Become a nurse trainee in Germany

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Nurse Trainee Germany: Learn about all opportunities for EU nationals and non-EU nationals. This is our free guide.

About nursing

Nursing is one of the most responsible job types in the field of medicine. Nurses are responsible for providing medical assistance to patients and taking care of them. They should monitor patient’s condition, record their complaints and provide them with comfort. To become a successful nurse, you should possess a wide range of skills and qualities. Here are some of them:

  • Being physically fit;
  • Empathy for people;
  • Good communication skills and good German language skills;
  • Ability to deal with stress;
  • Knowledge of medical equipment and procedures.

Being a nurse is much more than just checking people’s pulse or bandaging their injuries. It requires taking care not only of patients’ physical health but also their mental health. You should be able to support patients’ families as well. This is why nurses are often called “angels in white”.

As in other countries it is required to undergo a professional learning cycle to become a nurse in Germany. In Germany the regular way to become a nurse as a apprenticeship / vocational training.

Nursing in Germany

As in other countries the nursing profession in Germany is an essential component of the healthcare system, providing essential care to patients across a variety of settings. Nurses in Germany are responsible for a wide range of tasks, including patient care, administration of medications, monitoring patient progress, and collaborating with doctors and other healthcare professionals. They work in diverse environments such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home healthcare services. The role requires a combination of technical skills, interpersonal skills, and a deep understanding of healthcare principles.

To become a nurse in Germany, individuals typically undergo a three-year vocational training program, known as “Ausbildung.” This program combines theoretical learning in a school environment with practical training in a healthcare setting. The curriculum covers a broad range of topics, including anatomy, physiology, nursing theory, and healthcare law. Upon completion of the program, individuals must pass a state examination to become a registered nurse.

A nurse trainee in Germany, also known as a nursing apprentice, embarks on a three-year vocational training program known as “Ausbildung.” This program combines theoretical education with practical training, providing a comprehensive introduction to the nursing profession. The trainee gains hands-on experience in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes.

Nursing in Germany is a profession that offers a high level of job security and opportunities for advancement. With the aging population and the increasing demand for healthcare services, nurses are in high demand. Furthermore, there are numerous opportunities for specialization in areas such as pediatrics, geriatrics, oncology, and critical care. Specializing allows nurses to focus on a specific area of healthcare and often leads to increased responsibilities and higher salaries.

However, the nursing profession in Germany also comes with its challenges. Nurses often work long hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays. The work can be physically and emotionally demanding, with nurses often dealing with critically ill patients and difficult situations. Despite these challenges, many nurses find the profession to be incredibly rewarding, providing them with the opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of their patients.

Our checklist on the nurse apprenticeship Germany

You have high chances of being accepted by a German employer if you fulfill the following criteria:

  • You have finished a school education of at least 9 schoolyears abroad
  • You are over 18 years old
  • You speak German at least on level B1

Nurse apprenticeship Germany

  1. Is there a maximum age for a apprenticeship in nursing?

    No. People of all ages can apply. However keep in mind that you will attend a professional school during your apprenticeship with co-students who might be in their early twenties.

  2. Can I apply as a male for a nursing apprenticeship in Germany?

    Of course! All employers accept as well females, males or diverse applicants.

  3. When can I apply for a nurse apprenticeship in Germany?

    You can apply at any date, however nursing apprenticeships only start in March or September. Applications should be submitted at least three months in advance in order to secure a timely start.

  4. Which are the selection criteria for an apprenticeship in nursing in Germany?

    Besides B1/B2 language skills in German applicants must have a school leaving certificate from your home country or any other country of at least 8 classes. In addition you should have a valid driving license.

    Applicants should be willing to deal with people in need of care even in challenging situations and place these people at the center of your attention. You should be interested in dealing with people and see it as your task to help and support them.

  5. What if I do not meet these requirements?

    If you do not have a driving license you nevertheless might apply. If you do not speak German at all you might consider these alternatives since they provide you with the option to learn German in Germany: Au pair, FSJ, internship, studies.

    If you already speak German but lower than level B1 please also apply! In case you want to do an apprenticeship in another field you find all information here.

  6. How do I apply for a nursing apprenticeship in Germany?

    At Life-in-Germany.de you find current calls for application on our website. In order to stay informed about upcoming calls for application we recommend to subscribe to our free newsletter below.

  7. What will I learn during a nursing apprenticeship in Germany?

    Within the framework of the new nursing training in Germany, you will receive training that qualifies you for work as a nurse, for child care or for care of the elderly. As a nurse, you will take care of people of all ages in special residential facilities, nursing homes, hospitals or at home. You will support people in need of care in coping with everyday life, for example dressing, eating and washing, advise people, carry out joint activities and perform nursing and medical tasks.

Nurse apprenticeship Germany: Additional information

Costs of a nursing apprenticeship in Germany

Starting an apprenticeship in nursing, particularly in the context of the “Duale Berufsausbildung” system in Germany, is a financially viable option for many individuals. This is primarily due to the fact that these apprenticeships are offered free of charge. Unlike many other educational and vocational programs, there is no tuition fee, placement fee, or any other hidden costs associated with the apprenticeship itself. This makes it an attractive option for those who are looking to gain practical experience in the nursing field without incurring significant financial burdens.

Moreover, during the course of the apprenticeship, apprentices are not left without a source of income. The German employer who takes on the apprentice provides a salary, which is typically sufficient to cover the basic cost of living in Germany. This is a significant advantage of the apprenticeship system, as it allows individuals to earn while they learn, reducing the financial strain that often comes with pursuing education and training.

Nurse apprenticeship Germany
Throughout the training, a nurse trainee in Germany develops a wide range of skills. These include technical skills, such as administering medications and performing medical procedures, as well as soft skills, like communication, empathy, and teamwork. These skills are essential for providing high-quality patient care.

However, it’s important to note that while the apprenticeship itself is free, there are other costs that potential apprentices will need to consider. For those coming from outside of Germany, there will be costs associated with obtaining a visa. This can include application fees, as well as potential travel costs for any necessary appointments or interviews.

Transportation is another factor to consider. This includes not only the initial cost of travel to Germany but also the ongoing costs of commuting to and from the workplace during the apprenticeship. Depending on the location of the apprenticeship and the available public transportation options, these costs can vary significantly.

Accommodation is another major cost to consider. While the salary provided during the apprenticeship may cover basic living expenses, it may not be enough to cover the cost of housing, particularly in some of the more expensive cities in Germany. Therefore, potential apprentices should carefully consider their housing options and budget accordingly.

Finally, there are other personal costs associated with living independently. These can include groceries, utilities, health insurance, and other miscellaneous expenses. While these costs are a part of everyday life, they can add up, particularly for those who are living on their own for the first time.

What comes after the nursing apprenticeship in Germany?

Upon completion of an apprenticeship in nursing, a world of opportunities opens up. The first step typically involves becoming a fully registered nurse. This is achieved by passing a state examination, which is a requirement in many countries, including Germany. Once this exam is passed, the individual is officially recognized as a healthcare professional. This recognition is crucial as it allows the individual to practice nursing independently, without the need for supervision. As a registered nurse, one can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and even private homes.

Upon completion of the training, nurse trainees must pass a state examination to become registered nurses. This examination tests the knowledge and skills gained during the training and ensures that the trainee is ready to practice nursing independently. Passing this examination is a significant milestone in a nurse’s career.

The second stage after completing an apprenticeship in nursing often involves specialization. Nurses can choose to specialize in a variety of fields, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, oncology, critical care, and many more. Specialization usually requires additional training and education, but it allows nurses to focus on areas of healthcare that they are particularly passionate about. Specialized nurses often have more responsibilities and can provide a higher level of care to their patients. Additionally, specialization can lead to higher salaries and more opportunities for advancement within the healthcare field.

Finally, after gaining experience and furthering their education, many nurses choose to take on leadership roles within their organizations. These roles can include positions such as head nurse or nursing director. In these positions, nurses are responsible for managing teams of healthcare professionals, coordinating patient care, and making important decisions about healthcare policies and procedures. Some nurses may even choose to pursue advanced degrees, such as a Master’s or Doctorate in Nursing, which can open up opportunities for roles in nursing education or research. Regardless of the path chosen, the completion of an apprenticeship in nursing is just the beginning of a rewarding and fulfilling career in healthcare.

Career development

After completing your nursing apprenticeship, many nurses often continue to work at the same organization where they received their training. This is a common practice as it allows for a seamless transition from training to professional practice. The familiarity with the organization’s systems, procedures, and patient population can be advantageous, providing a level of comfort and stability as you embark on your nursing career.

Nurse Trainee Germany
The journey of a nursing career is often a dynamic one, with many opportunities for growth and exploration. Whether you choose to stay with your initial employer or seek new experiences elsewhere, the skills and experiences you’ve gained during your apprenticeship will serve as a strong foundation for your nursing career.

However, after gaining some experience and further developing their skills, many nurses begin to explore other employment opportunities. This could be driven by a variety of factors such as the desire for new challenges, interest in a different specialization, or the pursuit of career advancement opportunities.

The process of seeking alternative employment typically involves researching potential employers, applying for job vacancies, and attending interviews. It’s important to tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight the skills and experiences you’ve gained during your apprenticeship and subsequent work. Preparation for interviews is also crucial, as it’s your opportunity to demonstrate your qualifications and fit for the new role.

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