Nursing in Countries Other Than the US

I am a Registered Nurse (RN) in the US. We also have Licensed Practical / Vocational Nurses (LPN/LVN) who have a bit less education and slightly different duties per the various nurse practice acts of each state. What do other countries have/call their nurses? Is there a difference in what these other countries call males/men who are nurses? I’ve been told, that, in Germany, the masculine version of Krankenschwester (Sickness/ IllnessSister) is Krankenbrüder.

Talk to me of nursing outside the USA!

Incidentally, would my education and experience mean anything in other countries? Could I work where you are?

The Hebrew word for female nurse is *achot *(Sister). The Hebrew word for male nurse is *ach *(Brother). We like to keep things simple.

In Spanish it’s enfermero (m) or enfermera (f). The job itself, the location where you go to get first aid (in a school or other public space) and often the sign on nurse’s offices, is enfermería. The root word is enfermo/a, sick person.

The Spanish educational system has suffered too many revolutions in the last 20 years; I got my degree (ChemE) in 1994 under a curriculum or “course plan” approved in 1954, the 1992 plan had already been approved, the next one is now in place, and a new one is expected in two years - therefore, right now the only thing that can be said for sure about “how to get a degree in X field in Spain” is “wait too long and the requirements will change”.

When I was in college, nursing was a “professional school”: for a long time, it had been the only 3-year degree in the country. When other 3-year degrees got put in place in 1992 (to give a degree to those who had previously been “mid-degree droupouts”), many nursing schools went up to 4, seeking equalization with those which had previously taken 5 years (licenciaturas) and differentiation from the former-dropouts. They achieved it, and now you can get a masters’ or a PhD in nursing.

There are other degrees such as ATS (Ayudante Técnico Sanitario, I’m not going to try and translate it) or ATS Assistant which have lower educational requirements (vocational track degrees rather than college), but most people wouldn’t be able to describe the differences in detail. The list of “who can be whose boss”, yes, but the differences can be complex: for example, only a doctor can diagnose and prescribe, but whether nurses can write “refill” prescriptions or not depends on the region or hospital’s requirements (when they do it, it’s considered to be “by delegation” of the doctor’s powers).

As for whether you’d be able to work in Spain:
the specific requirements for homologation of titles are managed by the Ministry of Education, you’d have to ask them (or the embassy in DC); there may be purposes for which you are already considered homologated (for example, I’m reasonably sure you’d be able to sign up for higher degrees with yours) and others for which you’re not (requirements for a permanent job with the UHC system are higher than for private jobs).

In the UK, you must be a Registered Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. To qualify, you must have undertaken a recognised 3 year degree or diploma, which comprises 50% practical/clinical training and 50% theory/academic. Males and females are called nurses.

If you come from outside the European Union, then you must have completed a 3 year full time course (or equivalent hours) with the right balance of theory and practical training. This link states that if you are coming from the US, you must meet certain criteria in your training:

If you qualify, you then have to complete an overseas nursing programme once you arrive, which is about 20 days ‘orientation’ on UK practises.

Nurses are called “Sisters” in Pakistan as well. Male nurses “orderlies”.

About Nursing qualifications and designations in India, please refer this link.

That is a joke as the official word for male nurses is “Krankenpfleger” (carer for sick)

I grew up in Germany but live in france now. Here they make a difference between full nurses and “assistants”
Full nurse is a three year training and you will have the responsability of the station , even if they replace more and more nurses with “assistants”. Those do not have the right to administer any meds or take blood. The nurse her/him-self has to do all the stuff related to treatment.

Assistants only can serve food, cahnge the bedcovers, accompany the patient to the bathroom and such…

in french the word for nurse is infirmier (e) the (e) for the females (infirme=sick person)

I’m a nurse in Sydney, Australia.

Nurses here (male and female) are just called nurses but we sometimes still refer to each other as Sister, which is a throwback to days gone by. Nursing is a three year, university based course* to be an RN. There is a shorter, TAFE based course for nurses who want to enrol as ENs. There is also a third level called AiN (assistant in nursing) but I can’t honestly say what their responsibilities/duties are because I’ve never worked with them. It’s a fairly recent addition to nursing (seen by some as an attempt to save money on the part of the NSW Health Service).

  • Way back, when dinosaurs walked the earth and I was training as a nurse, it was hospital based, not a university course.

We have lots of overseas trained nurses in Sydney hospitals and the regulating body is now APHRA and registration is national where it used to be state-based.

In Pakistan, I was surprised to learn, nursing is regulated at the Federal level by the Pakistan Nursing Council.

that’s what they do here … a 6 persons team on a sector for ten to 15 rooms had 6 nurses ten years back… now it’s two nurses and 4 assistants who work on minimum wages :confused:

In Norway, the term sykesøster (“sick/sister”) has long since died out, and has been replaced by sykepleier (“sick-carer”). This term is obviously gender neutral. It’s used for nurses who have completed a three-year specialized course after high school and are therefore basically the same as an RN in the States.

There is another class of nurses called hjelpepleier (“help-carer”), although the official term now is helsefagarbeider (“health-skilled-worker”, the sort of name only a bureaucrat can love) who are similar to LPNs. They take a vocational course in high school, followed by two years of apprenticeship.

The one remaining health care job that has a single-gender name is midwife, jordmor (“earth-mother”). The only male midwife I’ve ever met called himself a jordmor rather than the male equivalent, jordfar.

Although there is a shortage of nurses in Norway, it’s also hard for nurses from abroad to start working here unless they come as part of a program organized by the hospitals.

Resulting in reduced level of care for the patients and increased stress and responsibility for those RNs who remain. I’m lucky in that I work in paeds and we are staffed a lot better than a lot of adult units.

In Germany the term was officially changed from Krankenschwester (female)/Krankenpfleger (male) to Gesundheits- und Krankenpflegerin (female)/Gesundheits- und Krankenpfleger (male) a few years ago.

The original term Krankenschwester was a relic of religious nursing orders (as I suppose the English term “Sister” is too); the modern term, which translates as something like “Health and Sickness Nurse” is meant to emphasize the positive aspect of health.

From what I experienced as a patient and as a relative of patients, nurses nowadays do

  • dispense medication as prescribed, including some (pain) meds prescribed to be “on patient’s demand”
  • connect IV drips to a peripheral IV catheter in place, but only it it is purely a saline drip.
  • take blood from a peripheral catheter in place

but call a doctor to

  • connect an IV drip with medication
  • stick a new peripheral catheter
  • take blood with a hypodermic needle

I don’t know if this division is due to general regulation or to the hospital’s rule. I suppose it’d be better if nurses could take blood (as they did in the past) - I had once had three junior doctors take turns trying to draw blood from one of my veins; that turned out to be a bit of a bloodbath.