Nursing Schools and Programs in Germany

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Nursing Studies in Germany

Rheichstag mit Wiese, BerlinAre you interested in pursuing a career in the nursing field and looking for a school that can match your interests and provide an exciting educational experience?  Have you considered studying nursing in the beautiful country of Germany?  Germany is a country known for its excellent educational programs, including nursing, and is home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world.  It is also a place brimming with history and culture, with a countless number of sightseeing opportunities that afford students the opportunity to meet new people while learning the customs and traditions that make this land so special and unique.  In the following article we have provided a brief overview with regard to studying nursing in Germany, including some practical information on the country itself, a synopsis of the country’s nursing programs and a discussion as to why Germany is such a great place to live and study.

Study Nursing in Germany:  Overview

Germany Facts

Germany, a country known in official circles as the Federal Republic of Germany, is a federal parliamentary republic in west-central Europe.  The country consists of 16 states, and its capital and largest city is Berlin.  With over 137, 800 square miles of total land area, Germany is the third largest country in Western Europe, after France and Spain, and its population of roughly 82 million ranks it first among countries in the European Union.  For centuries, Germany has been one of the chief political and economic powers of the European continent and a consistent leader in many technical and theoretical fields, including medicine.

Nursing Education in Germany

Nursing education in Germany is an important component of most of the country’s major colleges and universities, and its importance cannot be overstated.  Like most major countries throughout the world, Germany is currently experiencing a shortage of qualified nurses.  To meet the rising demand, many institutions have implemented incentives in an effort to steer potential nursing candidates to the field, including, in some cases, financial aid, job placement assistance and lower program costs.
One of the many major universities with an excellent reputation for its nursing program is Ulm University, a public school of higher learning in the city of Ulm, located in the South German state of Baden-Württemberg.  Founded in 1967, the school focuses on the natural and applied sciences, including biology, chemistry, engineering, medicine and nursing, among others.  A recent poll published by Times Higher Education ranked Ulm University number 22 on its list of top 100 universities under the age of 50.
At Ulm University, and other schools that offer nursing as part of their curriculum, candidates are required to spend a half a year performing practical training in a hospital setting, before beginning the academic portion of their studies.  All undergraduate nursing courses are laid out according to EU regulations, with programs that span three years in duration and include roughly 3300 hours of theoretical study and an additional 2500 hours of practical training in a variety of hospital settings. Once students meet these requirements they become eligible to sit for the national nursing exam, on which a passing score will earn them their nursing certification.
After nurses complete their undergraduate training they are then eligible to study towards a particularly specialty, or as it is called in Germany, a Fachweiterbildung.  Naturally, salaries tend to increase for nurses who have earned a Fachweiterbildung—a two year, 800 hour program through which nurses can earn a specialty certificate in areas such as:  ICU, anesthesia, oncology, home care, psychiatry, palliative care, hygiene, or ward management.  Shorter specialty courses are also available, typically in areas such as wound care and quality control management.

Why Study Nursing in Germany?

A country with a complicated, yet storied history, Germany has all the major elements a college student needs to have an enjoyable, fascinating and stimulating educational experience.  Some of these core elements include:

New Language Acquisition

Immersing yourself in a new language may or may not be one of your primary reasons for studying abroad, but there is no escaping this added benefit when living and studying in Germany.  Full-immersion, according to language experts, is not only the most effective form of new language acquisition, but also the most expedient; and while living in Germany you’ll be constantly exposed to the mother tongue of its people.  Whether chatting with your new-found friends at school, asking for directions to a particular sightseeing destination, or ordering food in a restaurant, there will be plenty of time for you to learn and practice these new language skills—skills that will look great on a resume, thus enhancing your future employment outlook, regardless of where you ultimately decide to work.

Cultural and Sightseeing Benefits

As a student studying in Germany you will have ample time to explore the country and take in its diverse culture and history—a history that spans more than a thousand years.  Every major city in the country, from Berlin to Munich, offers opportunities to learn about the country through its collection of monuments, landmarks and architecture, and study the country’s culture via its many museums and galleries.  There will also be an abundance of opportunities to experience the city’s cuisine and nightlife; a nightlife that might include taking in a dramatic performance or an opera on one night, and dancing until dawn the next at one of the all-night discos.

Location and Travel

Finally, we must speak of Germany’s location, in the west-central portion of Europe, making it an ideal starting point for travel throughout Europe.  The summers and holiday breaks from school will provide you with many excellent opportunities to visit some of the other European treasures you’d love to see, in countries such as Italy, France, Spain and the UK, as well as Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark, among others.  Most countries and cities can be reached via a tranquil train ride, allowing you to relax comfortably while taking take in some of the most glorious landscapes the continent has to offer.

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