If you are a graduate of Nursing and are planning to work abroad, an Asian country that you should consider is Japan. There are many ways how to become a licensed nurse here. For one, the country provides many opportunities in the healthcare industry, from hospital nurses to pediatric nurses to emergency care providers.

Here are the general steps to becoming a nurse in Japan. This article will aid you in how to pursue a nursing career abroad!

How to Become a Nurse in Japan

Step 1. Complete 15 Years of Schooling and a Nursing Degree

To become a nurse in Japan, all applicants should need to complete 15 years of schooling, including four years of high school and three years of an undergrad course. Once you’ve completed this requirement, you must take the associate nurse exam. After passing the examination, you need to work for two years in your home country before applying for a Japanese license. To become a nurse in Japan, you must have an internationally acknowledged degree from a university that provides nursing training.

Suppose you’re a foreigner applying to a Japanese nursing school. You should know that one of the most important aspects of applying to Japanese nursing schools is the Japanese language test. Additionally, IELTS, TOEFL, and TEPS are all required for entry. You should also submit a recommendation letter from your professor or employer. Finally, your financial ability is a must.

The process to become a nurse in Japan varies by university. To become a nurse in Japan, you must first complete the requirements to study in the country. You must pass an entrance examination, submit an application form, and get accepted. For instance, at Osaka City University, you must take the Japanese University Admissions Test to become a nurse. The entrance examination is held in February, and you can start school in April if you pass the screening.

The Japanese educational system has made it easier to become a nurse. English is the main language of instruction at universities and hospitals. While you may not feel comfortable learning Japanese, it is necessary to have a good grasp of the Japanese language and culture. While it can be difficult to make friends in foreign countries, it is essential to have a strong sense of cultural differences. Having a strong grasp of the language is vital for the future of a nursing career.

Step 2. Study the Japanese Language and Culture

The next step and the most important qualification for nursing in Japan is language skills. The language is not always easy to learn, so you will need to have at least N2-level skills. The language is also complicated in Japan, and you must have the ability to understand and use medical jargon. Fortunately, there are many ways to study in Japan to become a nurse. But if you want to be a nurse in Japan, you should be aware of the culture first.

Being familiar with Japanese culture is important. This country has strict rules and customs and the Japanese people take their health very seriously. A nurse in Japan is very close to her patients. They enter into their lives, and they must be able to interpret the cultural differences. This requires excellent communication skills, as nurses will deal with many people. You will also need to be able to explain the results of a diagnosis and medical treatments to a patient, as well as the patient’s family and friends.

In addition to the language requirements, nurses need to understand Japanese culture. The Japanese way of life is very different from our own, and this affects the way we treat our patients. Thus, nurses must be sensitive to these differences. A good understanding of Japanese culture is essential for a nurse. It is important to be a good communicator. It is essential to communicate with many people, from patients and families to colleagues.

A nurse in Japan can be close to her patients and can be intimate with them. The Japanese language is so important that it is not uncommon to hear the patient’s story in their native language. A nurse must be able to communicate well to be a good caregiver and to be able to understand patients’ needs. But to do this, nurses need to have a thorough understanding of the language.

Step 3. Pass the National Exam

After you’ve figured out the language, you’ll need to study and complete the application process. The next step to becoming a nurse in Japan is to take the national examination. You’ll need to take a national licensing examination. The examination is difficult, and few foreigners succeed in passing it. The examination will vary from university to university, but you can expect the overall application process to be the same. When applying for a nurse’s position in Japan, you’ll need to apply for a visa and apply for a temporary job with the appropriate Japanese agency.

Step 4. Pass the National Medical Practitioners Examination

Once you’ve completed the national exam, the next step is you’ll need to take the National Medical Practitioners Examination. This is the only way to become a nurse in Japan. The exam can be challenging for foreigners, and it’s best to have a good grasp of the language and the Japanese culture to boost your chances of acing the exam.

Step 5. Obtain a Medical License

To become a licensed nurse, you will have to complete two years of residency in a Japanese hospital. The Japanese nursing profession has a lot of unique aspects that will make it a challenging but rewarding career.


We hope this article on how to become a nurse in Japan was helpful. To learn more information on studying in this rich and diverse country, check out the Available Programs in Japan for International Students. Additionally, the Study in Japan page will give you further insights into the various universities and other available educational opportunities.

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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