International recruitment of nurses
Charité is committed to creating and maintaining an open and friendly work environment that is welcoming to people from all over the world. Together, we embody and embrace diversity and create new opportunities for all our members of staff. Our international colleagues bring with them professional expertise and intercultural competence, to the enrichment of our nursing-related work areas. Join our interprofessional team. This section provides a good overview of both the opportunities available and the conditions you will need to meet.
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Our organization’s guiding principles (mission statement)
In an effort to promote internationalization in the areas of research, teaching, patient care and administration, Charité’s Executive Board has adopted an ‘Agenda for Internationalization’. International recruitment is one of the Agenda’s areas of action. Consolidating an array of measures aimed at attracting and retaining qualified nursing staff (pp. 15ff.), it also represents a reaffirmation of our commitment to fair and ethical recruitment practices.
We are guided in these practices by both the WHO’s ‘Code of practice for the international recruitment of health and social care personnel’ and the ‘Employer Pays Principle’.
There is no cost to the international nurse for the placement process.
To the seal of approval: "We recruit transparently, fairly and ethically!" In the countries of Mexico and Brazil, we recruit international nurses ourselves (without recruitment agencies). For spring/summer 2022, we are also including the countries of India and Colombia.
Date: 2022 March
Information material in spanish /Material informativo en español
Information material in portuguese / Material informativo em português
We are committed to the following guidelines and update them according to the latest requirements.
(Nos comprometemos a seguir las siguientes directrices y a actualizarlas de acuerdo con los últimos requisitos.
Estamos comprometidos com as seguintes diretrizes e as atualizamos de acordo com as últimas exigências.)
Further information and professional guidance for nurses
Immigration procedure, recognition of professional qualifications and integration services
An application for full recognition of professional qualifications must be made to the relevant competent authority (in Berlin, this is the State Department for Health and Social Affairs, LaGeSo) prior to arrival in Germany (and therefore prior to a visa being granted). This application must be accompanied by the necessary supporting documentation and state the nature of the professional title to be recognized (i.e., Pflegefachmann/Pflegefachfrau – vocational qualification – pursuant to PflGB; or Gesundheits- und Krankenpfleger – academic qualification – pursuant to KrPflG). For nurses from Mexico, the recruitment process is overseen by the Federal Employment Agency’s International and Specialized Services, ZVA (https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/en/welcome); for nurses from Brazil, by the German Agency for International Healthcare Professionals, DeFa (https://www.defa-agentur.de/en/background/).
LaGeSo (https://www.berlin.de/lageso/) will then determine whether the applicant’s qualification(s) is/are equivalent to those obtainable in Germany. Nursing qualifications obtained in third countries are often found to be markedly different from those of the relevant German reference occupation, and a ‘notice of deficit’ will be issued. If a professional qualification obtained abroad is not equivalent, differences may be remedied through additional training (adaptation measures) pursuant to section 16 d of the Residence Act (AufenthG).
Compensatory measures such as an individualized job training program may be able to address such deficits. At Charité, adaptive training interventions are delivered in collaboration with the BBG, a Berlin-based education and training campus for the health care professions (https://www.bildungscampus-berlin.de/). The course curriculum is delivered over six months and comprises both theoretical and practical components. It ensures the timely professional integration of international nursing staff as fully-fledged members of their respective teams.
How long international staff remain in Germany depends not only on their situation at work but also on the degree to which they feel part of the wider community. This is about more than an understanding and an acceptance of our constitution and laws, of our legal, societal and social order. It is also about the ability to participate in our social discourse and to help shape our everyday lives, to feel welcome and have a sense of belonging. It is about friendships, good neighborly relations, and feeling part of one’s local community and region.
Advice provided by the federal government
Proficiency in German – crucial for professional registration/licensing and beyond
In Germany, nursing is a strictly regulated profession. As such, for an individual to be permitted to carry the relevant professional title and/or complete professional registration and licensing, they will need to provide proof of B2 level proficiency in Germany (GER) and, from 2021, evidence of proficiency in Medical German.
At Charité, language courses are provided by our language partner Berlitz (https://www.berlitz.com/en-de). Course participants will receive free weekly German lessons. After a total of 400 teaching units, participants will sit their B2 examination. Candidates completing adaptive training measures will receive language training as part of their program. A language teacher and a professional trainer will work together to produce appropriate lesson content, enabling them to place a special focus on practice-relevant language proficiency.