Universal health insurance, paid time off for sick days, and 25 paid vacation days per year are just a few of the perks of moving to France as a nurse. The allure of France is enhanced by its famous cuisine, famous landmarks (such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum), and captivating way of life. Let us help in this guide and send you on your journey to immigrate to France as a nurse.

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Immigrate to France as a Nurse

Are Immigrant Nurses in Demand in France?

The question is: “Is nursing in demand in France?” Yes. 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. You can use this shortage to start moving to France as a nurse if you want.

How to Move to France as a Nurse?

Moving to France as a nurse involves several steps, and understanding them is crucial for a smooth transition. Here’s how it works:

  1. Getting qualification recognition
  2. Having language proficiency
  3. Doing a job search
  4. Getting a work visa and permit
  5. Registration with a Regional Nursing Agency (DRJSCS)
  6. Visiting to the Agence Régionale de Santé (ARS)
  7. Registration with the French Nursing Board (Ordre National des Infirmiers)
  8. Settling in France

Step 1. Recognize Your Qualification

Ensure your nursing qualification is recognized in France. The French Nursing Council is responsible for it. You need to apply through your local health agency (Agence Régionale de Santé, ARS).

  1. If you want your nursing qualifications recognized in France, you need to go to the ARS website for your intended work region, go to the “Recognition of Foreign Qualifications” section, fill in the application, pay any fees, upload the required documents, and submit it online.
  2. You’ll need to gather the nursing in France requirements, including (officially translated into French by an officially recognized translator if necessary):
    1. Original nursing diploma
    2. A detailed transcript of your training
    3. Passport or other proof of identity
    4. Your home country’s nursing registration
    5. Work experience certificates
    6. French proficiency certificate, if needed
  3. ARS will evaluate your training and see if it’s equivalent to French nurse training. It includes reviewing the length of your training, the subjects you covered, and how much theory and practice you got.
  4. You may have to undergo compensatory measures if your training isn’t equivalent. Adaptation periods, courses, and proficiency tests can all be included.
  5. ARS will recognize your nursing qualification once they are satisfied that your qualifications meet French standards. To register as a nurse in France, you need this recognition.

Step 2. Language Proficiency

You need to ask yourself this question: “What level of French is required to work in France?” Moving to France as a nurse requires the French language. The common required level for healthcare professionals is around B2 on CEFR.

Accepted Language Tests:

  • DELF (Diplôme d’Études en Langue Française) B2
  • TCF (Test de Connaissance du Français)
  • DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française)

Step 3. Job Search

Working as a nurse in France requires a job search. Here is how you can do it:

Online Portals

  • Pôle Emploi
  • Indeed France
  • Apec.fr
  • Meteojob
  • Emploi Soignant

Recruitment Agencies

  • Appel Médical
  • Adecco Medical
  • Kelly Services (Healthcare division)
  • Randstad (Healthcare sector)
  • Hays (Healthcare division)

Famous Healthcare Facilities in France

  • Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP)
  • Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière
  • Hospices Civils de Lyon
  • Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Bordeaux
  • Institut Gustave Roussy

Step 4. Work Visa and Permit

“How do I get a French work permit?” Let’s see. Moving to France as a nurse required obtaining a French work visa and permit. This step is for non-EU/EEA citizens. The steps are:

  1. Secure a job offer in France before applying for a work visa. The employer has to prove that a French or EU citizen couldn’t fill the position.
  2. Gather the requirements to work as a nurse in France.
    1. A passport valid beyond the visa’s duration
    2. Completed visa application forms
    3. French job offer or work contract
    4. Registration and proof of nursing qualifications
    5. Accommodation proof (Websites: Le Bon Coin, SeLoger, Pap.fr (De Particulier à Particulier), Foncia, Lodgis (for furnished rentals))
    6. Passport-size photos
    7. Proof of your financial stability
  3. Afterward, apply for a work visa to your home country’s French embassy or consulate. Typically, you’ll have to submit the above documents and go to an interview.
  4. You’ll get a visa to work in France if your application is successful. Visas usually match work contracts in length.
  5. The OFII needs to be contacted after you arrive in France. You must go through a medical exam and a welcome session in France.
  6. You may need a residence permit depending on how long you stay. It’s usually done within a few months of moving there.
  7. Additional documents and biometrics may be needed to apply for a residence permit.
  8. Your work visa and residence permit must be renewed if your employment contract ends or you change jobs.

Step 5. Registration with a Regional Nursing Agency (DRJSCS)

  1. Once you’re in France, contact the local DRJSCS (Direction Régionale de la Jeunesse, des Sports et de la Cohésion Sociale).
  2. You’ll need to send diplomas and transcripts. In addition to your passport, a CV detailing your work experience, and maybe some references, you’ll need to prove your identity.
  3. The DRJSCS evaluates your education and experience. They compare your nursing program with those in France to see how they compare content and duration.
  4. The agency decides if practice permission is granted. It can take up to four months.
  5. Upon approval, you get a license to practice nursing in that region.

Step 6. Visit to the Agence Régionale de Santé (ARS)

  1. Upon receiving practice permission from the DRJSCS, make an appointment with your local ARS (Agence Régionale de Santé).
  2. The ARS might require you to submit additional documentation, like DRJSCS practice permission and proof of residency in France.
  3. You’ll get an ADELI number from the ARS once you register. You need this number to get registered in the French healthcare system.

Step 7. Registration with the French Nursing Board (Ordre National des Infirmiers)

  1. Get in touch with the Ordre National des Infirmiers. The registration form (usually available on their website or their office) needs to be filled out.
  2. Provide the required documents, including your nursing qualification, proof of identity, ADELI number, and possibly proof of French proficiency.
  3. You’ll have to submit your documents and qualifications to the Nursing Board. If they need more info, they’ll ask.
  4. The Ordre National des Infirmiers will issue a registration certificate once everything is verified and approved. You need this registration to practice legally.
  5. You might have to renew this registration every year.

Step 8. Settling in France

Here is some information to help you complete the process of moving to France as a nurse:


  • BNP Paribas
  • Crédit Agricole
  • Société Générale
  • La Banque Postale
  • Caisse d’Epargne

Health Insurance Companies

  • Allianz France
  • AXA France
  • Groupama
  • MAIF
  • Mutuelle Générale

Immigration Tips

  • You can make your life so much easier if you learn basic French.
  • Get to know French laws, customs, and etiquette.
  • You can get a lot of support and advice by joining expat communities.
  • Be aware of the cost of living in France and manage your money wisely. The cost may range from €1,200 to €2,500 per month for a single person.

Continuous Professional Development Tips

  • Stay up-to-date with industry trends by reading nursing journals and attending seminars.
  • Become a member of the French Nursing Order (Ordre National des Infirmiers) to network.
  • Make sure you keep your skills and knowledge up to date by taking additional courses or workshops.
  • You can identify growth opportunities by self-reflecting on your professional practice.
Infographic Immigrate and Work to France as a Nurse

Nursing Jobs in France for Foreigners

Here are the common types of nurses in France:

  • Hospital Nursing
  • Home Health Care Nursing
  • Nursing in Retirement Homes
  • Specialized Nursing Fields
  • Nursing in International and Private Clinics
  • Humanitarian Nursing
  • Teaching and Research Positions

Nursing Jobs in France for English Speakers

English-speaking nurses can find jobs in a variety of healthcare settings in France. Here are a few examples:

  • Hospitals and Clinics
  • Nursing Homes (EHPAD)
  • Home Healthcare Agencies
  • International Hospitals and Clinics
  • Private Healthcare Practices
  • Healthcare and Medical NGOs
  • Medical Research Institutions
  • Teaching and Education (Nurse Educators)
  • Pharmaceutical Companies (Clinical Research Nurses)

Nurses in France Salary: How Much?

You might ask: “Is nursing a good career in France?” Money-wise, yes. Nurses in France make an average annual salary of 35,900 EUR, ranging from 19,000 EUR to 54,600 EUR. It includes things like housing and transportation. The pay goes up with experience:

  • Less than two years: About 21,900 EUR per year
  • 2 to 5 years: Around 26,900 EUR
  • 5 to 10 years: About 38,100 EUR per year
  • 10 to 15 years: Approximately 44,500 EUR annually
  • 15 to 20 years: Around 48,900 EUR per year
  • Over 20 years: About 51,800 EUR per year

Nurse Salary in France per Month

Nurses in France can make about €2,000 to €3,500 a month, depending on their experience, location, and specialty.

How to Become a Nurse in France?

Now, let’s shift our focus and answer the question: “How to be a nurse in France?” Studying nursing in France for international students involves several steps:

  1. Finding a French nursing university
  2. Admission procedures
  3. Getting a French student visa
  4. Coming to France
  5. Studying nursing in France

Step 1. Finding a French Nursing University

Find out which French schools provide nursing programs. You can find useful information on websites like Campus France. Your choice of study location will affect your living experience and costs, so consider whether you prefer a larger city or a smaller town.

Best Nursing Schools in France

  • IFSI Diaconesses de Reuilly
  • Paris-Sorbonne Universite
  • Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sante Publique School of Public Health
  • Universite de Paris
  • Aix – Marseille University

Step 2. Admission Procedures

Apply to the school that interests you. You might have to pass an entrance test to get into some schools. The admissions process may include interviews, so it’s best to be ready for them.

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

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

Most nursing schools test French writing and speaking skills. The required language level typically depends on your education program and university.

  • For undergraduate programs, a B2 level of proficiency on the CEFR is often required.
  • For postgraduate (master’s) programs, some universities may require a C1 level on the CEFR.

Step 3. Getting a French Student Visa

To get a French student visa:

  1. The French institution will send you an acceptance letter.
  2. Visit your country’s French embassy or consulate to get a student visa. You’ll need:
  3. Your passport.
  4. Letter of acceptance from the French school.
  5. Financial proof you can support yourself in France.
  6. Insurance coverage.
  7. Accommodation proof in France.
  8. After you submit your application, wait for the visa to be processed. It can take a few weeks.

Step 4. Coming to France

When your visa is approved, make your travel arrangements. Make sure you find an apartment, open a bank account, and get to know your new town. (some tips are mentioned in the above sections)

Step 5. Studying Nursing in France

Nursing programs in France usually last three years. Depending on the school, tuition fees can vary. Public universities usually charge less (a few hundred euros a year), while private ones can charge several thousand. Your training will include theoretical and practical components, with clinical placements playing a big part.

Can a US RN Work in France?

A registered nurse (RN) from the United States can work in France. Still, before they can do so, they need to get their credentials recognized by the French government, prove they can speak French fluently, get a work visa, and register with French nursing organizations.

How Can I Work as a Nurse in Paris?

Yes. Obtaining recognition for your nursing qualifications in France, demonstrating fluency in French, getting a job offer, and then registering with the French nursing board and regional health agency are all necessary steps to work as a nurse in Paris.

How Much is a Work Visa for France?

Depending on the kind and length of the visa, the price of a French work visa can vary from 99 to 250 Euros. You should definitely check the official French visa website for the most up-to-date prices, as they are subject to change.

Can I Take NCLEX in France?

Yes, you can take the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses). Here’s how it works:

  1. Make sure you’re eligible by checking with the state nursing board.
  2. You can take the NCLEX-RN with Pearson VUE, which administers it.
  3. You’ll have to pay Pearson VUE’s exam fee (typically ranging from $200 to $400).
  4. If you’re eligible, you’ll get an ATT, which lets you schedule your exam.
  5. You can take the NCLEX-RN in France or a nearby Pearson VUE testing center.
  6. Take your ATT and valid identification to the test center on the scheduled exam day.
  7. Depending on where you applied for licensure, you’ll get your NCLEX-RN results.

Can I Study Nursing in France for Free?

As a general rule, you can’t get a nursing degree in France for free. Public university nursing programs in France can cost anywhere from €170 to €700 per year, so it’s definitely not cheap. The costs might be greater at private schools. Scholarships and other forms of financial aid are available to international students.

Moving 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.

If you have any questions regarding moving to France as a nurse, please ask them in the comment section.


Are nurses paid well in France?

Depending on experience and location, nurses in France are fairly well paid.

Can foreign nurses work in France?

There are specific requirements for foreign nurses to work in France, including qualifications, recognition, and language ability.

How long does it take to become a Registered Nurse in France?

It usually takes three years to become a Registered Nurse in France.

How to immigrate to France as a nurse from the UK?

By obtaining a job offer, demonstrating language proficiency, and getting a work visa, nurses from the UK can immigrate to France.

How to immigrate to France as a nurse from India?

You can immigrate to France as an Indian nurse if you have the right qualifications, language proficiency, a job offer, and a work visa.

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