjects in it (much to the fury of non-local Spaniards and foreigners alike). Catalan banks will send you letters in Catalan. But, I repeat, it is not necessary to learn it. Ask for it 'en Castellano'!

    Wishing you all well


    Student Nurse

    Age 39 and feeling it :chuckle

  14. by   suzanne4
    Talk to your embassy in Spain, they may have a list of people that have contacted them for expat nurses who want to work there caring for seniors at home. It just depends on what type of nursing that you want to do or are interested in.

    Good luck in what ever avenue that you decide to follow. Keep us posted as to what you finally end up doing.