How To Work as a Filipino Nurse in Germany?

Jan 18, 2021Become a Nurse, Work in Germany

Germany had been a popular destination for Filipino nurses for many years, the demand has especially increased in recent years and will keep increasing in the future. The Philippines is one of the few countries in the world with a surplus of qualified nurses, this is also the reason why so many of them can’t find a job within the country and are forced to go abroad.

Filipino nurses have excellent chances of a career in Germany. In order to work in Germany, nurses must get their degree recognized and have German language skills of level B2 as a minimum. Many recruiting agencies and the German government itself is ready to help qualified Filippo nurses to find employers in Germany.

Germany hiring hundreds of Filipino nurses every year. If you are interested in working in Germany as a nurse, learn how the process of hiring looks like, and how you can get a job as a qualified nurse, keep reading this article.

Working as a Filipino Nurse in Germany

There are thousands of foreign nurses (including Filipino) coming to Germany every year to work. The reason is high unemployment rates among health workers in their home countries and low salaries.

Currently, there are 500,000 unemployed nurses in the Philippines, and the average salary ranges between 200 EUR and 400 EUR. Germany is certainly, a better option with thousands of open vacancies (80,000) in nursing and an average monthly salary of 2,700 EUR gross.

Therefore, hiring Filipino nurses allows Germany to cover numerous open vacancies and Filipino health professionals get a desirable and high paid job.

As of today, 154,000 foreign nurses and nursing assistants are working in Germany. Numbers are very promising, you can also do it and move to Germany for pursuing a nursing career.

On another hand, Filipino nurses can profit from high German salaries and excellent living standards. Moreover, as a nurse in Germany, you will be demanded in many areas that give you an advantage when choosing a career path and what your heart desires.

Nurses in Germany can choose between many different places to work such as:

  • clinics and hospitals
  • elderly/Retirement homes and nursing homes
  • dormitories for people with disabilities
  • practices of specialist doctors
  • outpatient services
  • rehabilitation centers
  • private companies

Related: Nursing Jobs in Germany

How You Can Get Hired as a Nurse in Germany?

First, a Filipino nurse must be a qualified and registered nurse in the Philippines in order to be hired in Germany. Usually, it means finishing at least 4 years of university.

Working in Germany is possible for nurses whether it’s child, geriatric, or adult nursing. Unfortunately, midwives and other related to nursing professionals have only a few chances in Germany.

Additionally, your nursing degree must be recognized in Germany and you must have German language skills. In the beginning, you might find employers or agencies who want to help you to learn German and get the qualifications recognized. However, the chances will be higher if you get this job done on your own, prior to your job search in Germany.

There are particular programs and cooperations between the German and Filipino governments, the goal of which to make the process of hiring easier, faster, and less troublesome.

As a nurse you have several options, to start cooperating with the state program for hiring foreign health professionals or seek a recruiting firm in the Philippines or Germany. Better if it will be a German company with a presence in the Philippines.

Surely, you can also search for a job in Germany on your own, assuming you have time and willingness to do it. Be careful, because most of the job ads in this industry are in German, so you need to figure out how to translate them and how to apply for jobs on your own.

Look for a job on websites like Monster, Medijobs, Stellenanzeige, Make it in Germany: Job Listings, Stepstone, and Kimeta, or you can simply visit websites of the hospitals and check Jobs/Karriere. Send your application with all the required documents attached and wait for answers.

The application should include documents like an updated CV, certificates about work experience, language certificate, nursing certificate, motivation letter, etc. Of course, you need to translate it to German.

Work in Germany as a Nurse with Tripple Win Program

Tripple Win is a recruitment program for foreign nurses started by the German government back in 2013. It’s a win for all 3 parties involved: the Philippines, German employer, and Filipino nurses. 

“Triple Win Project” is a government to the government program without the involvement of private recurring companies. This program is an agreement between the German Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Apart from this project, there are many recruiting agencies in the Philippines offering nursing jobs in Germany, but be aware that not all of them are trustworthy. Since 2013 around 900 Filipino nurses have already arrived in Germany as a part of the “Tripple Win Project”, and hundreds keep coming with the support of private agencies.

This project helps not only citizens of the Philippines but also Bosnia, Serbia, and Tunisia. Only these lucky nurses are eligible for the government-sponsored TripleWin recruitment program for foreign nurses. 

How Does Tripple Win Work?

The government assists foreign nurses to get a job in Germany, apply, and receive visas and residence permits. Also, nurses from Vietnam are eligible for state support if they can prove at least 3 years of working experience.

In terms of the program also employers in Germany receive assistance and support in the selection, recognition, and integration of foreign nurses. Consequently, hospitals benefit from the cooperation and can fill vacancies with well-qualified staff. 

Tripple win ensures a fair and transparent hiring process for nurses, without unwanted side effects such as lower wages or other drawbacks. Nurses from abroad have the same rights and obligations as German nurses.

The Philippines benefits from a reduction in their labor market, so competitiveness for jobs decreases. The Tripple Win project only hire nurses from countries with a surplus of health professionals. Thus, Tripple Win avoids that the migration of nurses to Germany triggers a shortage of skilled workers in other countries.

That why this concept was implemented in the Philippines, where nurses don’t receive a job because of an imbalance in supply and demand.

Foreign nurses from counties with a shortage of medical workers can’t attend this program. Today Tripple win supports only professionals from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, the Philippines, and Tunisia, and partly Vietnam.

Selection and Obligations of the Tripple Win

Filipino candidates are obligated to attend German language courses and pass a language test as part of the selection procedure (at least B1). After coming to Germany participants are required to obtain the recognition of their professional qualifications within the first year of their stay in the country (usually it happens prior to the arrival). After they can start working. 

Request Help From the Professionals

It can be overwhelming to search for a job abroad and facing bureaucratic hurdles. That’s why it’s so important to request help from people with experience and knowledge, who can guide you on this journey.

Luckily, there are plenty of recruitment agencies which work in partnership with hospitals, to hire and train foreign nurses for future job. 

To speed up the prozess you can directly contact an agency for professional help, and they will organize almost everything from the preparation of required documents for the visa to connecting you with an employer. 

Some agencies in Germany may only work with particular countries such as the Philippines, Mexico, Eastern Europe.

You can refer to the many recruiting agencies who specialize in hiring foreign nurses for German employers or simply leave me a message on mail@russianvagabond.com and I will take you further. We will assist you in all questions, provide instructions and actions that needed to happen.

Requirements for Filipino Nurses in Germany

To work in Germany Filipino nurses must fulfill several criteria and get their degree recognized. In the Philippines, they follow an American curriculum for nursing when in Germany different system applies, and most nurses complete 3 years of vocational training.

Especially as a Filipino nurse you will need is a university bachelor’s (BSc or Master) in nursing, a German language certificate at B1 or B2 level and some working experience is advisable. Applicants must also possess an active Philippine Nursing License.

Here is the list with main requirements:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (4 years of professional education)
  • Active PRC nursing license
  • German language proficiency: certificate of level B1-B2

Recognised Degree

By far the biggest concern when working in Germany is qualification because Germany it’s all about paper, standards, rules, and yes qualifications for everything.

A nursing job is one of the most regulated professions in Germany, for this reason, some defined requirements have been implemented by the government. It also means inflexibility and strict rules foreign nurses will be dealing with. 

Your degree as a caregiver must be recognized through German authority in the region where you are planning to work in. If a degree only partially equal to a German, nurses can take a knowledge examination or an adaptation course to demonstrate an equivalent level of knowledge.

Below are the main documents, you must possess to be able to apply for a recognition prozess:

  • Qualifications in Nursing 
  •  GOETHE/TELC/OSD Certificate of German language skills at level B1 or B2

We offer you a personal assistant and support starting with writing your application letter to the organization of visa and moving to Germany. Write us an email on mail@russianvagabond.com if you want to know more and determined to work in Germany. You can also leave your request on the services page down below.

Other documents you might need for a job and visa application:

  1. Cover letter and curriculum vitae with colored passport size picture, in English and, if possible, in the German language
  2. Notarized copy of the certificate of employment from present and previous employers
  3. Board certificate from Professional Regulation Commission
  4. Notarized copy of Nursing diploma
  5. Notarized copy of High school diploma
  6. Certificate of German language skills, if available
  7. Copy of valid passport
  8. Certificate of POEA online PEOS (registration can be done at peos.poea.gov.ph) if applying for Tripple Win Project

Be aware that just professional experience without special training and certificate isn’t sufficient to work in Germany as a caregiver/nurse or nurse/nurse.

Related: Requirements to study nursing in Germany

If you want to prepare yourself well for Germany, learn nursing-orientated vocabulary, and receive a job afterward – check out nursing adaptation courses. Only a few of them are offered especially for Germany, where professionals will train you in the same way as nurses trained in Germany. Read more about these courses here, and contact me via email mail@russianvagabond.com or contact form if you have any questions related to this.

German Language

Language is the bigger challenge for Filipino nurses. 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. It might take you a year of learning in order to speak on a required level.

After starting working at the hospital in Germany, most of the hospitals will provide a medical German course for Filipino nurses, which is usually also paid for by the hospital. There are so many specific words you need to know to work in a medical field, don’t underestimate this. Start learning German as soon as you have determined that you want to work in Germany. 

Health Suitability

Nursing is a hard profession, you need to be strong enough to help other people, sometimes to move heavy objects, and overall be fit and alert. Don’t forget the lives of others depend on you.

With a certificate from a German doctor, you must prove that you are physically and mentally healthy and therefore suitable for the profession of caregiver.

Reliability and Trustworthiness

To prove your trustworthiness, you need to receive a document stated that you don’t have anything behind you and you haven’t done anything bad in this life.

This can be made by collecting a police certificate in the Philippines.

Visa Application

After you received the job offer and all necessary steps are made such as get recognition of degree and German language certificate, you are eligible to apply for the visa.

Filipino nurses must apply for a visa type D at the visa agency Vfsglobal, they are directly affiliated with the German embassy in Manila.

Here is the checklist for visa application:

  • Passport and one copy
  • 2 biometric passport picture
  • 2 visa application form
  • Working contract
  • Health insurance
  • POEA employment certificate
  • German language certificate B2
  • Nursing certificate/s or diploma
  • Proof of a clean criminal record
  • Visa fee 80 EUR

Other documents you might need for a visa or job application:

  1. Cover letter and curriculum vitae with colored passport size picture, in English and, if possible, in the German language
  2. Notarized copy of the certificate of employment from present and previous employers
  3. Board certificate from Professional Regulation Commission
  4. Notarized copy of Nursing diploma
  5. Notarized copy of High school diploma
  6. Copy of valid passport
  7. Certificate of POEA online PEOS (registration can be done at peos.poea.gov.ph) if applying for Tripple Win Project

Furthermore, Filipino nurses must show their knowledge of the German language. For visa application, only certificates issued by the Goethe Institute and telc GmbH as well as the Austrian language diploma (ÖSD) and the TestDaF diploma with the level B2 are accepted.

However, if you are older than 45 years and travelling to Germany for employment for the first time you must show a gross annual salary of at least 46,860 EUR (2021) or prove the availability of adequate pension. This rule applies also for nurses from the Phillipines.

The processing time for German visa D may take from one to three months from the application day. The processing time depends also on the number of applications the embassy is receiving at the time, as well as your situation.

How Much Do Filipino Nurses Earn in Germany?

In some cases, if your qualifications weren’t recognized completely you can already start working as a nursing assistant for a lower salary – around 2,000 EUR gross.

As soon as Filipino nurses receive the recognition their salary will be upgraded to 2,400 EUR gross per month. Surely, if your degree was recognized as equal from the first time you could start working as a licensed nurse from day one. The average salary of a nurse in Germany is around 2,500 EUR when working full time.

The best and trustworthy source to check the salary of a particular profession in Germany is Gehalt.de.

On this platform, you can even calculate the exact amount which finally lands on your bank account (brutto/netto) depending on the region, company, and field. Usually, other resources share only the gross salary. The tool also allows comparing your salary with other nurses in different departments/hospitals.

Related: Monthly salary of nurses in Germany

Why Filipino Nurses Are So Popular in Germany?

The demand is high,” on both sides”, while people in Germany are desperately looking for caregivers, The Philippines has almost 200,000 unemployed health professionals. Germany has around 80,000 open vacancies for nurses and caregivers, this looks like a good match.

Today, almost 100,000 Filipinos working as a nurse abroad because of the current situation in the home country. Germany among the US, Canada, and the UK became one of the popular destinations for working abroad for foreign nurses.

There are 903 Filipino nurses employed in Germany through the Tripple Win project alone and hundreds when not thousands more through other recruiting agencies.

Germany needs nurses and, therefore, they try to bring as many foreign nurses as possible into the country. As I mentioned at the beginning the Philippines is one of the few countries which doesn’t have a shortage of medical professionals, moreover, it has so many nurses that they can’t find a job.

In Germany on another hand, can be observed a big shortage of medical professionals. There is much more need than the offer, opened vacancies couldn’t be covered without recruiting nurses from abroad.

Additionally, Filippo nurses have a good educational background, all of them have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and some even a master. The Filippo nursing education is on a high level and can be compared to the American one. Filippo people also have the reputation of hard-working, efficient workers, which is very important for German employers.

The Philippines is a very westernized country, where a big part of the population speaks English. Learning German doesn’t appear as a very difficult task for already English speaking Filipino nurses. Therefore, they can speak on a very good level in a relatively short period of time.

However, the Philippines isn’t the only country with a surplus of trained nurses, Germany also actively hiring in the Balkan states of Albania, Serbia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. There state-owned and private recruiting companies are preparing local staff for working as a nurse in Germany.

Also, Asia is very promising for German employers, Vietnam, and of course, the Philippines have many skilled health workers. Only learning German is the main challenge for Filipino nurses, hopefully in future Germany will provide even more support on this part.

Why Do So Many Filipino Nurses Are Working Abroad?

The overall situation in the Philippines is what makes nurses leave for work abroad. They often can’t find any job in their country, because of this, some are even forced to choose another career and have never worked as a nurse after graduation.

The overall situation in the country makes it even worse, not all people have access to basic health care facilities, the nurse-patient ratio is bad, the economy is unstable, wages are low. The nurses in the Philippines have very few opportunities and there is still a big place for improvement in terms of the working conditions of nurses.

However, the country produces top-quality nursing professionals due to its good education and well known for the recruitment of nurses for foreign countries. All these only contribute to the emigration of Filipino nurses to other countries.

Challenges of Filipino Nurses in Germany

There are several challenges Filipino nurses will go through in Germany, by far the biggest is the German language. It is the main challenge for any foreign nurse.

And of course, the totally different environment, weather, climate, culture. The Philippines is very different from Germany, so Filipino nurses need more time to adapt, as it will be for a Serbian worker for example.

Additionally, the working style is different in Germany and expectations from the colleagues. You can’t underestimate homesickness in the new country as well.

German culture and mentality can be challenging in the integration process. Cultural differences are hard to cope with, but in the end, they make people more open-minded to other nationalities.

Germans are more serious, straight forward, and disciplined, in contrast to the Filipinos. People from the Philippines are more family-oriented than Germans, and that is why homesickness will always be part of the challenges living here.

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