Nursing in German Hospitals is very much an independent profession. Unlike in other countries, professional nurses in Germany work closely with doctors rather than being their assistants. Nurses in Germany also conduct patients’ basic care and hygiene. Becoming a nurse in Germany requires a three-year professional apprenticeship extensively combining theoretical lessons and practical work.

Nursing in Germany is a regulated profession. Nurses holding a professional degree from a recognised institution within the European Union need to pass a language test to get their degree recognised in Germany. The test typically requires knowledge of the German language on or above B2-level.

Nurses with diplomas from recognised universities, colleges or nursing schools outside the European Union need to undergo a formal recognition process (Gleichwertigkeitsprüfung) in which their formal learning and work experience are assessed by German healthcare authorities. The assessments are only valid in the county of application. For the county of North Rhine Westphalia (Bundesland Nordrhein-Westfalen) the assessments are conducted by Bezirksregierung Münster ( and require the provision of officially confirmed and translated documents of professional learning, curricula, and work experience in nursing. The assessment results in a formal document (Bescheid) showing the areas and amount of training to be completed in a recognition course (Anpassungskurs) in the county of application. The assessment typically takes approx. 6 months. The recognition course takes 7-12 months but can be shorter if the amount of required learning is low and language skills are good. At the end of the recognition course, a final interview with the local healthcare authorities (Gesundheitsamt) is conducted to assess if the language skills and knowledge of nursing in Germany meet the requirements. Upon completion, a recognition certificate is issued, allowing the holder to work as a professional nurse in Germany.

The recognition can also be obtained by passing a theoretical and practical nursing exam (Kenntnisprüfung). The required preparation course takes up to 12 months and German language skills on B2-level are required.


The Hospital Sisters of St. Francis were the originators of St. Francis Foundation in Germany (St. Franziskus-Stiftung Münster) as well as other hospital foundations around the world. Thus, working with professional nurses and physicians from all over the world has a long tradition for us.  We continue the Sister’s spirit in maintaining the highest quality of healthcare and nursing in modern and technologically advanced environments combined with open hearts, minds and hands for those whom we care for and those who work with us. The values of St. Francis, the Catholic Church and Christian beliefs are important to us.


More than 13.000 nurses, physicians, therapists and other healthcare professionals make St. Francis-Foundation ( with its 15 hospitals one of the largest Christian hospital operators in Germany. We take care of over 580,000 patients every year. Nine homes for elderly people and the disabled, and eleven outpatient facilities and medical specialist centres add to our foundation. Fourteen of our hospitals are in the county of North Rhine Westphalia, one is in the county of Bremen. Professional nurses from all over the world already work with St. Francis Foundation.

Our recognition courses for nurses with degrees from other countries meet the requirements for recognition courses in the county of North Rhine Westphalia and Bremen. Courses start two to three times every year and last 7-12 months.

Nurses attending our recognition courses receive a working contract as assistant nurse and dedicate approx. half of their working time to attending the course. As your employer, we cover both the costs for the recognition course and for the time you invest in attending it.


We offer you the opportunity to work in Germany in a secure, well-recognised and rewarding job. Amongst the benefits are:

  • Working contract guided by the collective agreement for all catholic hospitals in Germany, including complete social and healthcare security, which is amongst the best in Europe
  • Free training and education in our recognition course to receive the formal recognition of your nursing degree in Germany
  • Guidance and support throughout the entire migration process and many other day-to-day topics
  • Individual and professional mentoring
  • Support when you plan a family reunion
  • A friendly and competent team that is looking forward to getting to know you and supporting you whenever you need it

Once you meet the following criteria, we welcome your application via e-mail to Mrs. Barbara Köster at koester(at)

  • You are a professional nurse with at least initial work experience in a hospital
  • You have received a Bescheid from Bezirksregierung Düsseldorf or Bezirksregierung Münster comparing your national degree with the German degree of Gesundheits- und Krankenpfleger/in or Pflegefachfrau/Pflegefachmann
  • You have a German B2-certificate from Goethe, ÖSD, TELC, or ECL

Please apply with your curriculum vitae in German, your Bescheid and your B2-certificate, preferably all in one pdf file and we get back to you shortly.

We are looking forward to getting to know you!


If you hold a German B2-certificate and your high school diploma has been formally recognised in the county of North Rhine Westphalia ( you may apply for an apprenticeship to become a professional nurse in Germany. Please apply to Mrs. Barbara Köster at koester(at) with your curriculum vitae and a letter on your motivation (both in German), your B2-certificate, and the Bescheid on the recognition of your high school diploma.


Dr. Heiko Filthuth

Head of International Recruiting

Contact for institutions

+49 251 27079-41



Barbara Köster MBA

Care and Process Management

Contact for individual applicants

+49 251 27079-36



Dr. Gertrud Bureick

Project Coordination

+49 251 27079-21