Apply for recognition of foreign professional qualifications (EU/EEA/Switzerland) as a nursing professional

Nursing specialists look after and care for people who are ill or need care. The age of the people does not matter. Nursing specialists determine what care the patients need. They supervise and document the care and carry out doctors' orders.

The profession of nursing specialist is regulated in Germany. This means that in order to work as a midwife in Germany, you need a state permit. This permit allows you to use the professional title of nurse and to work in the profession.

Even with a professional qualification from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you can obtain a state permit from the competent authority in Germany. To obtain the permit, you must have your foreign professional qualification recognised.

In the recognition procedure, the competent body compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification and checks the equivalence. The equivalence of the professional qualification is an important prerequisite for the granting of the state licence.
In addition to the equivalence of the professional qualification, you must also fulfil other requirements for the granting of the permit. Further requirements are, for example, sufficient German language skills and health suitability.

If your professional qualification does not come from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, other regulations apply.

You can also apply for the procedure from abroad.

1. Application
You submit an application for the granting of permission to use the professional title of nursing specialist to the competent body.

2. Equivalence check
The competent body will then check whether you meet all the requirements. One important requirement is the equivalence of your professional qualification. The competent body compares your professional qualification from abroad with your German professional qualification as a nursing specialist. The professional qualification is equivalent if there are no significant differences between your foreign professional qualification and the German professional qualification.

3. Possible results of the examination
If your professional qualification is equivalent, your foreign professional qualification will be recognised. The competent body can confirm the result to you in writing. You still have to fulfil the other requirements. You will then be granted permission to use the professional title of nurse.
  • Are there any significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification? Perhaps you can compensate for the differences through your professional practice, other knowledge or skills (lifelong learning). You must provide evidence of professional practice. Knowledge and skills must be certified by an authority of the state in which you acquired the knowledge or skills.
  • However, it may be that the essential differences cannot be compensated by this knowledge. In this case, your foreign professional qualification will not be recognised. You are then not allowed to work as a nursing professional in Germany.
  • However, the competent body will tell you the essential differences and why you cannot compensate for the essential differences through your professional practice. In most cases, you can take a compensatory measure. This will enable you to compensate for the substantial differences.
4. compensatory measures
There are different compensatory measures:
  • Adaptation course: The adaptation course lasts a maximum of three years.
  • Aptitude test: In the aptitude test, only the areas in which substantial differences have been identified are tested. The aptitude test consists of a practical test combined with an examination interview.
You can choose between an adaptation course or an aptitude test.

If you successfully complete the compensatory measure and meet all other requirements, you will receive permission to use the professional title of nursing specialist.


  • Training in the health care profession completed in the EU/EEA/Switzerland that is equivalent to German training or an equivalent level of knowledge
    The equivalence of the level of knowledge is to be proven, if necessary, by an examination or an adaptation course.
  • Health fitness
  • Proof of reliability and worthiness for the practice of the health profession
  • Sufficient knowledge of German level B 2
  • Proof of responsibility

Documents required

  • Application for permission to use the professional title in the case of training in the European Union (EU)
  • Proof of responsibility for the Land of Berlin
    (e.g. confirmation of employment, proof of habitual residence in the Land of Berlin / main residence if applicable, applications for vacancies in the Land of Berlin, invitations to job interviews)
  • Curriculum vitae in tabular form with signature and date
  • Birth certificate and, if applicable, name change certificates
  • Proof of identity (valid identity card or passport)
  • Certificate of good conduct for presentation to an authority
    To verify personal reliability, information from the Federal Central Register (certificate of good conduct) is required for submission to an authority (document type O).
    The information must not be older than three months.
  • Certificate of Good Conduct/Certificate of Clearance of Offences
    of the police or judicial authorities of the home country, if applicable, of the study country (if presented, not older than 3 months)
  • Certificate of good standing from the country of origin
    of the competent authority of the country in which the profession was practised (if presented, not older than 3 months)
  • Medical certificate from a doctor licensed in Germany
    (not older than 3 months if presented)
  • Evidence of completed training
    Evidence of formal qualifications in accordance with Directive 2005/36/EC entitling the holder to practise the profession without restriction in the country of training or, if applicable, in the home country.
    (see checklist for the granting of a licence to use the professional title for medical professions in the case of training in an EU Member State).
  • additionally, certificate of conformity if the evidence of formal qualifications
    was issued after the date relevant for recognition and only provisional and not yet final evidence of formal qualifications are available or the professional title deviates from the Directive 2005/36/EC (confirmation of fulfilment of the minimum requirements and equivalence with the evidence referred to in the Directive).
    issued before the date relevant for recognition and confirming compliance with the minimum requirements or confirming three years of continuous actual and lawful professional activity during the five years preceding the issue of the certificate.
  • Certificate B 2 on knowledge of the German language
    Certificate from the Goethe Institute, telc (telc certificates from Serbian language schools will no longer be recognised after 01.09.2022), TestDaf or ECL certified language school; not older than 3 years. Note: The language certificates submitted will be checked for authenticity and accuracy.
    It is not necessary to submit the language certificates at the time of application.
  • Official certification of copies
    If copies are submitted, they must be officially certified. In the case of copies without official certification, the simultaneous submission of the originals is required.


  • EUR 115.00 für die automatische Anerkennung
  • EUR 164.00 ohne automatische Anerkennung

Average time to process request

approx. 3-4 months, if all documents are complete

Hinweise zur Zuständigkeit

Permission to use the professional title is only granted by the Berlin State Office for Health and Social Affairs.

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