Nurses working in France have several advantages. First, you will have access to France’s universal health insurance, most of which will be covered by your employer. In addition, you will be entitled to substantial parental and sick leave, in addition to 25 paid vacation days each year. Because of these benefits, a foreigner might gladly move to France as a nurse.

The same elements that make France among the most desirable destinations for tourists worldwide also make it an enticing location to work. Living there mesmerizes you with a completely different lifestyle. You’ll also get to explore the Louvre museum and the Eiffel Tower. Of course, this is all without mentioning French cuisine, which is a huge positive.

You’ve come to the perfect place if you want to work in France. But first, we’ll walk you through the process of being a nurse in Paris and France in general.

Are Immigrant Nurses in Demand in France?

The country is confronted with a problem: the necessity to care for a rising number of elderly patients as its nursing staff ages. According to Ministry of Health data, the average age of nurses is 42.1 years, with over 30% being over 50. Moreover, between now and 2015, more than 40% of healthcare facilities’ nursing workforce will retire.

Implementing a 35-hour work week and the growth in expert procedures necessary with healthcare advances, including computer systems, scanners, imagers, and so on, place additional stress on the workforce. You can use this shortage and move to France as a nurse if you want.

How to Move to France as a Nurse?

“How to become a nurse in France?” That is the question. You need to take four primary steps to move to France as a nurse:

Step 1. Have a Nursing Education

Verifying your education is heavily influenced by whether or not you studied in the EU. If you did, your degree would be enough to register as a nurse in France without any more formalities. However, if you earned your education elsewhere, you would need to have your degree evaluated and will most likely need to continue your study in France.

Unlike in most other nations, where universities offer courses in various areas, French institutes are often more specialized. There would be management, architecture, medicine schools, etc. An Institut de Formation en Soins Infirmiers, or IFSI, is a nursing school. Diplômes d’Etat d’infirmier, or DEIs, are nursing programs. Ordinarily, they take three years to finish.

The first step to moving to France as a nurse is to complete a nursing program. If you hold a nursing degree from a non-EU nation, you can finish a DEI in less time. You’ll need to complete three diagnostic examinations to find out: 

  • One written exam (convocation)
  • Practical exam (it is a return demonstration of nursing skills)
  • Oral exam (it is an interview in front of a 2-people jury)

When it involves foreign-trained nurses, remember that everything is case-to-case. When determining how long you need to study, your experience and education will be considered. For instance, you may realize that you need a few months of study, whereas others require two years.

Of course, without a nursing degree, it is feasible to apply for a full three-year DEI at an IFSI. This is likely the easiest route for foreigners to register in France. Some examples are:

  • IFSI de l’Hôpital Bichat AP-HP, 
  • IFSI de l’Hôpital Cochin la Rochefoucault AP-HP, 
  • IFSI de l’Hôpital Saint-Antoine AP-HP

Step 2. Learn the French Language

While no official language level is necessary to become a licensed nurse in France, you will surely need to know French to work there. It would be best if you learned the language to be able to attend courses and pass tests. Furthermore, working at a hospital requires interacting with patients and coworkers, which is hard if you need to learn French.

Your school or work may request proof of French language skills. Because French is one of the world’s most extensively studied languages, several examinations are available to validate your proficiency. The DELF and DALF are the most popular. DELF examines A1 to B2, while DALF examines C1 to C2.

Step 3. Register with a Regional Nursing Agency

Nursing is a registered job in France. To be able to work, you must first get a practice permission from a Direction régionale de la jeunesse, des sports et de la cohésion sociale, or DRJSCS. Every region has one of them. When choosing, the DRJSCS will consider your education, occupation, character, and other factors. Normally, you will receive a response within four months.

To move to France as a nurse, you must visit your local ARS (agence régionale de santé.) Once accepted, you’ll be assigned a unique ADELI number and added to the system as a registered nurse.

Step 4. Find Nurse Jobs in France

Finding a job is the final and most crucial stage in becoming a nurse in France. In France, you can work in either a public or private hospital. Public positions are simpler to come by and provide more job stability, while private practices pay more. You may apply using normal job search sites such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn. However, agencies supply a major part of nursing work throughout the country. Aside from that, your IFSI can assist you in finding work.

Step 5. Apply for a Work Permit

To obtain a work visa in France, you must first obtain a letter from your employer, which implies you must already be employed. Short-term and long-term visas are available from the French government. We recommend visiting the government’s visa website to determine which visa is suitable for your scenario and a complete list of criteria. To learn more about the process of getting a France work visa, read our article.

How to Study Nursing in France as an International Student?

France is a popular destination for overseas students pursuing higher education. One of the reasons for this is the cheap cost of tuition at public universities in France, where the French government funds education. 

Learning about French life and culture directly is a priceless benefit of studying abroad in France. International students come to the country because tuition is affordable and education is of good quality.

To complete their studies and obtain their nursing credentials in France, overseas students must apply for admission to an IFSI or a university providing nursing programs. Because France offers many high-quality public institutions, domestic and international students can pay cheaper tuition fees than in other countries.

Study Nursing in France for International Students

In France’s educational system, you can get a license, a master’s degree, or a doctorate. A bachelor’s or undergraduate degree, sometimes known as a license, is normally completed in three years of full-time study. Still, a master’s or graduate degree can be completed in two years. A Ph.D. degree also takes three or four years to complete. 

French Language Proficiency in the Nursing Program

Your ability to speak French will be critical during your stay in France. Furthermore, to study nursing in France, studying French is required for admission to a nursing program in France.

Various factors must be considered to choose which nursing school in France is the finest. To move to France as a nurse, you must possess the requisite physical and mental abilities.

You must first learn the French language to attend a French nursing school. Most French institutions demand a three-hour test to verify your competency in writing and speaking French.

The DELF, or diploma in French language studies, is a Ministry of National Education-issued diploma. Four diplomas represent the first four levels of the CEFR: DELF A1, DELF A2, DELF B1, and DELF B2.

  • Basic user > A1 > DELF A1
  • Basic user > A2 > DELF A2
  • Independent user > B1 > DELF B1
  • Independent user > B2 > DELF B2

The DELF is a recognized, high-quality diploma based on the CEFR for Languages levels. This diploma is respected worldwide and is valid for life.  Based on the level, the DELF can increase some value to your resume’ or CV and make it easier to get a job in a workplace where French is spoken.

French nationality can be obtained through the DELF B1. Students can enroll in French, European, French-speaking, and certain Grande Ecoles with the DELF B2, and increasingly the DALF C1.

Student Nursing in France Requirements

Most schools have the same standards, but you ought to check with the nursing institute to be certain.

Prospective students in France must typically file on their school’s website and supply the relevant papers, while certain schools may need you to register on a separate website.

To pursue a nursing degree in France, you will need: 

  • An application form
  • A high school diploma 
  • A passport
  • A language proficiency certificate

Move to France as a Nurse: France Student Visa

A student visa normally takes three weeks to process before a visa sticker may be affixed to your passport. As a result, it is recommended that you apply for it approximately three months before your anticipated departure date to allow for processing time. Furthermore, once you’ve completed your investigation on a nursing school, you may begin preparing your paperwork for qualification review.

Most schools have the same standards, but you need to check with the nursing institute to be certain. If you want to learn about getting a French student visa, read our article.

5 Best Nursing Schools in France in 2022

  • IFSI Diaconesses de Reuilly
  • Paris-Sorbonne Universite
  • Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sante Publique School of Public Health
  • Universite de Paris
  • Aix – Marseille University
Infographic Immigrate and Work to France as a Nurse

Nurses in France Salary: How Much?

In France, the average salary for a Nurse is roughly 35,900 EUR per year. However, salaries vary from 19,000 EUR to 54,600 EUR.

This is the average annual pay, which includes housing, transportation, and other amenities. Nurse earnings vary greatly depending on experience, abilities, gender, and region. Below is a thorough analysis based on a variety of parameters.

An essential criterion in deciding remuneration is the amount of experience. So, naturally, the more years of experience you have, the greater your salary.

  • Nursing salaries are approximately 21,900 EUR per year for nurses with less than two years of experience.
  • The average salary for someone with two to five years’ experience is 26,900 EUR, 23% more than those with less than two years of experience.
  • The average salary for someone with between five and ten years of experience is 38,100 EUR per year, 42% higher than for someone with between two and five years of experience.
  • Furthermore, nurses with experience between 10 and 15 years earn 44,500 EUR each year, 17% more than those with experience between 5 and 10.
  • An experienced worker with 15 to 20 years of experience should earn 48,900 EUR per year, which is 10% more than someone with ten to fifteen years of experience.
  • Employees with a professional experience of more than twenty years receive 51,800 EUR per year, 6% more than those with a professional experience of 15 to 20 years.

Types of Nurses in France: Advanced Practice Nursing in France

With the advent of graduate-level education in France in 2010, Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) has just recently begun. The most compelling reason for expanding the role of APNs in France is to improve public access to specialists by increasing the number of experts accessible and at a more affordable rate in the face of an imminent physician shortage.

The APN’s job in France is to offer an “intermediary” professional to address the country’s medical demands. Persons are taught to: based on contemporary schooling that promotes this role, individuals are educated to:

  • Provide evaluations for people suffering from complicated disorders.
  • Health condition diagnosis
  • Offer disease-specific therapy.
  • Oversee coordination with other medical specialists.
  • Create and implement research to enhance health care and results.
  • Create instructional strategies to fulfill healthcare demands.

While the government has been building this function for some years, one of the most challenging aspects of developing an APN role in France is reaching a consensus on what that role should be and how it will be established in the country. However, there is no protected title, and training institutions need to be consistent with their teachings following a standard. In addition, because the function is still under development, it is still being determined what sort of advanced practice nursing each professional will do, such as nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or case management.

Meanwhile, the present impetus based on graduate-level education has resulted in the development of a group of Advanced Practice Educated nurses laying the groundwork for their position in France. In partnership with the existing French nursing organization, French advanced practice nurses established the French Advanced Practice Nursing Network (REPASI).

Education and Certification

Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sante Publique, Paris, is the only school in France that provides advanced practice nursing education at the master’s level. Besides master’s degrees, this program offers doctoral degrees as well. University of Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines has also developed a second nursing program since graduate nursing education began in France.


The French Advanced Practice Nurse program offers education in several specialties:

  • Psychiatric and Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Chronic Illness
  • Oncology
  • Pain and Palliative Care

Move to France as a Nurse: Conclusion

To move to France as a nurse necessitates registering with your local Agence Regionale de Santé (ARS) to get a numéro ADELI, which is assigned to each professional and serves as their reference number in the registry. Furthermore, the most crucial stage in becoming a nurse in France is obtaining a job. In France, you can work in either a public or private hospital.


Can I work as a nurse in France?

The French nursing diploma is a license to practice that will allow you to apply for jobs and become a nurse in France as soon as you complete all the requirements.

What do nurses make in France?

In France, the average salary for a Nurse is roughly 35,900 EUR per year.

What are the types of nurses in France?

There are general nurses, Specialized nurses, and advanced nurse practitioners.

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