Looking for a good place to study nursing? The United Arab Emirates is a good place to start. For many reasons, the country will give you a one-of-a-kind learning experience because of its diversity and safe learning environment. Living in the UAE is known to be a melting pot for diverse cultures, from international students and expats to immigrants living in their popular cities such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The country does not back down with its high technology and excellence in quality education.

The country has adapted to international standards of learning with a competitive selection process and curriculum. International students can expect to find numerous nursing programs from bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. If you wish to learn more about how to study nursing in the United Arab Emirates, continue reading this article.

Steps on How to Apply for a Nursing Program in UAE

Step 1. Research the Prerequisites of Becoming a Nursing in UAE

Becoming a nurse in the United Arab Emirates requires you to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. If you already earned a degree in another country, you can get a license to practice by taking an examination at the Ministry of Health and Prevention. Once you complete a BSN program and obtain a local license, you are considered a nurse in the country and can work as a registered nurse in hospitals, clinics, community or pursue an advanced career as an educator, specialist, manager, and many more.

Several schools offer a nursing program so that you can study nursing in UAE. For instance, you can complete a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at the Gulf Medical University. At RAK Medical and Health Sciences University, they offer a BSN degree program, RN-BSN Bridge Program, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degree Program with four different concentrations available, and a Certificate course in Renal Nursing.

Step 2. Learn about UAE’s Nursing Programs

Researching is a breeze because you will find that most of the school’s websites are in English and all the important details are already written there. First and foremost, you have to take into consideration where you want to stay and study nursing in the UAE. The UAE comprises seven independent states: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm al-Qaiwain, Fujairah, Ajman, and Ra’s al-Khaimah.

Depending on where you want to study, you can narrow down your search among your preferred states. The most popular states for most international students are Abu Dhabi and Dubai. You will then be also thinking about the cost of living and the cost of tuition in these areas.

Another thing to consider is the nursing school’s performance and ranking in the country, whether they have top students who passed or get hired in the best institutions. You want to be trained rigorously by the best school to get a promising future ahead of you.

Although most schools have the same requirements, you will still have to research the nursing school’s prerequisites to check if you are eligible to study nursing in the United Arab Emirates. You can also read on forums and articles to fully understand which school could be the possible fit for you.

Check Also: Best Nursing Schools in the UAE

Step 3. Get Proficient in English

Although the official language of the country is Arabic, the language curriculum of the schools is English. It is because globalization and learning the English language are a priority in the country. Thus, it is expected to have enough grasp of the English language before studying nursing in the UAE. Most schools will require proof of any English proficiency certificate such as TOEFL or IELTS.

For example, the Gulf Medical University requires candidates to submit minimum scores of any of the following: 1100 in Emirates Standardized Language Test (EmSAT), 500 in TOEFL(CBT 173 -iBT 61), 5.0 in IELTS for Academic, 36 – 44 in PTE A / or equivalent in any other standardized internationally recognized test approved by the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA).

Step 4. Meet the Cost of Tuition Fees

Studying nursing in UAE entails a lot of financial preparation. The school and the embassy would usually ask for proof of financial capacity. This is not only for the cost of tuition but for your overall expense in the country. The cost of tuition varies per state but it highly depends on the university, state, degree, and the number of credits. On average, tuition fees can range from USD 6,000 to USD 34,000 per year, excluding daily expenses, rent, and other study materials.

For example, at the University of Wollongong in Dubai, the total cost of tuition for a degree in Bachelor of Nursing (Bridging Program) is AED 80,850 or USD 22,030 for 12 subjects. For RAK Medical and Health Sciences University, the cost of tuition for one semester is AED 52,500 or about USD 14,293, excluding other fees such as Annual Examination Fee for AED 2,000 and Lab & Library Fee for AED 1,000.

Step 5. Prepare Your Application

If you have already chosen your desired nursing school, you can start early on by preparing your documents for submission. It is normally required to finish a 12-year high school program and have enough English abilities to join the program. For instance, the Gulf Medical University requires candidates to have 12 years of school education certificate and must be 17 years of age on or before December 31.

To study nursing in UAE, all applicants should show an English certificate reaching a minimum score such as 1100 in Emirates Standardized Language Test (EmSAT)m 500 in TOEFL(CBT 173 -iBT 61)m 5.0 in IELTS for Academic and 36 – 44 in PTE A. Moreover, if you graduated from another country, the university requires you to meet a minimum grade requirement for subjects such as Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Not only the grades will be checked but also the cognitive and non-cognitive abilities.

Step 6. Apply to Study Nursing in the United Arab Emirates

If you reach all minimum entry requirements such as stated above, you can send out your application to your desired nursing schools. Your application will be thoroughly checked, making sure you are competitive and suitable for the program. For a better understanding of how the application process works, here is an example from the University of Wollongong in Dubai.

First, choose your desired program from their website, fill out and submit the application for admission form along with your documents. You can also choose to apply online on their website where you will fill out your contact details, qualifications, personal information and submit it for review. You will be notified via email if you are accepted or not. Afterwhich, the university can also help sponsor you with a student visa once you pay all necessary initial tuition fees.

Step 7. Once You Get Accepted, Prepare for Student Visa

The last step in your study abroad journey is getting a student visa. A student visa is needed for students who wish to study nursing in the UAE. The student visa can cost about AED 9,206 if you are within UAE and AED 7,576 for students applying outside the UAE. Generally, the student must be 18 years old to apply and should have a visa sponsor such as a university or a relative. Depending on your country, requirements can vary. Students must be able to pass a medical health check and get endorsed by the relevant General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

If you have a visa sponsor such as a university, some additional documents are needed. For example, applying for a sponsored visa at the University of Wollongong in Dubai requires a colored valid passport copy, two passport-size photos, proof of payment of visa and tuition fees, a copy of a current visa (if you are in the UAE), and a copy of acceptance letter from the university.

Keep in mind you will have to pay for the total cost of your student visa. The process can take about five to seven business days or even one month or more before you get the visa. The length of processing can change depending on whether or not they need additional documents. Once you get a visa, you are required to have an Emirates ID card.

Step 8. Prepare to Leave!

Once you get your student visa, you are ready to study nursing in UAE! Pack your bags, get essential materials, and prepare to leave your country. If you’ve come this far, you’ve done it!


We hope that this article on how to study nursing in UAE was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students for more information!

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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  1. SAYUNI RUTH July 26, 2023 1:10 pm - Reply

    This article is so helpful to me thank you so much

    • Hyun Lee July 26, 2023 1:47 pm - Reply

      You are welcome!

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