If you want to take a look into the future of the German labor market: Look at the hospitals and retirement homes. There are endless jobs for certified nurses.
When I was working in Hospital in the 90’s there where 200 applicants for one job. These times are long gone. Nowadays there are only 3 applicants for 10 jobs (!) according to the „Arbeitsagentur“ (a goverment office charged with helping unemployed people find jobs)
And this is only the beginning. In 2015 the “Baby Boomer” Generation starts to retire. This is the generation in which many children where born – and who now leave the labor market. In a few years many of them will need assistance and care.
84.000 Certified Nurses missing
There are not enough nurses to care for them. 84.000 Nurses are missing till 2020, according to the „Rheinisch Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung“. Till 2030 the gap will be over 200.000 Nurses.
That’s why Germany now starts to hire certified nurses from abroad. So far Hungary, Romania, Spain, the Philippines have sent nurses to work in German hospitals and retirement homes. Vietnam has sent 102 young people to study in Germany. Their goal is to finally work in retirement homes.
European Union Certified Nurses are automatically qualified
Certified Nurses from a European Union country get their degree now automatically accepted in Germany – if they passed their exam after their country joined the European Union.
EU Nurses still have to apply for acceptance of their degree – but this is just a formality nowadays.
For certified nurses from other countries the process is more complicated. Still: The German goverment gives them a guarantee that their application will be decided within 3 months.
Language is key
A bigger challenge is language. After all as a nurse you have to take care of people – who often speak only German. Certified Nurses are also required to document their daily work in health reports for each patient. This requires good language skills.
Most hospitals and retirement homes solve this problem: In the first year a foreign nurse will not work with full responsibilities. She will also get intensive language training. The downside is that the salary of a foreign nurse will be lower than normal during the first 12 months.
Salary of Certified Nurses in Germany
Talking about money: A certified nurse who just finished her exam will start with about 2.400 EUR brutto. Thanks to the complicated German tax laws this leads to a NETTO of 1.580 EUR to 1.800 EUR – depending if you are married or not.
Foreign nurses who are not fluent in German language earn less in the first year. They can expect roughly 1.800 EUR Brutto (1.250 EUR to 1.420 EUR Netto). The good news: They will also have to work less: About 36 hours per week. This leaves time for language courses, etc.
Get ahead – Career path for Certified Nurses
Hospitals and especially retirement homes understand better and better that they need to give bright people a perspective. A foreign certified nurse who starts in a retirement home can expect to become team leader and even run her own retirement home in a few years time – if she manages the German language.