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Nurses choose to migrate and work in the Netherlands due to the competitive salary and benefits offered. There is also a great number of employment opportunities due to the shortage in healthcare professionals in the country. Aside from that, there is also a wide-range of specializations that a registered nurse could choose from. The main requirement for working as a nurse in the country is enrolling in the BIG registration, which will validate your credentials and determine whether you are fit to practice nursing in the country or not.

About the Country

The country is very rich in culture, as they take pride in many of their arts and cultural heritage. The common symbols of the country that we know, such as tulips, windmills, lace caps, and wooden shoes, only show a very small part of life in the country. The locals in the Netherlands are also very friendly, and welcoming, so there’s no need to worry about making friends. They are also generally happy. However, they may also seem direct and opinionated at times. Despite each individual having a unique personality, there is a common behavioral pattern that stands out among the Dutch people. 

Nurses and midwives are treated with high dignity in the Netherlands by doctors, colleagues, and patients. This is because everyone has the same goal, which is to provide the most efficient healthcare to their patients. This will only be feasible if everyone respects one other and works together effectively. Aside from that, their healthcare system is also provided using advanced technology in contemporary facilities. Work is completed using the most recent work structures and procedures, and innovation is highly valued. These are only some of the reasons why the Netherlands has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. 

Filipinos in Netherlands

There are about 14,000 Filipinos who reside in the Netherlands, as of 2021. Among these, there are many Filipino nurses in the country. In fact, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) stated that the first recorded migration of a Filipino to the Netherlands was a Filipino nurse, who came there to work in a hospital in Amsterdam. You may feel less lonely in the comfort of other Fillipinos in a different country. With this, if you decide on working in the country, you could meet other Filipino nurses through organizations, such as the Filipino Nurses in the Netherlands (Facebook Page). 

Due to the great number of Filipino migrants in the Netherlands, there has been an increasing number of Filipino food in the country. Café Nordrick is a Filipino bakery in the Netherlands, which offers Filipino comfort delicacies to the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in the country. They serve Filipino favorites, such as ensaymada, pan de coco, turon, bibingka, maruya, and more. After a long day, you could visit the cafe, and taste the flavors that will instantly make you feel like you’re home. If you don’t have time to go out and eat, you could even purchase frozen Filipino gourmet dishes from Cater2U. They offer a variety of Filipino dishes, such as pork barbecue, dinakdakan, binagoongang baboy, pinakbet, and more. Truly, these efforts could satisfy your cravings.

Type of Nurses

Registered nurses could choose to specialize in a particular area and have the potential to become experts in their profession. 

Registered Nurse (RN)

Registered nurses provide direct patient care, develop quality assurance procedures and nursing practice standards, and direct complex nursing care systems. However, their responsibilities are not limited to those. At times, they may even serve as the leaders of certain units, divisions, or services.

Nurse with Specializations

Through acquiring specializations, nurses are able to further refine and gain a more extensive set of nursing skills that could allow them to become the expert of their desired field. There is a wide-range of nursing specializations that you could choose from, if you hope to obtain one. Some nursing specializations that include cardiac nursing, geriatric nursing, oncology nursing, orthopedic nursing, and many more.


Based on, nurses in the Netherlands earn an average salary of 3,920 EUR (₱223,841.29) monthly, or an average annual salary of 47,000 EUR (₱2,683,811.44). Entry-level nurses earn an average salary of 1,840 EUR (₱105,068.36) monthly, while senior nurses, on the other hand, could earn as much as 6,190 EUR (₱353,463.68) monthly. 

The increasing demand for healthcare professionals in the Netherlands has caused the salaries of nurses to be relatively high, as compared to the other countries. However, the salary of nurses in the Netherlands greatly depends on the experiences of a nurse. If you have more years of experience, you could acquire a higher wage.

Demand for Nurses

Just like most of the other countries, Netherlands has an increasing demand for nurses as a response to the influx of patients brought about by the pandemic. However, the country has had a high demand for nurses even before the global crisis, due to their aging population. As their population increases and the individuals of the country become older, a higher number of healthcare professionals is needed in the country.


In the Netherlands, there are a great number of hospitals and health facilities that provide high quality medical care. Hospitals traditionally provide the same services, however, under the new Dutch healthcare system, the government is pushing the hospitals to specialize. The three main types of hospitals in the country are Academic hospitals, Teaching hospitals, and General hospitals. 

Academic Hospitals

Academic hospitals work in collaboration with major Dutch institutions. The Netherlands has eight academic hospitals, each of which employs a diverse range of researchers and experts. This allows them to offer a more specialized type of care. Some academic hospitals in the country are Academisch Medisch Centrum, and VU Medisch Centrum. Both of which are located in Amsterdam. There is also an academic hospital in Groningen is Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen, and one in Rotterdam, which is Erasmus MC. Apart from those, there are many other academic hospitals scattered around the country.

Teaching Hospitals

Teaching hospitals also collaborate with university medical centers to help train nurses and medical interns. They also provide specialized therapies. In teaching hospitals, interns are permitted to accompany doctors during procedures. The teaching hospitals located in The Hague are HagaZiekenhuis, HMC Bronovo Ziekenhuis, and Medisch Centrum Haaglanden. One teaching hospital in Amsterdam is the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis. These are just some of the teaching hospitals in the country.

General Hospitals

General hospitals provide all types of medical care, and they are more inclined to treat acute illnesses. Patients with rare specialized diseases may be sent to the more specialized institutions. The general hospitals in Eindhoven are Laurentius Ziekenhuis, Catharina Ziekenhuis, Maxima Medisch and St. Anna Ziekenhuis. Some of the other general hospitals in the country are Jeroen Bosch Ziekenhuis, Reinier de Graaf Gasthuis, Kennemer Gasthuis, and Netherlands Cancer Institute

Educational Requirement

 In order to work as a nurse in the Netherlands, you must hold a European nursing degree. If you obtained your degree outside of Europe, you will be required to validate your diploma with Nuffic. This procedure may take up to four weeks.

Language Requirement

In order to be able to apply as a nurse in the Netherlands, it is important that you can communicate with the English language and Dutch language. You must be able to speak the English language with a minimum level of A2, and you must be able to speak the Dutch language at a minimum of B1 level.


You must have worked as a nurse for a minimum of 2080 hours within the past five years every five years.


Prior to being able to work in the healthcare sector of the Netherlands, you must undergo the Big Register, which is the Dutch nurse registration. 

Beroepen in de Individuele Gezondheidszorg (BIG) Registration

Based on the Individual Healthcare, you must first enroll in the BIG register before being eligible to work as a nurse in the country. The BIG registration is not only required for nurses; it is necessary for other healthcare professionals as well, including doctors and physiotherapists. The BIG registration validates the credentials of healthcare professionals, as well as their right to practice. This includes the validation of your foreign diploma, if you obtained your education outside of the country. The cost for this procedure is € 85. However, it is important to take note that there may be extra costs for assessments for international applicants. 

In order to be eligible for the BIG registration, you must have a valid diploma. You must also be able to practice nursing without any restrictions, and you must be physically fit to work without any assistance. For international applicants, your qualification is dependent on the country where you previously worked in, your nationality, and the profession that you are applying for. Aside from those, you must also be able to present a proof of language proficiency in the Dutch language.

The following documents must be presented:

  • Valid copy of diploma
  • Copy of valid passport or valid residence permit
  • Recent CV resume
  • Proof of Language Proficiency (if you obtained your education in any language other than Dutch)
  • Original and certified copy of your Certificate of Current Professional Status (if you worked or lived in another country during your profession) – must not be older than three months
  • Original and certified copy of your Certificate of Current Good Conduct (if you worked or lived in another country during your profession)  – must not be older than three months
  • Proof of work experience or training (if your diploma is older than five years)

It is important to make sure that you have submitted all of the necessary documents required so that you will not encounter any delays in your application process. Upon the completion of the BIG registration, you are now a licensed nurse in the country. Good luck, and we wish you all the best!


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