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How to Become a Nurse in the Netherlands

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Nurses with a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing or higher are in a great position to travel to other countries because the certification tends to be recognized around the world. There are close to 400,000 registered medical professionals in the Netherlands, and work for nurses is readily available. If you are thinking about nursing in the land of tulips, bicycles and Heinken, you'll find some guidelines below to get you started.

Obtain a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) that is internationally recognized. Check with your university to be sure that your certification will be accepted in other countries.

Go to the RIBIZ website, which stands for Registratie en Informatie Beroepsbeoefenaren in de Zorg (Healthcare Providers Registration and Information). This website provides information about working and receiving certification as a nurse in the Netherlands.

Register with the BIG register, the nation-wide list of certified medical professionals. The BIG register is named after the Netherlands' BIG Act, the Individual Healthcare Professions Act. You cannot work as a nurse in the Netherlands without being in the BIG register.

Find job listings on Verpleegkundigen and Verzorgenden Nederland's (V&VN) website. This is the professional association for nurses and caretakers in the Netherlands.

Obtain a work permit before starting a job as a nurse in the Netherlands. If you are an European Union (EU) member, you can work anywhere in the EU without first obtaining a work permit. Non-EU nurses will need their employers to sponsor them in order to work in the Netherlands, which involves having your employer fill out an application with the Immigratie en Naturalisatiedienst (IND).


Though it is possible, it is difficult to find work in the Netherlands without being bilingual, or at least conversational, in Dutch and English. The majority of Nederlanders have working knowledge of both languages, and will expect the same of prospective employees.