Working in Germany as a RN

  1. Hi I'm a New Grad RN from New Zealand and moved to Munich 7 months ago. I have recently just finished my B1 level of German language course and would like to know what I need to do in order to get back to nursing here in Germany. I have done 6 months of Acute Stroke & Medical after which I decided to join my Husband who works here... any suggestions will be highly appreciated... also a little insight to nursing here.
    Last edit by Joe V on Mar 28, '18 : Reason: capitalization and spelling
  2. Visit silva profile page

    About silva

    Joined: Apr '12; Posts: 1; Likes: 2


  3. by   JustBeachyNurse
    Are you fluent in conversational and medical German? (a major requirement for working in Germany)
    Last edit by sirI on May 1, '12
  4. by   steven007
    Hey Silva!
    You may be surprised to learn that Nursing in Germany is not a regulated profession like in most countries!
    Now, I am not German so I cannot speak for the current regulations regarding German nurse and certifications; however, I have done a lot of research into international nursing as I consider myself a "free spirit" and the only reason I did my degree in nursing was so that I could live everywhere in the world and get a job hahaha.

    Anyway, back to your concerns, as of October 2007 according to the National Nursing Research unit, Germany currently does not have a regulation of nurses and thus, the term RN or "Registered" nurse is obsolete and void. They did, however, begin to implement BSc degrees for nursing in 2004. Still, they have neglected to have registration. This isn't a bad thing as, not being registered gives you a lot of freedom and job options. Additionally, if you are registered in the country of New Zealand it gives you an upper hand. You can consider yourself a registered and regulated nurse by the standards of New Zealand and can apply for work at a hospital as a general "nurse". You will evidently have to draw up a resume and in the resume include the completion of the nursing degree, your current registration status with the regulatory college in New Zealand (not sure what it is, for me it is the College of Nurses of Ontario) and then perhaps as an additional step, you can incorporate an official transcript from your university.

    You may be eligible for other medical based jobs with your degree, not just a nurse. It is my understanding that nurses in Germany do not do what nurses in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA do. There is less autonomy and less responsibility.

    Good luck and can you please let me know how it goes? I would like to move to Germany as well and have been doing much research. Your experience would be much valuable to me!

    Sincerely Steve H,
  5. by   MonaLuna

    I am a German nurse,

    the most things did Steve say, where correct. But Germany has and ever had regulation for nurses. But the nurses in Germany are not educated at the University, they are educated in specific nursing schools. I did both educations the German and the American ADN and now RN-BSN. The level of the German education is pretty much the same than the ADN, but in Germany you will have much more hours( clinicals and theoretical) it more relaxed, but the knowledge is the same.
    Working as a nurse is much different to the US, and I don't think that a American nurse will enjoyed. too less nurses for too many patients for too less money. I never will go back, if I don't have to.
    The BSNgrade is coming more and more in Germany.

    For your license, you need to contact the "Gesundheitsamt Muenchen". Maybe they just evaluate your education or in the worst case you have to do a complete new exam.

    For your Germanskills, you need to be fluently in speaking and writing for a job in a hospital, in a long care facility or "ambulant Pflegedienst" (nurses who go to the patients home) are maybe not so high standards.

    Good luck for you.
    If you have any question , let me know, because I know how hard it is to get their license done in anew country
  6. by   One1

    out of interest: how does the German nurse scope of practice compare to the US scope of practice?
  7. by   PWSFSU
    Hi Monaluna,

    I am currently in Berlin, Germany and taking my initial German classes. I have until Nov to complete level B2. In the meantime, i am trying to extend my visa, besides that i am interested in having my BSN degree from California degree evaluted in comparison to German degree for the purpose of future employment. You mentioned the "Gesundheitsamt Muenchen" could you please direct me to this organization? and What exactly do they do? it would be great my degree evaluted. i have 2 degrees one in Bachelor of Arts in Management and a B of Science in Nursing.

    looking forward to your reply

    ps. anyone else with ideas please
  8. by   One1
    "Gesundheitsamt" means "Health Department".
  9. by   MonaLuna
    The ICU nurse in Germany is doing almost the same than here, because of the lack of enough physicians, but you are in absolute grey zone (you know what I mean?) If happen something you are not really covered by law. Nurses are responsible for everything around the pat, vent, ECMO, dialysis ....
    But we are not responsible for the correct order for medication, I give that what the physician had ordered, is that wrong and it is not my problem. It is good that I see it, but if not isn't my fault.
    Many things are different in many hospitals, in some they are doing the same than here in other not.
    For example blood drawing isn't a skill for a nurse, but many nurses are doing it, because they are tired of waiting for the physician.
    We don't have nurse aids, so we doing the work from them, too.

    On the floor, you haven't much time, so you don't think so much than here, you just work
    often you are alone responsible for 15 patients ( with everything)....
    you don't write so much than here...

    I hope you understand what I mean
  10. by   MonaLuna
    Hi PWSFSU,

    are you planning to get your nurse degree in Munich or Berlin... It is a "state" task in Germany. I mean with states the German "Bundeslaender".

    For Bavarian it is
    Gesundheitsamt Muenchen, Dachauer Str. 90 80335 Mnchen, Deutschland
    089 23396300
  11. by   One1
    Thanks MonaLuna. We document so much to cover our own behinds, but it is sad to hear that German nurses have to work in grey zones just so stuff gets done..
  12. by   MonaLuna
    I believe both systems mixed together would be the perfect system ...

    I love working in the US, and I am very glad and pleased to be here.
  13. by   graywolf
    You have to contact the Government of Upper Bavaria in Munic
    Joannides / Haller
    Bayerischer Behrdenwegweiser
    General recognition of foreign education
    Each province has its own authority
    Anabin Homepage

    There is a screening of education.
    You may have the registration immediately or it may be that you have to do internships and take exams.
    There are no licensing exam.
    There is no licensed practical nurse and nursing practitioner, only nurse and nursing assistant.
    You have to speak German well. The authority will tell you which German language exams you should do.

    This authority has nothing to do with recognition of education!!! ->Gesundheitsamt Muenchen, Dachauer Str. 90 80335 Mnchen, Deutschland
    Last edit by graywolf on Jun 24, '12 : Reason: supplement
  14. by   Mona77

    I am a german nurse, worked almost 5 years in Germany as a nurse, now
    living and working in Canada as a RN.
    I have one remark to nurses` responsibility in Germany, because the prior statement
    is incomplete.
    The german nurse has a performance responsibility, that means if a physician makes
    a false order and the nurse performs it without questioning or clarification, she will be accused
    of negligence or assault, which can lead to occupational ban.
    Most popular case was about an ICU nurse giving 40% Glucose iv push to a pediatric pt. with lethal
    All facts that were given about work situation are true, german nursing is more focused
    on patient care than on procedures, pharmacology and specific skills like venipuncture etc.
    but they are part of the education.

    I must admit that I don`t want to return to Germany and work as a nurse, as I really appreciate
    all positive aspects of beeing a canadian RN, my Scope of Practice and of course the higher wages.
    I am not sure if Nurses from countries like US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand will enjoy beeing
    a nurse in Germany.