With the global population growth rate on a decline, most countries face the various inevitable problems of an aging population. The low number of working-age people in a country not only affects the economic growth of the country but also influences the quality of welfare and healthcare of the older population in the country.
Germany is one of the top 10 countries in the world with a large population over the age of 65. According to estimation, the nursing sector in Germany will need 150,000 new nurses by 2025. It is not surprising that the country is actively recruiting nurses from abroad to look after its citizens who are in their golden ages.
If you have already gone through a nursing education or you are a nurse looking to work in Germany, you will be able to do so after going through an “Anerkennung”, a recognition process of your professional qualification, and passing it. If you are a student who would like to become a nurse in Germany, there are several paths that you can choose from.
In this article, we will be going over how to study nursing in Germany, so let’s take a look!
What Degrees are there for Nursing in Germany?
In Germany, the common option for most students is to go through an apprenticeship (also known as “Ausbildung”) in a German hospital. This is because nursing is not a common bachelor’s degree program taught in universities in Germany. Before you apply for an apprenticeship at a hospital, you should have at least a B2 level in German proficiency as you would need to be able to interact with your patients in German. Meeting this language requirement is essential to study nursing in Germany as an international student.
Once you are accepted, you will undergo theoretical and practical training for a total of three years while earning a salary between 1,000 to 1,200 euros a month. This full-time training program entails 2,100 hours of classroom instruction at a vocational school (usually at a partner school of the hospital) and 2,500 hours of working experience in the hospital.
At the end of your program, you are required to pass a state examination to successfully conclude your training. Upon the completion of your apprenticeship, you will be able to work at hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient care facilities, health insurance companies, and so on.
Cost of Studying Nursing
Compared to some of its neighbors, the cost of living in Germany is relatively inexpensive. On average, an international student would need about 850 euros a month to cover his or her living expenses, such as rent, food, clothing, books, and others. It is good to note that this figure should be used only as a guide as factors like the city that you are living in and your lifestyle choices will also determine your monthly expenditures.
Unlike other countries where a student has to fork out tens of thousands of dollars to obtain a nursing degree, you are able to immediately start earning when you begin your apprenticeship in Germany. The salary for trainee nurses ranges from 1,000 to 1,200 euros per month.
Most partner universities or vocational schools do not charge any tuition fee but will require their students to contribute a small amount of money each semester. Other than covering administrative costs, the semester contribution is also used for student welfare, such as funding student housing, cafeterias, sports facilities, and others.
Although the cost of studying nursing can be high, there are still many ways that you can study for free. If you are interested, read about How to Study in Germany for Free (8 Steps).
Requirements to Study Nursing in Germany for International Students
At the beginning of the year 2020, a new German Nursing Professions Act (Pflegeberufegesetz, PflBG) was enforced. Instead of deciding on a specific vocational training program from the start, all applicants who wish to train to become nursing professionals will undergo general nursing training for the first two years. Later in the third year, students will then have the option to continue their training to become general nurses or choose to specialize to become pediatric or geriatric nurses in the third year.
Under the new Act, nursing courses will also be offered in some universities to cover the skills taught under the vocational training program. To study nursing in Germany from these courses, students are required to have a high school graduation certificate and official transcripts that are recognized by the university, proof of proficiency in the German language (B2 level is the norm), and a contract with a training provider, which is usually one of the school’s partner hospitals.
For example, to participate in the nursing program at the Department of Interprofessional Healthcare of Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University, applicants must have a qualification that is equivalent to the German university entrance qualification (also known as “Abitur”), a contract with a German hospital, and proof of German language proficiency.
If you feel lost on how to apply to nursing programs in Germany, I would recommend reading How to Study in Germany for International Students (4 Steps). This in-depth guide will help you to know the application procedure and what you should prepare.
Other Popular Countries to Study Nursing
There are many countries that need nurses, and many international students study nursing in these countries. Take a look at some of the most popular destinations to study nursing!
- Free Nursing Schools for International Students
- Free Universities in Germany for International Students
- How to Study in Germany for Free
Best Nursing Schools in Germany
1. Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW Hamburg)
- Nursing Program Link
- Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Science (Nursing – Cooperative Degree Program)
HAW Hamburg is the third-largest applied sciences university in Germany. Located in Hamburg, Germany, this higher education and applied research institute has 4 faculties and 18 departments. Students who are interested in studying nursing here can apply to the university’s nursing (cooperative degree program) under the Department of Nursing and Management.
At this nursing school in Germany, the nursing program will be 7 semesters in duration, and students are required to make a contribution of 335.60 euros for each semester.
Applicants must submit all documents required (such as a higher education entrance qualification, medical report, proof of language proficiency, etc.) to a training provider/ hospital that is partnered with the university. The university will then work with the training provider to go through the selection of applicants.
You will receive enrollment documents from the university’s Student Admissions and Registration Office if you are admitted to the program.
2. Hochschule Bremen City University of Applied Sciences (HSB)
- Nursing Program Link
- Degrees Offered: International Degree Program in Nursing (B.Sc.)
This public university located in Bremen, Germany, offers a wide variety of degree programs in fields such as engineering, economic sciences, social sciences, and others. International students who wish to study nursing can apply to the university’s International Degree Program in Nursing (B.Sc.), which is 8-semester long.
The language of instruction for this nursing program is German and therefore, students are required to be proficient in German (level C1). Knowledge in English and proof of proficiency (level B1.2 according to the European Language Reference Framework) is also required.
Even though there is no tuition fee at this German nursing school, students are required to contribute to social services by paying less than 300 euros every semester.
Graduates of the International Degree Program in Nursing will receive a double qualification – a Bachelor of Science degree and a state-recognized professional license as a nurse.
3. Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW)
- Nursing Program Link
- Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Science (Applied Health and Nursing Sciences)
We end our list of best nursing schools in Germany with the Baden-Wurttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW), a higher education institution in Stuttgart, Germany. This university offers dual-education – an education system that combines apprenticeships in a company and education at a vocational school – undergraduate study programs in business administration, engineering, and social sciences.
Aspiring nurses who wish to enroll at DHBW’s nursing program must have a signed contract with a workplace training provider. The duration of this course is 6 semesters and the language of instruction is German.
I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.