Nursing is a profession that requires a true passion for humanity, and where better to cultivate that passion than in Switzerland, a nation renowned for its dedication to healthcare and global well-being? As an international student, studying nursing in Switzerland offers a unique opportunity to merge your passion with world-class education, diverse cultural experiences, and the chance to contribute to a society that prioritizes patient care.

But with so many esteemed universities, where do you begin? This article reveals 5 of the top nursing schools in Switzerland, each offering distinct programs, and specializations, and having experienced and well-distinguished faculty members. Let’s have a look at them!

Top Schools Offering Nursing Programs in Switzerland

1. Bern University of Applied Sciences

Starting with Bern University of Applied Sciences, we will look into its renowned School of Health Professions. BFH stands out for its focus on evidence-based practice and strong industry partnerships, providing students with access to cutting-edge facilities and practical learning opportunities. Founded in the 20th century, BFH has established itself as a leader in applied sciences, including health professions. Its nursing programs are designed to equip students with the necessary skills to excel in various healthcare settings, making it an attractive option for international students seeking comprehensive nursing education.

Their bachelor’s degree in nursing offers specializations in various areas, including Anesthesia, Operating Room Nursing, and Intensive Care Nursing, allowing students to tailor their education to their specific interests.

2. University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland

The School of Health at HES-SO stands out for its multilingual environment and network of campuses across French-speaking Switzerland. This unique structure offers students the opportunity not only to develop fluency in French and German but also to experience diverse healthcare settings and cultural contexts. Their bachelor’s degree in Nursing program is offered in both languages, with English also serving as a medium of instruction for the master’s degree, allowing students to choose based on their proficiency and preference.

These programs emphasize interdisciplinary learning and offer opportunities for students to engage in international exchange programs, enhancing their global perspective and employability.

3. Zurich University of Applied Sciences

Zurich University of Applied Sciences, or Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften in German, is one of the leading universities of applied sciences in Switzerland. The Institute of Nursing at ZHAW is distinguished by its comprehensive approach to health education and research. Founded in 2007, it offers state-of-the-art facilities and a curriculum that reflects the latest in healthcare practices and technology. ZHAW is a prime choice for international students due to its global outlook and partnership with over 490 universities across 8 countries.

Across its three nursing programs, the Master of Science in Nursing is a notable program at ZHAW, designed for nurses seeking advanced clinical, leadership, and research roles. This program is distinguished by its focus on evidence-based practice and healthcare facilities, preparing graduates to lead change and improve patient outcomes in diverse healthcare settings. ZHAW’s strong links with healthcare institutions and industries both in Switzerland and internationally also provide valuable networking and career opportunities for graduates.

4. University of Basel

The University of Basel, established in 1460, stands as Switzerland’s oldest university and is also among the world’s oldest surviving universities. Its unique positioning at the crossroads of Swiss, French, and German cultures provides an enriching experience for international students, offering insights into multiple European traditions and languages.

While the University of Basel doesn’t currently offer undergraduate programs in nursing, it presents a compelling option for experienced nurses seeking to advance their careers through its Ph.D. in Nursing Science. This program holds a unique position, being one of the few Ph.D. programs in nursing offered in Switzerland.

These program offerings, coupled with the university’s supportive services for international students, from admissions guidance to career counseling, make it a sought-after destination for students from around the globe.

5. University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland

While most Swiss universities conduct nursing programs in German or French, our journey wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), nestled in the Italian-speaking city of Manno. Here, native Italian speakers are proudly welcomed through comprehensive nursing programs, offered at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

With a curriculum tailored to the unique needs of Italian-speaking communities, SUPSI prepares students to address healthcare challenges within their cultural and linguistic context. Moreover, the university’s mission to promote research is evidenced by its over 119 active research projects and approximately 8 research centers and laboratories, providing ample opportunities for students to engage in cutting-edge research and contribute to the advancement of nursing knowledge and practice.

FAQs about Studying Nursing in Switzerland

Which Nursing School in Switzerland Has Graduates with the Highest Passing Rate in the Nursing Board Exam?

In Switzerland, the concept of a nursing board exam as known in some countries, such as the NCLEX-RN in the United States, doesn’t directly apply. Swiss nursing education and qualification recognition are structured differently, focusing on federal diplomas and higher education degrees that enable registration as a nurse without a single standardized national board examination. However, it’s important to note that these qualifications still need to be approved by the Swiss Red Cross for professional practice as a nurse in Switzerland.

Nevertheless, among Swiss nursing schools, Bern University of Applied Sciences’ health domain, is quite noted for its rigorous programs that prepare students well for the healthcare sector, emphasizing practical skills and theoretical knowledge, leading to high employability and professional success rates among graduates.


Be it the SUPSI, ZHAW, or the famous BFH, remember that your nursing education is ultimately driven by a passion for humanity. No matter which program you choose, the knowledge, skills, and experiences you gain in these Swiss institutions will empower you to make a real difference in the lives of countless patients, leaving a lasting impact on the world around you.


We hope this article on the best nursing schools in Switzerland was helpful. To know more information like this, check out the Programs in Europe for International Students and sample the several educational opportunities on the Switzerland Page.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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