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Study nursing abroad

An in-depth guide to studying nursing as an international student.

Nursing degrees abroad

Nurses and healthcare professionals are always in high demand, all over the world. A degree in nursing will give the skills you need to look after the needs of patients, both physical and psychological. It is a key role that is an essential part of every country’s health service.

Many countries have a shortage of nurses, so your skills will be in high demand. Choosing to study nursing abroad means gaining access to world-class programs and giving yourself the best chance to reach your potential.

Nursing program structure

The structure, content and length of a nursing program will depend on the university and country you are studying in. It’s possible to become a registered nurse in two years in certain countries, and in others you’ll need to study for at least three years to qualify.

Many programs include hospital placements, where you’ll be able to work in a range of areas like surgery, accident and emergency, medicine and critical care.

You can spend up to 50% of your time in placement, and the rest of your learning will be made up of lectures, practical classes and independent study.

You’ll be assessed through written and practical exams, coursework and your performance while on placement.

If you are studying at bachelor’s level, you’ll learn the theory behind nursing, clinical skills and develop your understanding through teaching and hospital placements. Common modules and areas of study include:

  • Foundations of nursing
  • Person-centered nursing
  • Communication skills
  • Therapeutic approach and practice
  • Global health issues
  • Introduction to professional practice
  • Research methods
  • Healthcare sciences
  • Medicine management
  • Medicine management
  • Practical nursing skills
Nursing program structure

The structure, content and length of a nursing program will depend on the university and country you are studying in. It’s possible to become a registered nurse in two years in certain countries, and in others you’ll need to study for at least three years to qualify.

Many programs include hospital placements, where you’ll be able to work in a range of areas like surgery, accident and emergency, medicine and critical care.

You can spend up to 50% of your time in placement, and the rest of your learning will be made up of lectures, practical classes and independent study.

You’ll be assessed through written and practical exams, coursework and your performance while on placement.

If you are studying at bachelor’s level, you’ll learn the theory behind nursing, clinical skills and develop your understanding through teaching and hospital placements. Common modules and areas of study include:

  • Foundations of nursing
  • Person-centered nursing
  • Communication skills
  • Therapeutic approach and practice
  • Global health issues
  • Introduction to professional practice
  • Research methods
  • Healthcare sciences
  • Medicine management
  • Medicine management
  • Practical nursing skills

Types of nursing degrees

There are several different specializations of nursing you can choose from that focus your studies in a certain area, and will shape your future career:

  • Adult nursing
  • Child nursing
  • Mental health nursing
  • Learning disability nursing
  • Midwifery

Think about what area of nursing you want to go into when choosing which program you’d like to study.

Why study nursing abroad

Choosing to study nursing abroad means you can access some of the best programs from around the world and great career opportunities after graduation.

If you dream of working as a nurse in a certain country, studying and earning your degree there will make it much easier. Most nursing programs will be accredited in that country, and allow you to work there once you have the relevant work permit.

Studying abroad has many other benefits that make it a worthwhile experience. You’ll get to learn all about another culture, improve your language skills, make new friends from all over the world and get a fantastic education. Learn more about the benefits of studying abroad here.

Where to study nursing abroad

There’s plenty to think about when you’re deciding where you should study nursing abroad. Here’s some of the things that are worth considering to help you make your decision:

  • Where you want to work

    Studying in the same country you want to work in will make getting a nursing role much easier, so think about where you want to live after graduation.

  • How quickly you want to qualify

    The length of you studies can vary depending on the country you study in. For example, it’s possible to become a registered nurse in two years in the US, but it usually takes three years in the UK.

  • Where you want to live

    Think about things like the climate, culture and politics of where you want to live and study. Remember you’ll be living there for several years, so it needs to be somewhere you’ll be happy.

Here’s how you can choose where to study abroad.

Best countries to study nursing

If you want to attend one of the top nursing schools, then you could look to study in the US, or the UK. Not only do they have some of the best programs, but both these countries are in need of more nurses, so you’ll have strong career prospects if you choose to stay and work.

Other countries that offer well respected nursing programs include Canada and Australia. These countries offer degrees that are recognized all over the world, but you may need to do some additional courses and exams if you want to work in another country after graduation.

Best universities to study nursing

In order to find the best university to study nursing, there are several things you should think about outside of which are the highest ranked programs.

Make sure you look at the program curriculum and what else the university offers, and think about things like:

  • What placements the program offers
  • What teaching methods are used, for example, does the program involve more lectures or practical work?
  • What the university offers outside the classroom, e.g. student clubs, sports and social activities

You can study nursing at universities, medical schools or specialist nursing schools and colleges from all over the world, so take your time to make the right decision for you.

See all universities offering nursing programs

How to study nursing abroad

  1. University & program search

    Find the right program for you and your career aspirations
  2. Application guidance

    We'll get you to the right place to start your application
  3. Visa & travel advice

    Get help after application, all the way to your first day at university

Our team of advisors is ready to support you at every step of your study abroad journey.
Our services are 100% free for students like you because we're funded by universities.

Nursing study abroad programs

Nursing programs are offered at several different levels, and qualifications can differ depending on what country you are studying in. For example:

  • In the UK

    You can study a BSc or BNurs at undergraduate level. These courses last three years full time and you qualify as a registered nurse when you graduate. You can also study an MNurs, which is four years and will earn you a master’s qualification.

  • In the US and Canada

    You can study an associate degree in nursing (ADN), which can take up to two years to complete. You can also study a bachelor’s in nursing (BSN), which takes four years. You can also convert an ADN to a bachelor’s by taking a two year RN to BSN program.

  • In Australia and New Zealand

    You can study a diploma of nursing, which lasts two years, or a three year bachelor of nursing which lasts three years. If you study a diploma you’ll qualify as an enrolled nurse, but you’ll qualify as a registered nurse if you study a bachelor’s degree.

It’s also possible to study master’s degrees in nursing, usually offered as an MSc and MSN. If you want to study at the highest level, many universities offer PhD in nursing. Many nurses that study a PhD do so part time over five or more years while working, with the aim of becoming a nurse researcher.

Nursing undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in nursing

  • false

    Nursing - BSN Duquesne University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    38,178 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 38,178 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about Nursing
  • false

    Learning Disability Nursing - BSc (Hons) University of Northampton, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    21,664 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,750 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Learning Disability Nursing
  • false

    Children's and Young People's Nursing - BSc (Hons) Bournemouth University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    18,913 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,750 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Children's and Young People's Nursing
  • false

    Children's Nursing - BSN London South Bank University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    18,954 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,780 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Children's Nursing
  • false

    Children's Nursing - BSN Keele University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    27,510 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 20,000 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Children's Nursing
See all bachelor's degrees in nursing

Associate in nursing

  • false

    Nursing - AASc Southwestern Oregon Community College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    10,791 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 10,791 USD

    Start date
    January, September, June, March
    Show program overview about Nursing
  • false

    Nursing - ASc Merritt College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    7,950 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 7,950 USD

    Start date
    August, June, January
    Show program overview about Nursing
  • false

    Nursing - AASc Elgin Community College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    9,510 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 9,510 USD

    Start date
    August, June, February, January, September
    Show program overview about Nursing
  • false

    Nursing - ADN Midway University, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    24,500 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 24,500 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about Nursing
  • false

    Nursing - AASc Campbellsville University, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    25,400 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 25,400 USD

    Start date
    January, August, October
    Show program overview about Nursing
See all associate degrees in nursing

Diploma in nursing

  • false

    Children's Nursing - HDip Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    13,157 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 11,004 EUR

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Children's Nursing
  • false

    Practical Nursing - Dip Stenberg College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    18 months
    Annual tuition fee
    27,321 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 34,275 CAD

    Start date
    October, July, January
    Show program overview about Practical Nursing
  • false

    Practical Nursing - Dip Sheridan College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    17,556 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 22,025 CAD

    Start date
    September, May, January
    Show program overview about Practical Nursing
  • false

    Practical Nursing - UGDip Northern Lights College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    6,941 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 8,708 CAD

    Start date
    October
    Show program overview about Practical Nursing
  • false

    Practical Nursing - UGDip Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    12,285 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,412 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Practical Nursing
See all undergraduate diplomas in nursing

Certificate in nursing

  • false

    Nursing Assistant Certified (NAC) - Cert South Seattle College, USA

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    9,687 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 9,687 USD

    Start date
    September, June, April, January
    Show program overview about Nursing Assistant Certified (NAC)
  • false

    Nursing Assistant-Certified - Cert North Seattle College, USA

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    9,687 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 9,687 USD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Nursing Assistant-Certified
  • false

    Practical Nursing - Cert St. Charles Community College, USA

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    5,520 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 5,520 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about Practical Nursing
See all undergraduate certificates in nursing

Pathway in nursing

  • false

    Nursing (NMC registration) - FdSc Buckinghamshire New University, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    17,194 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 12,500 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Nursing (NMC registration)
See all undergraduate pathways in nursing

Nursing graduate programs

Master's in nursing

  • false

    Advanced Practice - MSc University of Dundee, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    42 months
    Annual tuition fee
    24,965 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 18,150 GBP

    Start date
    September, January
    Show program overview about Advanced Practice
  • false

    Leadership and Administration in Nursing - MSN Texas State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    15,034 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,034 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Leadership and Administration in Nursing
  • false

    Nursing - MSN University of Gloucestershire, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    18,156 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,200 GBP

    Start date
    September, January
    Show program overview about Nursing
  • false

    Dance: Advanced Practice - MFA University of Chichester, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    17,001 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 12,360 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Dance: Advanced Practice
  • false

    Advancing Practice - MSc University of Stirling, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    19,670 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 14,300 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Advancing Practice
See all master's degrees in nursing

Doctorate in nursing

  • false

    Nursing - PhD London South Bank University, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    18,954 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,780 GBP

    Start date
    February, October, September, April, January
    Show program overview about Nursing
  • false

    Nursing - PhD University of Tasmania, Australia

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    27,833 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 36,422 AUD

    Start date
    July, February
    Show program overview about Nursing
  • false

    Nursing - PhD MAHSA University, Malaysia

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    6,300 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 6,300 USD

    Start date
    January, April
    Show program overview about Nursing
  • false

    Nursing - PhD RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    13,755 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 18,000 AUD

    Start date
    July, February
    Show program overview about Nursing
  • false

    Nursing - PhD University of Gloucestershire, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    18,156 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,200 GBP

    Start date
    September, January
    Show program overview about Nursing
See all doctorates in nursing

Diploma in nursing

  • false

    Canadian Nursing with Co-op - PGDip Stenberg College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    27 months
    Annual tuition fee
    7,150 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 8,970 CAD

    Start date
    October, July, April, January
    Show program overview about Canadian Nursing with Co-op
  • false

    Nursing - PGDip University of Essex Online, UK
    • Online

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    16 months
    Annual tuition fee
    10,291 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 7,482 GBP

    Start date
    June, February, September
    Show program overview about Nursing
  • false

    Nursing: Mental Health (NMC Registration) - GDip Buckinghamshire New University, UK

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    17,194 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 12,500 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Nursing: Mental Health (NMC Registration)
  • false

    Pediatric Nursing - PGDip MAHSA University, Malaysia

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    7,100 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 7,100 USD

    Start date
    April, January
    Show program overview about Pediatric Nursing
  • false

    Practical Nursing - OCDip Fanshawe College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    15 months
    Annual tuition fee
    15,516 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 19,466 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Practical Nursing
See all postgraduate diplomas in nursing

Certificate in nursing

  • false

    Clinical Nursing - PGCert University of Newcastle, Australia

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    13,461 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 17,615 AUD

    Start date
    July, February
    Show program overview about Clinical Nursing
  • false

    Nursing - PGCert University of Essex Online, UK
    • Online

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    8 months
    Annual tuition fee
    5,146 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 3,741 GBP

    Start date
    February, September, June
    Show program overview about Nursing
  • false

    Nursing (Overseas Registration) - PGCert University of Tasmania, Australia

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    12,838 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,800 AUD

    Start date
    July, February
    Show program overview about Nursing (Overseas Registration)
  • false

    Renal Care Nursing - PGCert MAHSA University, Malaysia

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    6 months
    Annual tuition fee
    4,800 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 4,800 USD

    Start date
    April, January
    Show program overview about Renal Care Nursing
See all postgraduate certificates in nursing

Entry requirements to study nursing abroad

To be accepted into a nursing program abroad, you’ll need to meet the university’s entry requirements. Although each university and program will have its own specific requirements, here is what you will probably need to study nursing:

To achieve the secondary education grades required for the nursing program (e.g. a GPA of 3.0 or higher, 3 Bs at A-Level, or an IB Diploma score of 34) A personal statement that outlines your interest in the nursing Good English language proficiency test scores Relevant academic references

Always check the entry requirements and carefully and make sure you can meet them before you apply. Here is more on how to study abroad.

Future nursing careers

Nursing is a truly vocational course, and if you achieve a degree it’s very likely you will go on to become a professional registered nurse. However, there are different nursing roles you can pursue, including:

  • Registered nurse
  • Mental health nurse
  • Pediatric nurse
  • Learning disability nurse
  • Care worker
  • Midwife
  • Paramedic

If you know which nursing role you want to perform after graduation, make sure you choose a program that will help you achieve your aims.