How to Study Nursing in the Netherlands for International Students

There is no doubt that the pandemic has had a significant impact on the world’s healthcare system. Many countries are currently experiencing a shortage of nurses due to an overwhelming number of patients at every medical facility. The Netherlands, however, had this shortage even before the global health crisis. Therefore, this would be the best time to make a move to Holland if you’ve been thinking about becoming a nurse in the country. In terms of studies, it is among the best destinations to pick as an international nursing student.

Apart from an array of career advancement opportunities, the Netherlands prides itself on a fantastic culture. It’s famously regarded as the “cycling nation” because of how much the Dutch love bicycles more than vehicles. Of course, exploring this other side of the world will play a vital role in the growth of your career. But how will you study nursing in the Netherlands? Read on to find out more.

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What Degrees are there for Nursing?

The Netherlands has quite a complicated education system. Most countries you’ll come across in your research have straightforward policies such as undergraduate and graduate programs. In Holland, however, the two levels of study are MBO and HBO. MBO is a middle-level applied education, which comprises vocational training – the equivalent of diploma certificate education. HBO, on the other hand, is the equivalent of higher learning in other countries.

So, what should you do to study nursing in Netherlands as an international student? If you are looking for degrees in nursing, then HBO would be ideal, as this is similar to the bachelor-master system in other countries. Both MBO and HBO are mostly provided by universities of Applied Sciences rather than the traditional nursing schools. NCOI University of Applied Sciences, for instance, offers an HBO Nurse program that runs for four academic years. Once done with HBO Nurse, you can either join the workforce or advance your studies. Hogeschool Utrecht, for example, offers a master’s program that takes two or three years, depending on your schedule.

Cost of Studying Nursing in the Netherlands

International students at public nursing schools in the Netherlands pay a similar rate of tuition fees regardless of their country of origin. However, some universities may charge a lower price – between 1,000 and 2,083 Euros – for those students from EU countries. As for the non-EU students, you might pay up to 20,000 Euros per year, depending on the university. Therefore, make sure to confirm the exact amount as posted on your selected institution’s website.

As for accommodation, you will need at least 400 EUR/month for a decent apartment. Alternatively, you could opt to settle in one of the affordable student houses provided by each university. Also, you might need up to 500 EUR/month to cater for other expenses such as utility bills, transport, and food. To offset these costs, international students are allowed to work for 16 hours every week and full-time during summer months (June to August).

Requirements to Study Nursing in the Netherlands

One of the main requirements for studying nursing in the Netherlands is your previous education. Domestic students or those who have gone through the Netherlands’ system of study will need an MBO level 4 diploma. As for international students who wish to study nursing in the Netherlands, an equivalent diploma certificate is required to ascertain your knowledge of the field. It’s worth noting that most nursing schools in Netherlands like Inholland University of Applied Sciences demand that the applicants must be 21 years and above. The Dutch language is also compulsory, given that it’s used during most of the lectures. Also, this will be a significant boost to your communication skills while in the Netherlands.

In What Languages Do You Study Nursing?

The primary instructional language used in universities is Dutch. For instance, the majority of courses at NCOI University of Applied Sciences are taught in the country’s primary language. There are rare cases where English is used to pass information or submit assignments. Therefore, you must take a few short courses to familiarize yourself with the Dutch language.

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Best Nursing Schools in the Netherlands

1. NCOI University of Applied Sciences

Founded in 1996, NCOI University of Applied Sciences is one of the largest graduate schools in the Netherlands. It offers comprehensive training programs in various fields, including nursing. The institution also provides shorter programs in areas such as IT, human resources, and administration. NCOI University boasts of over 15,000 students, both domestic and international, enrolled in these courses. If you want to work in the healthcare industry, then this institution offers you an opportunity to kickoff or advance your career. NCOI University of Applied Sciences is considered the best nursing school in the Netherlands.

The nursing course at NCOI University of Applied Sciences is aimed at nurturing the skills of those interested in joining the field of nursing. The training provided at the institution arms you with the knowledge you need to be competent and grab career opportunities that will present themselves to you in the future. The best part about NCOI University is the fact that it also allows those who are already in the field also to advance their skills. Check out the institution’s website to find out if you meet the requirements either as a fresh student or an active nurse.

2. Hogeschool Utrecht

Hogeschool Utrecht is another Dutch institution that deserves to be mentioned on this list of top nursing schools in the Netherlands. It’s among the leading universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands offering training in engineering, design, environmental science, business administration, technology, and healthcare. As such, one has a variety of options from which they can gain enough knowledge and skills to meet the current demands in the healthcare industry. Are you interested in joining the institution’s nursing fraternity? Read on to find out more about this program.

The HBO Nurse program is designed to train you on all the necessary skills required by a nurse in any healthcare setting. Some of the practical exercises with which you will start your training include measuring the blood pressure, caring for wounds, and interacting with patients. In the long run, you’ll build a better understanding of the profession and the challenges that come with it. Once you are done with HBO Nurse, you can enroll in a Master’s program to advance your skills and knowledge.

3. Inholland University

Founded in 2002, Inholland University has eight campuses located across eight cities in the western Netherlands. The university hosts over 37,000 students from at least 100 countries. As such, you will be joining a diverse community, which is beneficial to any international student. This public university of applied sciences offers programs across various fields, including nursing.

The HBO Nurse program at Inholland University of Applied Sciences not only trains you on how to take care of your patient in a medical sense but also socially. At this nursing school in the Netherlands, you’ll get to understand more about the social side of things that will make you competent in the world of nursing. The course takes four years, and it includes both practical and theoretical classes. In addition to this full-time course, you can also choose the Technical Nurse program, which mainly focuses on intensive care situations.


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