In order to work as a nurse in Germany official authorization is mandatory. This authorization must be procured through the responsible department in Germany. Authorization will be granted if the training that has been obtained outside Germany is recognized as equivalent. The equivalency is checked on the basis of defined formal criteria, such as the content and duration of the training.
Where there are differences between the foreign credential and the German reference qualification, it is possible to take a so-called knowledge exam or “Kenntnisstandprüfung”. The exam assesses whether the applicant’s knowledge is equivalent to the knowledge required by vocational training in Germany. For this purpose, preparatory courses are offered in Germany. The examination is based on the content of the German state examination for the nursing profession. Once the applicant passes the examination, he or she is permitted to use the job title ‘nurse’ and to work as a nurse.
Another option is to participate in a so-called adaptation period or “Anpassungsqualifizierung”, i.e. an internship with a final examination.
Until formal state recognition is granted, you are permitted to work as nurse assistants in Germany. In this capacity, you have the opportunity to acquire practical experience and reinforce your nursing skills so that in the end you can pass the exam based on the contents covered during the adaptation period.