Europe is the second smallest continent in the world (using a seven-continent model) and is divided into fifty sovereign states. Of those fifty sovereign states, Russia is the biggest and also the most populous country. In total, it has a population of 746 million which is about 10% of the world.
Europe also has the largest economy in the world and is the richest region in the world with over $32.7 billion worth of assets in its management. That is about one-third of the world’s total wealth. Western European countries are considered the richer states because a lot of Eastern European countries are still in recovery. They are recovering from the break-up of Yugoslavia and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Hence, their economies are not yet as advanced as their Western neighbors.
Europe, in general, is a nice place to live in, its cost of living is lower than North America. Their healthcare is also better and by numbers, the best of any region in the world. North Americans pay the highest fees for medical services in the world and have a 23% satisfaction rate. Europeans pay considerably fewer fees and have a 70% satisfaction rate.
Now that we have established the high quality of healthcare in Europe, let us move on to discuss further. In this article, we will focus on the top European countries that need nurses.
Nursing Profession in Europe
The quality of healthcare in Europe is not in the best of places right now, as studies since 2018 have shown a shortage in nurses and other healthcare professionals. European countries are averaging one nurse per 1000 inhabitants. Another study by the European Parliament shows that adding one more patient to the workload of these nurses would increase the chances of another patient dying by 7%.
The Covid-19 pandemic has not helped at all. Since its outbreak in 2019, the European demand for nurses, in particular, has increased drastically. At this rate, the shortage is expected to reach 4.1 million by 2030, particularly in the EU member countries.
Ministries of health and labor in many European countries are already making plans to reform their healthcare industries to reduce the shortage. These include improving the working conditions of nurses, adding positive incentives, and better recognition for the work they do.
This shortage however provides an opportunity for nurses outside of Europe. While these policies and incentives are being implemented, it will be easier to get nurses from outside Europe.
So, if you are a nurse already or studying to become one, here are the 10 top European countries that need nurses.
10 Top European countries That Need Nurses
Asides from the fact that you have to take a language proficiency test in the local language (Italian) to get the certification to work as a nurse, Italy is a great country to work in as a nurse. They have a shortage of nurses as well, so they will gladly take nursing help from anywhere. In Italy, nursing salaries are about €45,000 annually on an average.
2. United Kingdom
Here, the number of nurses quitting the NHS is more than the number of newly registered nurses. The U.K. already has a high number of immigrants so, it will be easy to use this as an opportunity to relocate there and also work as a nurse. Higher ranked nurses have it great though, with their salaries getting up to £35,000 yearly. To work as a nurse in the U.K. though, you would have to obtain a degree in pre-registration nursing, register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and complete their assessment.
For English-speaking nurses, Ireland is another great option. Nursing in Ireland comes with a lot of variety and opportunities. Nursing is also a career in high demand here. You have to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Irelandbefore you can to be able to practice as a nurse. Once you are registered, you would also be required to take a language proficiency test, and applicants are usually put through a background check of some sort. Irish healthcare is an improving one, and they are also working on ways to improve the nursing working conditions.
In Germany, for every 100 vacant nursing positions, there are only 19 qualified candidates available to take them. This has made the Germans embark on a healthcare reform where they are reviewing their nursing training programs as well as hiring nurses from other countries. You would need an internationally accepted nursing license and program to help you adapt to the language, culture, and professional skills required to meet the German standards. It is also worth noting that the German healthcare system is highly mechanized which helps increase its quality. You’d also require a visa, depending on where you are from, and it is important to note that the salaries of nurses in Germany vary, they depend on your skills, experience, and location.
Small as they are, Luxembourg is not just a tax haven, its economy is also a successful one. They also pay their workers not just nurses very well with salaries ranging from €54,000 to €113,000 yearly. The only downside to Luxembourg is the competition for jobs. They do require nurses, but their small population and fantastic working conditions make jobs difficult to get. Once you get a nursing job though, the benefits are plenty and not just the salary.
The French healthcare system is almost second to none, the average life expectancy here is currently 82 and healthcare is relatively cheap. Patients are usually reimbursed the majority of their medical fees by their health insurance provider. Their emergency services are also top-notch. For nurses looking for jobs, their high life expectancy means that there are a lot of aging citizens to take care of, as well as regular patients and victims of the covid-19 pandemic. All these make France another great country to work in as a nurse.
The Danish healthcare system is easily accessible to citizens and residents seeing that it is funded majorly by the taxpayer. Their healthcare system is also top-notch as you would expect from a Scandinavian country. Working conditions here are arguably the best around even for nurses, for instance, they receive 6 weeks of paid vacation/annual leave annually. The nursing salaries are also in good ranges.
A very stable economy, potentially the best healthcare system in Europe, and a very good work-life balance. The Netherlands is a favorite location for a lot of healthcare workers. To work as a nurse here, you would need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) that is internationally accepted. Then you would need a BIG register which is for healthcare professionals to work, then you can apply for a work permit. A lot of Dutch people speak English properly but it would be an added advantage if you can speak the local language as well.
There is a shortage here as well, but the Swiss are a little stricter with their acceptance of foreigners especially for work purposes. Here, you’d be required to speak one of the local languages; German, French or Italian. English alone would not be acceptable. They also have an exam for these languages and you would be required to pass one of them depending on where in the country you want to live or work in. The Swiss red cross is in charge of the applications and credentials of foreigners. Getting your credentials evaluated is pretty expensive and the process can take several months before it is completed. Asides from all these, they have a very good healthcare system and decent pay for nursing and medical professionals.
Their socially progressive attitude, the standard of living, and top-quality healthcare system make Norway a great option to work as a medical professional. With their high life expectancy, it is anticipated that they would need about 100,000 healthcare professionals and workers over the next ten years. To work here, you would need a work visa/permit, speak the language, and receive certification from the Norwegian Registration Authority for Health Personnel (SAK). Salaries for healthcare professionals and nurses here are very attractive as well.
Conclusion: Top European Countries that Need Nurses
With various European countries looking to address the shortage of nurses and other healthcare professionals, this is an opportunity for nurses outside Europe looking to move and work in a country in Europe. We believe that this article would have provided you with the tools to take advantage of this situation.