How to Study Nursing in Switzerland for International Students

What is it like to be a nurse in Switzerland? The job of a nurse in Switzerland has many advantages that are not available in other European countries. The status of a registered nurse in Switzerland opens up a variety of job opportunities in this field. Many of these opportunities imply a higher salary and working environment.

However, the decision to pursue or continue a career as a nurse in this country is linked with some issues. The issues that take time and effort to be solved. For example, foreign nurses do not have the right to start working as soon as they move to Switzerland. Before doing it, they need to go through the process of certification. Basically, it means that all their degrees and titles will be checked by a special healthcare organization.

Moreover, fluency in English is not often enough to be hired as a nurse in Switzerland. Some private healthcare centers hire nurses that are fluent only in English, but they are not big in number. As a rule, fluency in Italian, French, or German is a must.

As for people without any nursing education, they have one option. They will have to obtain a nursing degree from one of the high education institutions of Switzerland. Without it, there is no hope for legal practice and a successful career in this field. What are the things to consider when planning to complete a nursing program in Switzerland? Today, we will find an answer to this question.

Helpful Posts

Related Scholarships

What Degrees are there for Nursing in Switzerland?

Short specialization courses aside, Swiss universities offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs in nursing.

Bachelor’s degree courses are available in the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Bern University of Applied Sciences, and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland.

Cost of Studying Nursing

Applicants studying a bachelor’s of nursing in Switzerland should be able to pay from 700 to 1,600 Swiss Francs per semester. Besides, some universities charge additional fees for enrollment, examination, and student membership cards. International students may either be charged higher fees or be expected to pay an additional (fixed) sum of money.

More information about studying and living expenses can be found on the official Costs and Fees pages of Bern University.

There are ways that you can study nursing in Switzerland for free. Take a look at How to Study in Switzerland for Free.

Requirements to Study Nursing

The fact is that in Switzerland English is often not the language of instruction in many universities. Training and qualification courses are taught in German, French, and/or Italian. Therefore, applicants may be required to have a certificate of proficiency in one of these languages to be able to study nursing in Switzerland. Besides, applicants should have either a Secondary School Certificate or a Bachelor’s degree. Here everything depends on whether a person is applying to an undergraduate or a postgraduate course.

More information about the language and general entry requirements can be found on the official pages of Zurich University.

Even though English may not be the language of instruction, fluency in it is necessary. Throughout the studying process, students often have to read articles and abstracts in English. In order to guarantee and develop fluency in English, some universities have courses within programs. In some cases, applicants are required to prove proficiency in English during the application process. Further information about these aspects can be found on the pages mentioned above.

In What Languages Do You Study Nursing in Switzerland?

Most often, bachelor nursing courses are taught completely in German. For example, check the programs created by Zurich University and Bern University.

However, there are some exceptions and variations. For example, the program of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland is taught in Italian.

Finally, some high education institutions create nursing programs in two languages. Students applying to the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland may study nursing either in German or French.

As for postgraduate degree courses, they are available in both German and English. For example, check the official pages of Bern and Zurich Universities.

Best Nursing Schools in Switzerland

1. University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland – Valais

This nursing school in Switzerland is comprised of as many as 9 research centers and a number of schools. The structure and contents of the nursing bachelor course include the best practice, fundamental and contemporary theory. All these in combination with intensive practice result in qualified nursing professionals. Professionals capable of contributing to the wellbeing of society.

2. Zurich University of Applied Sciences

  • Nursing Program Link: Bachelor/Master
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor, Master

In today’s fast-paced world, the experience of studying/working abroad is very valuable. It is for this reason that Zurich University introduced a special international study program. At this Swiss nursing school, this program is designed to give its students an opportunity to either study or do clinical practice abroad.

Moreover, a set of continuing education courses is available. These programs will be interesting for applicants willing to advance in certain aspects of health. The courses consist of modules, with students being able to choose the modules they want to complete.

Within the basic course in nursing. lecturers endow students with the theory on a wide range of subjects related to health and care. Lectures are followed by practice that enables future graduates to apply their skills and knowledge. Graduate, registered nurses are able and ready to care for patients of all ages.

The master’s degree course offers further insight into research methods and techniques of analysis. The knowledge may later be applied to conducting researches in various aspects of nursing.

3. Bern University of Applied Sciences

  • Nursing Program Link: Bachelor/Master
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor, Master

The university makes providing high-quality education its priority. In order to achieve this goal, the education process is based on many principles. One of these principles is flexibility. It is at the core of all the programs created by the university. Apart from standard undergraduate and postgraduate nursing courses, a special program for healthcare assistants and social care workers is available.

Module-based, interdisciplinary basic nursing education provides students with all the knowledge they need to succeed on a chosen path. All students learn and practice under the guidance of nursing experts. Such an approach guarantees a faster start in the career.

The postgraduate degree course enables students to further hone their skills. Special attention is paid to problem-solving skills and critical thinking skills. The tasks students are given force them to seek new decisions and innovative ideas.

4. University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland

We end our list of best nursing schools in Switzerland with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland. The university has created a special training course in nursing for higher school graduates and staff working in the Swiss Red Cross. The program allows students to develop certain skills and acquire experience as a nurse within a shorter period of time.

The bachelor nursing program is meant for persons that want to acquire knowledge and skills for a successful career as a nurse. The peculiarity of this course is that it is offered in two formats: full-time and part-time. The full-time program implies 3 years of studies whereas the part-time program implies a longer course (up to 5 years).


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.