Switzerland is one of the countries known for its high standards of living, and its healthcare system is hailed as one of the top 10 healthcare systems all around the world. Its healthcare system has a global reputation of being outstanding. Switzerland’s healthcare system provides a variety of medical services and high patient satisfaction. It has an extensive network of highly qualified healthcare professionals, the best equipped medical facilities, and there is no waiting list.
Knowing how modern and efficient Switzerland’s healthcare system is, nurses are one of the contributors to this. Nurses have overseen the holistic process of patient care. They have been managing assistants and worked closely with the rest of the medical team to deal directly with patients. Nurses in Switzerland are responsible for setting and carrying out health care plans for patients around the country.
Keep reading to know more about the steps to become a nurse in Switzerland.
How Much Are Nurses Paid in Switzerland?
Nurses typically make an annual average of CHF 73,800 or CHF38 per hour, although this may vary depending on qualification, experience level, and type of healthcare they are working in. For example, entry-level nurses make around CHF64,300 annually, while those with high qualifications and experience can earn around CHF94,800.
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Steps to Become a Nurse in Switzerland
1. Research for Swiss Universities offering Nursing Courses or Programs
There are many recognized universities offering bachelor’s degrees in nursing. One must consider the location, fees and of course the language. In choosing a university, make sure that the cost of living in the chosen university can be covered by your allowance. And most importantly, Switzerland is a country of mixed languages, namely German, French, and Italian. The language of instruction depends on what university you choose.
For more information about Swiss universities and nursing courses or programs offered, please see Nursing Programs in Switzerland.
2. Meet the Language Requirements of Studying Nursing in Switzerland
Most universities in Switzerland require language proficiency as a prerequisite before accepting students into their program. English is not the language of instruction in most universities, so if you wish to become a nurse in Switzerland, you must know at least one national language, which includes German, Italian, or French. Most universities require students to at least have a level B2 language skill in German, Italian or French.
Language proficiency is not only required in studying nursing, but also in practicing the nursing profession. So, if you are looking into working as a nursing professional, you may be required to have a certificate of language proficiency and acquire the level B2 language skills in any of the languages spoken in Switzerland.
3. Finish a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and Obtain a Diploma
A lot of nursing programs are being offered for those who are interested to become a nurse in Switzerland. Please see step one for the different universities offering nursing courses in the country.
The duration to complete an undergraduate nursing program for a full-time student is three (3) years. But Switzerland also offers a part-time setup for students, and this usually takes four (4) to five (5) years to finish.
Learn More: How to Study Nursing in Switzerland
4. For International Students, finish a Nursing Course and Training in your Home Country, and Obtain a Nursing Professional License
International students who wish to become a nurse in Switzerland must also finish and obtain a diploma or certificate of completion of the nursing program and training in his or her country from a recognized university.
To be able to practice nursing in Switzerland, you must have a professional license to certify that you are eligible to practice the profession and you have been allowed by your country to work as a nursing professional.
5. Get your Credentials Checked by the Swiss Red Cross
Foreign or international nurses must go through the process of letting the Swiss Red Cross verify their credentials. Nursing is one of the regulated professions in Switzerland that needs an application for authorization to prove that they are entitled to be recognized as a professional nurse.
For the foreign nurse’s application, he or she should have all the required documents translated into one of the national languages of Switzerland. Authorities may ask the applicant to notarize some of these translated documents.
6. Check Requirements to the Swiss Red Cross website
All the requirements needed are included in the Swiss Red Cross website. The first thing to do is to do the Precheck. To know more information about the Precheck, please visit and log in to the Precheck page of the Swiss Red Cross website. After the Precheck, the applicant will have either a positive or a negative result. In case the applicant’s precheck is positive, he or she will receive an application form and may proceed with the recognition procedure and request for the needed application documents. However, in the event of receiving a negative result, the Swiss Red Cross will inform the applicant of other further options that can be done.
For further information, please visit the Swiss Red Cross website.
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7. Prepare all Needed Documents
The Swiss Red Cross will immediately send the application form and the needed documents to further process the applicant’s recognition. Make sure that the application form is signed, and all requested documents are complete to avoid any delay or follow-ups from the Swiss Red Cross. The documents that need to be submitted for application of recognition include:
- Certificate of Current Professional Status / Letter of Good Standing
- A professional license, professional examination, registration, or working license
- Job references
All the documents needed shall be sent to the Swiss Red Cross through the post with the address:
8. Pay all Necessary Fees
The invoice amount shall be booked to the applicant’s account. Applicants must first pay the fees before the Swiss Red Cross can proceed in the processing of the application for recognition. The competent authority requires its applicants to pay USD 550 before they can verify the applicant’s credentials and allow them to work as a nurse in Switzerland.
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9. Wait for the Feedback or Result of your Application
After receiving your application and the fees that you have paid for your application, the recognition process of your credentials shall commence. The applicant shall not do any further procedure until he or she receives the written feedback of the Swiss Red Cross. The processing of the documents usually lasts three to four months.
10. Recognition of Credentials
After receiving the written feedback from the Swiss Red Cross, the applicant’s diploma and credentials shall be accepted and recognized immediately. However, if the applicant’s credentials are not recognized, he or she will be given an opportunity or compensatory measures to catch up with additional requirements to further his or her qualification to become a nurse in Switzerland.
The compensatory measures include the following:
- Adaptation course
- Additional training in the professional field of nursing
- Aptitude test
The processing of the application for recognition will be extended, and additional costs shall be charged if the Swiss Red Cross requires compensatory measures from the applicant.
11. Get Ready to Work in Switzerland
Once the applicant’s recognition has already been accepted and approved, he or she may start working at recognized public or private hospitals in the country.
Becoming a nurse in Switzerland requires a significant amount of education, training, and certification. However, a career in nursing in Switzerland comes with great rewards, including high salaries and opportunities to work in one of the best healthcare systems in the world. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in healthcare in Switzerland, be sure to check out our article on the steps to become a doctor in Switzerland as well.
We hope that you found this article on the steps to become a nurse in Switzerland informative and helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!