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Apply for recognition as a healthcare and nursing professional with a professional qualification from the EU/EEA/Switzerland under the Nursing Act by the end of 2024


The profession of healthcare and nursing specialist is regulated in Germany. This means that in order to work as a healthcare and nursing professional in Germany, you need a state license. With this permit, you can use the job title "Gesundheits- und Krankenpflegerin" or "Gesundheits- und Krankenpfleger" and work in the profession. You can also apply for the job title "Gesundheits- und Krankenpflegefachperson".

If you have a professional qualification from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you can also obtain a state license from the competent authority in Germany. In order to obtain the permit, you must have your foreign professional qualification recognized.

On January 1, 2020, nursing training in Germany was reformed and the new Nursing Professions Act came into force. The profession on this basis is called Pflegefachperson and is new. There is a transitional period for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications on the basis of the Nursing Act. Under certain circumstances, foreign professional qualifications can still be recognized as healthcare and nursing specialists on a transitional basis until 31 December 2024. However, if the professional qualification is automatically recognized, it will always be recognized in the new profession as a nurse. The responsible office will advise you.

In the recognition procedure, the competent body compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification and checks the equivalence. The equivalence of the professional qualification is an important prerequisite for the granting of a state license. In addition to the equivalence of the professional qualification, you must also meet other requirements for the permit to be issued. Further requirements include, for example, sufficient German language skills and health suitability.

If your professional qualification does not originate from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, other regulations apply.
You can also apply for the procedure from abroad.

Process flow

Application

You apply to the competent authority for permission to use the professional title "healthcare and nursing professional". Or you can apply for the professional title "healthcare and nursing specialist".

You can submit the application with the documents to the relevant office, send it by post or upload it electronically. Do not send any originals.


Examination of equivalence

The competent body will then check whether you meet all the requirements. An important requirement is the equivalence of your professional qualification. The competent authority will check the equivalence of your foreign professional qualification. It will compare your professional qualification with the German professional qualification as a healthcare and nursing specialist. The professional qualification is equivalent if there are no significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification.


Possible results of the equivalence assessment

If your foreign professional qualification is equivalent, it will be recognized. The competent authority can confirm the result in writing. You must still meet the other requirements. You will then receive permission to use the professional title "healthcare and nursing specialist", "healthcare and nursing assistant" or "healthcare and nursing assistant".

Are there any significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification? You may be able to compensate for the differences through your professional experience, other knowledge or skills (lifelong learning). Knowledge and skills must be certified by an authority in the country in which you acquired the knowledge or skills.

However, it may be that the significant differences cannot be compensated for by your professional experience, knowledge or skills. In this case, the competent authority will inform you of the significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification and why you cannot compensate for these significant differences.

The competent authority will also inform you of compensatory measures that you can take to offset the significant differences.
If you decide not to take compensatory measures, your professional qualification will not be recognized and you will not be allowed to work as a healthcare and nursing professional in Germany.


Compensatory measures

There are various compensation measures:

  • Adaptation course: The adaptation course lasts a maximum of 3 years.
  • Aptitude test: In the aptitude test, only those areas in which significant differences have been identified are tested. The aptitude test consists of a practical examination combined with an interview.

As a rule, you can choose between an adaptation period or an aptitude test.
If you successfully complete the compensation measure and meet all other requirements, you will receive permission to use the professional title "healthcare and nursing specialist", "healthcare and nursing assistant" or "healthcare and nursing assistant".

Requirements

  • You have a comparable professional qualification as a healthcare and nursing specialist from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.
  • You want to work as a healthcare and nursing professional in Germany.
  • Personal suitability: You are reliable for working as a healthcare and nursing professional and have no criminal record.
  • Health suitability: You are mentally and physically fit to work as a healthcare and nursing professional.
  • You have German language skills at the required level. This is normally language level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Which documents are required?

  • Proof of identity (identity card or passport)
  • Marriage certificate (if your name has changed due to marriage)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Proof of your professional qualifications (e.g. certificates, professional certificate)
  • Proof of training
  • Proof of your relevant professional experience in a profession comparable to healthcare and nursing
  • Proof of other relevant knowledge for working as a healthcare and nursing professional
  • Information about an application for recognition that has already been submitted. Then state the body to which you have submitted the application.
  • Do you live or work in a third country, i.e. not yet in the EU, EEA or Switzerland? Then you may have to prove that you have received a commitment from a health and care facility to work as a nursing professional in Germany.

You usually submit these documents later. The responsible office will inform you when you should submit the documents:

  • Proof of your personal suitability: criminal record extract or certificate of good conduct from your country of origin. The certificate must not be older than 3 months at the time of application.
  • Proof of your health suitability: Medical certificate. The certificate must not be older than 3 months at the time of application.
  • Proof of your German language skills: Language certificate

The responsible office will let you know which documents you need to submit as a simple copy, a certified copy or the original.

What are the fees?

The responsible office will inform you of the costs. The costs generally depend on the time and effort required for processing.

Additional costs may also be incurred (e.g. for translations, certifications or compensatory measures such as an adaptation period or an aptitude test). These costs vary from person to person.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

There is no deadline.

Sometimes documents are still missing from the procedure. The responsible office will then inform you by when you must submit the documents.

Processing duration

Processing Time: 3 Months
The responsible office will inform you if any documents are missing. If the documents are complete, the procedure will take a maximum of 3 months.

Legal basis

  • § Section 66a (2), 64a (4) of the Nursing Professions Act (Pflegeberufegesetz - PflBG)
    i.V.m. §§ Sections 1 (1) sentence 1 no. 1, 2 (3a), (4) and (5a-6), 25 Nursing Act (KrPflG) in the version valid on December 31, 2019
    in conjunction with. §§ Sections 20, 20a, 20c of the Training and Examination Ordinance for the Nursing Professions (KrPflAPrV) in the version valid on December 31, 2019

Applications / forms

  • Forms: Forms can be obtained from the responsible office.
  • Online procedure possible: Ask the responsible office whether you can submit the application online.
  • Personal appearance necessary: no

Appeal

You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority within a certain period of time (for example, by lodging an objection). The decision will then be reviewed. Details can be found in the information on legal remedies at the end of your decision. You should first speak to the responsible office before taking legal action against the decision.

What else should I know?

Partial access to the profession for professional qualifications from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland

Your professional qualification is not equivalent and the differences are too great? Then you may be able to work in the profession with partial access to the profession. With partial access to the profession, you can also work in the profession without recognition. There are certain requirements for this. Your professional qualification must include at least one so-called reserved activity of the German professional qualification. Reserved activities may only be carried out by specially trained persons.
You must also provide proof: You are personally suitable, in good health and have the required knowledge of German.

With partial access to the profession, you may only carry out certain tasks as a healthcare and nursing professional. You apply for partial access to the profession at the competent authority.

Freedom to provide services

Do you only want to offer services in Germany occasionally and for a short period of time? Then you do not usually need a state permit. You must fulfill these requirements:

  • You must be established in another EU or EEA member state or in Switzerland.
  • You must provide proof of your professional qualification.
  • You must provide proof of German language skills at the required level.
  • You must prove your personal suitability.
  • You must notify the competent authority of your activity in writing.

The competent authority will inform you whether you are permitted to provide services or whether you need to take an aptitude test.

Notification of equivalence

The equivalence assessment (recognition procedure) also takes place during the authorization procedure. You can apply for a separate decision on the result of the examination.

Procedure for ethnic German repatriates

As a late repatriate, you can go through the recognition procedure either in accordance with the laws mentioned here or in accordance with the Federal Expellees Act. You can decide for yourself. The responsible office will advise you on which procedure is right for you.

Technically approved by

Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Federal Ministry of Health

Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth

Professionally released on

28.06.2022

Author

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)