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A Comprehensive Guide on How to Become an Foreign Nurse in France


The wide-range of job opportunities for nurses in France make the country a great place for foreign nurses to work in. Nurses in France also have an attractive salary, as well as a handful of benefits.They have access to the universal health insurance of the country, several parental and sick leaves, as well as 25 paid vacation days yearly. Other factors that could convince you to choose France are the delicious food, and the distinct culture. Furthermore, the first world country also has an exceptional healthcare system with advanced technology that could make you wish you could work there.

About the Country

French cuisine is well known all over the world for its distinct ingredients and varied cooking styles. It is often characterized by cheese, wines, and breads. Their cuisine was also recognized by UNESCO in 2010, as part of their list of intangible cultural heritage. Some of their delicious food include Soupe à l’oignon (French soup), Coq au vin (Braised chicken with wine, mushrooms, bacon, onions, and garlic), Cassoulet (Stewed white beans with meat), Bœuf bourguignon (Braised beef stew in red wine), and Chocolate soufflé. Aside from the food, France is also famous for their fashion. In fact, Paris is known as the fashion capital of the world. It is the home of major fashion brands, including Louis Vuitton and Chanel. French style is now defined as sophisticated and trendy, with dresses or suits, heavy jackets, and scarves characterizing the fashion in the country. Furthermore, French art and media is also well known all over the world. French novels, like Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, as well as renowned artists, such as Monet and Renoir, are recognized worldwide. 

Aside from the distinct French culture, the healthcare system of France is also highly advanced. It was ranked as eleventh on the Euro Health Consumer Index in 2018. Furthermore, the country was also able to obtain the lowest mortality rates for heart disease among other countries in Europe. 

The aforementioned factors truly make France a great country to work in, which makes it no surprise to why approximately 50,000 Filipinos are said to work and live in France. With this, you can easily meet fellow Filipinos if you choose to work as a nurse in the country.

Type of Nurses

As a foreign nurse, there is a wide range of nursing job opportunities you could choose from in France. However, upon obtaining your nursing degree, you could opt to acquire further specialization training in order to work in certain nursing careers.

Registered Nurses (RN)

In order to become a registered nurse in the country, you must pass the entrance examination at the Institut de Formation en Soins Infirmiers (IFSI). Afterwards, you must undergo a three year training program, which may be provided in your university. 

Specialized Nurse 

Registered nurses who opt to obtain specializations, may choose to undergo a minimum of two years of experience in particular areas of study. These include occupational health nursing, anesthetist nursing, pediatric nursing, operating theater nursing and more. 

Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Advanced nurse practitioners in France are registered nurses who take further nursing education in fields of oncology and gerontology.


The average annual salary of nurses in France is 47,900 EUR (₱2,735,203.57). Entry-level nurses earn an average salary of 30,700 EUR yearly, while senior nurses earn as much as 92,200 EUR (₱5,264,838.61) yearly. The salary of nurses is highly dependent on the amount of experience and qualifications that a nurse has. For instance, according to, nurses with two to five years of experience earn approximately 32% more as compared to entry-level nurses. On the other hand, nurses with more than five years of experience could earn approximately 36% more as compared to those with less clinical experience.
Another factor that could affect the salary of nurses in France is gender. Female nurses in France earn 5% more than male nurses. For instance, if the salary of a female nurse is 49,000 EUR (₱2,798,016.18), a male nurse of the same level would earn an average salary of 46,600 EUR (₱2,660,970.49). This is only true for nursing careers in the country, as men often earn 6% more as compared to their women counterparts in other career fields.

Demand for Nurses

France remains as one of the countries in Europe with increasing numbers of job vacancies for nurses. According to JobFeed, a 2.9 percent increase was observed in the number of nursing job vacancies between 2015 to 2017. In addition to that, the aging population has also caused the demand for healthcare professionals, such as nurses, to continuously increase. With the high demands for nurses, you could have higher chances of landing a nursing job in the country.


In 1997 and 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the healthcare system of France was the best in the entire world. France is also one of the countries that lead with research in medical aspects. With this, the public hospitals in the country are regularly updated institutions, and they offer progressive treatment procedures. Almost half of the nurses in the country practice in public hospitals. Some of the public hospitals in France are Saint-Antoine University Hospital, and  Tourcoing Hospital

From 2011-2018, there was a decrease in the number of private hospitals in France. Approximately 40% of the total hospitals in France are private for profit hospitals. These hospitals focus on particular areas of specialties. Private hospitals in the country include Center Jean Perrin, Centre Cardio Thoracique de Monaco, Centre Hospitalier de Bethune, Centre Hospitalier la Chartreuse de Villefranche de Rouergue, and Centre Hospitalier d’Antibes Juan les Pins.

In order to be able to work as a nurse in France, you must fulfill the following qualifications:

Educational Requirement

In order to work in France as a foreign nurse, you must be a holder of a bachelor’s degree in nursing, which must have been obtained from a recognized institution. In addition to a degree, you must also have an active nursing license issued by the accredited organization from your country of origin.

Language Requirements

In order to be able to effectively communicate with your patients and co-workers, it is essential that you learn how to speak French. By being able to speak with the locals of the country, it would also be slightly easier for you to live there. Keep in mind that it is not necessary for you to be at expert level when speaking French, however, being able to speak the language is an advantage for you as you will be communicating with doctors and other healthcare professionals, and patients and their families daily. You will also be interpreting the results of patient examinations, as well as following the orders of doctors. With this, you must be able to comfortably speak, read, listen, and write in French.

The Regional Health Agency in France requires foreign nurses to be able to prove their mastery of the French language, by obtaining a Diploma of Studies in French Language.

Certifications and Examinations

France does not have board examinations or standard tests, such as the National Council Licensure for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Instead, they have ‘évaluations’, which are exams taken after each semester. Due to the particular restrictions imposed by the French government, foreign nurses with a nursing degree, who aspire to work in France, must take at least a year of courses in a nursing school in the country. You must also successfully pass the ‘évaluations’. Aside from this, foreign nurses must also pass three knowledge verification examinations. 

Épreuves de vérification des connaissances (EVC)

The Épreuves de vérification des connaissances (EVC) are knowledge verification tests. These examinations are required for healthcare practitioners to be able to practice in France, with a degree obtained outside of EU countries. This is according to article 70 of the law of July 24, 2019. You may apply for these examinations at the National Management Centre.

Upon completion of the test and the necessary requirements, you will receive your French nursing diploma. This serves as your license, making you eligible to practice nursing in the country and apply for nursing jobs. Good luck!


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