US trained nurse seeking to move to France

Hi all:

I am new to this forum. I am a nurse trained in the US who now wishes to work and live in France. I am finding it difficult to find information about how to get an equivalent diploma to work in France. I guess I would also need a "permis de sejour" or visa. Does anyone have any insight into how to go about that? I hear it is almost impossible to get a job in France...I would also like to communicate with someone who is bilingual (English-French).



Hi mlazarre,

Welcome to! :)

I have moved your topic on the France forum for better visibility.

I suggest you to have a look at the life in France guide.

I wish you good luck

Hi there,

I'm not quite sure why you would want to move to a place where you'll make half the money, pay twice the taxes and have a hard time finding a job, anyways, to each his own as they say.

I found the following information for you:

1) If your nursing degree was obtained in a country outside of the EU your degree is not recognized in France and the following applies to you:

Si vous êtes originaire d'autres pays, le diplôme extracommunautaire dont vous êtes titulaire n'est pas reconnu en France pour l'exercice de la profession d'infirmier.
Les articles 27 et suivants de l'arrêté du 28 mai 2009 relatif au Diplôme d'Etat d'infirmier précisent la conduite à tenir pour les titulaires d'un DE infirmier étranger. Trois épreuves (une épreuve écrite d'admissibilité et deux épreuves orales et pratiques d'admission) permettent à un jury de déterminer les dispenses de scolarité dont vous pouvez bénéficier. Le directeur de l'Institut de Formation en Soins Infirmiers, après avis du conseil pédagogique détermine les unités d'enseignements ou les stages acquis
Dans l'attente, vous pouvez solliciter une autorisation auprès d'une Délégation Territoriale de l'Agence Régionale de Santé du département où vous souhaitez exercer votre profession
Liste des ARS :

In short, you have to pass three tests, one written admissibility test, two oral boards and a practical test.  The director of the Nursing Education Institute will determine what schooling exemptions you can benefit from and determine which educational units you will have to take.  In the meantime, you can request a temporary waiver to practice in the Region where you want to practice from the Regional Health Department, a list of which is provided here:

On the other hand, nursing is one of the few fields where you may find a job in France, once you have obtained your equivalency of course.  You will also need to speak French to a certain degree in order to practice as a nurse.

It looks like you can start working as a "aide soignant", or patient care assistant, without having to take the tests. The information regarding that option is here:, … 21716.html

This link explains how you can obtain the "titre de sejour" … 120953.htm

I guess you can also contact the Office Francais de L'Immigratio net de l'Integration at:

They seem to play a role in the titre de sejour process.

Good luck!

Thank you so much!

I've been nursing for a while and it's not about the money. I want to experience life in France that's all.



I hear you, I work in public safety, and that's definitely not about the money either :)

I just know that the salary difference will probably be drastic, that's something you should be prepared for, especially if you have bills to pay in the U.S. that will follow you i.e. car loans, credit cards, etc.

That's especially true if you will be working at a hospital. Nurses in private practice fare better money wise but work much longer hours and make house calls.

I wish you success and good luck.  I think this indeed can be a very valuable experience for you. 

Take care


J'ai compris ton message. Mon francais est passable. J'ai deja contact le IFSI pour un concours d'equivalence. Je voudrais aussi trouver un program de langue francaise intensif...avez-vous des semble que je serai en France a la fin du mois d'aout.

Merci pour ta reponse.


Hi! I am wondering if this ever worked out for you? I am planning on doing the same (figuring out how my nursing degree will translate etc from the US to france) thanks in advance for getting back to me!

Working as nurse in France... What a idea... Endless days and weeks. A job underpaid, overbusy cause of the lack of nursery staff, at less one strike by month to contest about work conditions...

Seriously, the work life situation in medical area is such that a lot of staff is tired, close to the burn-out... Maybe in private is (a little bit) better but...

Hello, i just saw your message and i found quite strange that you would like to come to work to France?  Im sorry but really!  If you have others possibilities to go some place else, in Europe ,i will recommend it much better.
(For the little story, im French native and lived twenty years in the United states ,i came back last April 2017 .).France is not the place you want to be dear. It has changed so much and unfortunately not in the good way. France is now dirty, poor, and in a hole of social embarrassment that no one knows of to solve the problem. Go some others country like UK, Portugal, Hollande, Germany etc, where those seem have taken the boost of Europe and France missed the train big time!!!

Catherine Rigoux wrote:

Go some others country like UK, Portugal, Hollande, Germany etc, where those seem have taken the boost of Europe and France missed the train big time!!!

I would avoid the UK as well. The place is dirty and over priced. The trouble is when going to work in another country, you have to learn the language of the land.

I do believe that US and UK spoke the same language!  And yes, true usually when you want to go live in un other country it is good to speak the language but more and mire people spoke English anywhere no?  Oh yes wait, in France this is still difficult on that one too

Englisch is the 3rd Most smoke  language in the world.

Witch are number one and two???

Chinese and Hindi.

But anyway, you need to speak very well the language of the country where you want to work.

France also is dirty and overpriced. It's very hard to live with less than 2000€. And it's the salary of a nurse in France.

Chinese and hindi the most speaking language in the world?????  What world???  If you live in Europe and don, t speak the language of where you live im sure you can survive speaking in English. I,m less sure with chinese and hindi in Europe. Seriously.
If you go to United states you have China town where im sure you can practice your chinese, but depend to of what job you want to do.
Let, s stay serious and i keep English for the most of the work places in the world.

In fact it is Chinese and Spanish … -the-world

Yes but, it doesn't change. In Europe, we speak more English than Spanish!!!

I did say the world, not Europe

In accordance with the EU population, the most widely spoken mother tongue is German (16%), followed by Italian and English (13% each), French (12%), then Spanish and Polish (8% each). For the majority of Europeans their mother tongue is one of the official languages of the country in which they reside.

If we add the Schengen area, (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland), you can add at least 1% for German ;))

I guess we are going to make a book about this.
Let stay in the subject shall we?

Yes, it's a great idea to inform everyone about language skills in Europe!!! And yes, only in sciences, engineery, IT and finance (or big international companies), English is sufficient ;)

Hello.  i just want to say good luck and congratulations on your decision to move!  It is unfortunate that negative people are so vocal. Please don't be discouraged by their words. 

I moved to France in January to a city I saw on House Hunters International.  I had never been to this city before and didn't know anyone.  It's been challenging at times, but absolutely exhilarating and beautiful at the same time. 

It has been a wonderful experience and I'm sure it will be for you, too!

Good morning

I don't have any degrees at the moment but I'm studying to become a technician in (music/photography/satellite) instruments i am a curious person i want to discover new country,a new culture but i can't do any of that without the money and a degree so if i got an employment contract so i can cover my staying there i am taking it.