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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

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. Universities & programs

    Find the right program for you and your career aspirations

  2. Application assistance

    Be guided through your application process

  3. Visa & embassy guidance

    Maximise your chances of being granted a visa

  4. Enrollment & travel advice

    Get support all the way to your first day at university

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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

  • Arizona State University Logo

    Nursing Arizona State University, USA

    • Tuition fees per year 31,834 USD
    • Program type Bachelor's
    • Duration 4 years
    • Start date January, May, August
    Show more details about Nursing
  • University of Kentucky Logo

    Nursing University of Kentucky, USA

    • Tuition fees per year 29,050 USD
    • Program type Bachelor's
    • Duration 4 years
    • Start date January, August
    Show more details about Nursing
  • University of Liverpool Logo

    Nursing University of Liverpool, UK

    • Tuition fees per year 34,550 GBP
    • Program type Bachelor's
    • Duration 3 years
    • Start date September
    Show more details about Nursing
  • University of Vermont Logo

    Nursing University of Vermont, USA

    • Tuition fees per year 41,280 USD
    • Program type Bachelor's
    • Duration 4 years
    • Start date January, June, August
    Show more details about Nursing
  • RMIT University Logo

    Nursing RMIT University, Australia

    • Tuition fees per year 32,640 AUD
    • Program type Bachelor's
    • Duration 3 years
    • Start date February, July
    Show more details about Nursing
See all bachelor's degrees in nursing

Diploma in nursing

  • RMIT University Logo

    Nursing RMIT University, Australia

    • Tuition fees per year 18,000 AUD
    • Program type Undergraduate diploma
    • Duration 2 years
    • Start date February, July
    Show more details about Nursing
  • Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning Logo

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

    • Tuition fees per year 15,412 CAD
    • Program type Undergraduate diploma
    • Duration 2 years
    • Start date September
    Show more details about Practical Nursing
  • Fanshawe College Logo

    Practical Nursing Fanshawe College, Canada

    • Tuition fees per year 19,466 CAD
    • Program type Undergraduate diploma
    • Duration 1 year 3 months
    • Start date September
    Show more details about Practical Nursing
  • MAHSA University Logo

    Nursing MAHSA University, Malaysia

    • Tuition fees per year 4,600 USD
    • Program type Undergraduate diploma
    • Duration 2 years 6 months
    • Start date January, April
    Show more details about Nursing
  • Northern Lights College Logo

    Practical Nursing Northern Lights College, Canada

    • Tuition fees per year 8,708 CAD
    • Program type Undergraduate diploma
    • Duration 2 years
    • Start date October
    Show more details about Practical Nursing
See all undergraduate diplomas in nursing

Associate in nursing

  • Midway University Logo

    Nursing Midway University, USA

    • Tuition fees per year 24,500 USD
    • Program type Associate
    • Duration 2 years
    • Start date January, August
    Show more details about Nursing
  • Oklahoma City Community College Logo

    Nursing Oklahoma City Community College, USA

    • Tuition fees per year 7,552 USD
    • Program type Associate
    • Duration 2 years
    • Start date January, June, August
    Show more details about Nursing
  • Campbellsville University Logo

    Nursing Campbellsville University, USA

    • Tuition fees per year 25,400 USD
    • Program type Associate
    • Duration 2 years
    • Start date January, August, October
    Show more details about Nursing
See all associate degrees in nursing

Nursing graduate programs

Master's in nursing

  • Arizona State University Logo

    Nursing (Nursing Education) Arizona State University, USA

    • Tuition fees per year 25,818 USD
    • Program type Master's
    • Duration 2 years
    • Start date August
    Show more details about Nursing (Nursing Education)
  • RMIT University Logo

    Nursing, research RMIT University, Australia

    • Tuition fees per year 30,720 AUD
    • Program type Master's
    • Duration 2 years
    • Start date February, July
    Show more details about Nursing, research
  • University of Dundee Logo

    Nursing & Health University of Dundee, UK

    • Tuition fees per year 18,150 GBP
    • Program type Master's
    • Duration 1 year
    • Start date September
    Show more details about Nursing & Health
  • University of Newcastle Logo

    Mental Health Nursing University of Newcastle, Australia

    • Tuition fees per year 35,745 AUD
    • Program type Master's
    • Duration 1 year
    • Start date February, July, September
    Show more details about Mental Health Nursing
  • University of Tasmania Logo

    Nursing University of Tasmania, Australia

    • Tuition fees per year 32,137 AUD
    • Program type Master's
    • Duration 1 year
    • Start date February, July
    Show more details about Nursing
See all master's degrees in nursing

Diploma in nursing

  • RMIT University Logo

    Mental Health Nursing RMIT University, Australia

    • Tuition fees per year 28,800 AUD
    • Program type Postgraduate diploma
    • Duration 1 year
    • Start date February, July
    Show more details about Mental Health Nursing
  • MAHSA University Logo

    Pediatric Nursing MAHSA University, Malaysia

    • Tuition fees per year 7,100 USD
    • Program type Postgraduate diploma
    • Duration 1 year
    • Start date January, April
    Show more details about Pediatric Nursing
See all postgraduate diplomas in nursing

Doctorate in nursing

  • RMIT University Logo

    Nursing RMIT University, Australia

    • Tuition fees per year 30,720 AUD
    • Program type Doctorate
    • Duration 3 years
    • Start date February, July
    Show more details about Nursing
  • University of Tasmania Logo

    Nursing University of Tasmania, Australia

    • Tuition fees per year 36,422 AUD
    • Program type Doctorate
    • Duration 3 years
    • Start date February, July
    Show more details about Nursing
  • University of Southern Mississippi Logo

    Nursing (Clinical or-DNP Leadership) University of Southern Mississippi, USA

    • Tuition fees per year 10,770 USD
    • Program type Doctorate
    • Duration 4 years
    • Start date January, August
    Show more details about Nursing (Clinical or-DNP Leadership)
  • Fairfield University Logo

    Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner Fairfield University, USA

    • Tuition fees per year 47,650 USD
    • Program type Doctorate
    • Duration 3 years
    • Start date January, September
    Show more details about Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner
  • London South Bank University Logo

    Nursing London South Bank University, UK

    • Tuition fees per year 13,780 GBP
    • Program type Doctorate
    • Duration 3 years
    • Start date January, February, April, September, October
    Show more details about Nursing
See all doctorates in nursing

Certificate in nursing

  • University of Newcastle Logo

    Clinical Nursing University of Newcastle, Australia

    • Tuition fees per year 17,615 AUD
    • Program type Postgraduate certificate
    • Duration 1 year
    • Start date February, July, September
    Show more details about Clinical Nursing
  • University of Tasmania Logo

    Nursing University of Tasmania, Australia

    • Tuition fees per year 16,800 AUD
    • Program type Postgraduate certificate
    • Duration 1 year
    • Start date February, July
    Show more details about Nursing
  • Glasgow Caledonian University Logo

    Advanced Practice in District Nursing with Specialist Practitioner Qualification Glasgow Caledonian University, UK

    • Tuition fees per year 12,980 GBP
    • Program type Postgraduate certificate
    • Duration 1 year
    • Start date September
    Show more details about Advanced Practice in District Nursing with Specialist Practitioner Qualification
  • MAHSA University Logo

    Renal Care Nursing MAHSA University, Malaysia

    • Tuition fees per year 4,800 USD
    • Program type Postgraduate certificate
    • Duration 6 months
    • Start date January, April
    Show more details 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.