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WORKING ABROAD / DEC. 27, 2012
version 26, draft 26

Nursing in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands there are two levels of nurses – first and second level nurses. First level nurses are considered to be of a higher level than second level nurses, and are therefore in a position to instruct and direct second level nurses where applicable.

There are approximately 400,000 registered medical professionals working in the Netherlands, therefore work for nurses is largely available, and the industry is regarded as incredibly fluid.

In order to become a nurse in the Netherlands one needs to:

  1. Obtain a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing (BSN). The degree must be internationally recognized and accepted, therefore before embarking on a nursing opportunity in the Netherlands it is important to check that your certificate is fully recognized.
  2. From here, the RIBIZ website, which stands for Healthcare Providers Registration and Information, provides comprehensive information regarding working and receiving appropriate certification as a nurse in the Netherlands.
  3. Complete registration with the BIG register. BIG registration is compulsory and without it, one cannot work as a nurse in the Netherlands.
  4. Apply for nursing vacancies using a range of methods.

If you are relocating to the Netherlands from overseas, you will need to obtain a work permit before beginning work as a nurse there. Nevertheless as an EU citizen you will not need to do this. In most instances, it is also a prerequisite that you speak both English and Dutch, as the majority of workers in the country speak both languages.

During your career as a nurse in the Netherlands you will be expected to complete regular training in order to maintain and enhance your knowledge of your profession.

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