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Nursing Jobs in Switzerland
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Nursing Jobs in Switzerland

Information on Hospitals in the Western Part (French speaking) of Switzerland will be added shortly.

General Educational Requirements and Professional Conditions for Nurses in Switzerland

Switzerland has a considerable shortage of nurses and other health care professionals. But there is an almost absolute requirement that an applicant speaks one of the national languages (German, French or Italian). The sites below are almost all in German, some have a French Language option. As a consequence of similarity in the nurses education system, which is basically an apprenticeship and until recently, not a University level course, and also because of commonality of language, Germany has been the largest supplier of foreign nurses to Switzerland. More recently, with the Bologna education reform, nursing has also become a profession taught at the Fachhochschule to Bachelors Degree Level.

The general consensus is, that continuous education for Swiss nurses is a must, if you want to have a career in nursing. Often, the employer pays a significant amount towards courses, which, as an employee, you only have to pay back, if you leave the employer within a short period of completing such courses.

Foreign nurses have to have their credentials checked and accepted by the Swiss Red Cross (the English language site is here) which can take several months. The costs of this certification is Sfr 500.00 (about US$ 550 - Jan 2013).The prospective nurse can obtain an evaluation of her credentials, prior to starting a jobs in Switzerland. In the French speaking part, this is known as the "Reconnaissance de Diplome". This usually takes about three months. If you want to work in the German speaking area, you will have to pass level B2 of the DELF Language examination
In general, nurses from Anglo-Saxon countries should not have any problems with their certification. If an applicant is required to do some additional courses she/he usually has to do a six months apprentissage and maybe you need to do some days of additional courses. The six months used to be a job as an auxiliary (obviously at lower pay!). However, it appears that the pay is usually at the normal nurses rate

The Swiss Red Cross has a PDF write up about certification of foreign educated nurses, (Anerkennung auslaendischer Ausbildungsabschluesse in den..) which you can get here. The essential element in getting certified in Switzerland is the ability to speak one of the national languages (German, French, Italian) at a specified level. Though, there are private hospitals where knowledge of English is sufficient for employment. You should take note, that "nursing" is still listed as a non university profession.

All certificates or employment records, such as references submitted for evaluation and for obtaining the credentials have to be in either German, French, Italian or English.

The SBK-ASI also recommends foreign, non-German speaking, nurses to follow a course familiarizing themselves with the Cultural differences that exist between their country of origin and those of Switzerland. For more details on all these points, you can contact the SBK-ASI (Swiss Professional Association for Nurses).

The SBK (Swiss Professional Association for Nurses) also runs two continuing education centers, one in the German speaking part and one in the French speaking part. The addresses [Centre for Continuous Education (German Language) or Centre for Continuous Education (French Language)] are shown below. About 40% of the Swiss nurses (known as Pflegefachfrau - female - or Pflegefachmann - male) are members of the association. The association has a job board (look under Stellenmarkt in the navigation menu).

Switzerland has a very large and efficient state health service, where the major hospitals are run by the individual cantons (or states). They are also often attached to Universities (which in turn are also financed by the Cantons and state run). In addition, there is also a state run system of care for the elderly running resident homes in almost every community all over Switzerland. There is also something called SPITEX, which is a mobile nursing service that visits patience at home. However, your German, French or Italian has to be pretty good, to be considered for this service

Besides these extensive state health services and old age care networks, there is a very large and thriving sector of the privately owned hospitals and care facilities which accepts patients from all over the world.

A few comments about the language areas in Switzerland. As a general rule, foreign non German speaking nurses, find easier acceptance in the French speaking part of Switzerland than in the German speaking part. Obviously that requires some knowledge of French.

One of the problems in the German speaking part is that people do not speak high German (the standard German spoken in Germany), but local Swiss dialects. There is obviously some justification for the fact that a nurse must interact with the patient in the most accommodating fashion, since the patient is likely under stress and does not really want to communicate in a language that is not his own. Even high German might be too much for the patient.

However, having said that, there is an nasty element in many Swiss, that forces even German nurses to listen to Swiss nurses, doctors and auxiliary personnel speaking in Swiss German.

It might be an inherent Swiss inferiority complex about high German or it might simply be a general lack of education and an inability to speak proper German. Even though, the education system is given in proper high German.

Kicks Sneakers


(Swiss Professional Association for Nurses)
Choisystrasse 1,
Postfach 8124, 3001 Bern
Ph: 41 31 388 36 36 
Fx: 41 31 388 36 35
The site is only available in German and French
Centre for Continuous Education (German Language)

Dienerstrasse 59
8004 Zuerich
Tel. 01 297 90 70

Centre for Continuous Education (French Language)
Centre romand d'education permanente
chemin de Maillefer 37
1052 Mont-sur-Lausanne
Tel. 021 646 58 38

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Recruiters and Nursing Employment Agencies in Switzerland

The primary language of all the sites below is German. Some of them have French language options, but surprisingly few have English language options, even though Switzerland's hospitals are full of foreign clients speaking English.

Here is a Glossary of some words you should know when you look at Swiss Job Boards or employment advertisements in the health sector:

English German French
Nurse (Male of Female)

Nursing Department
- Pflegefachfrau (female)
- Pflegefachmann (male)
- Krankenschwester (old type of description)
- Pflegedienst
Infirmier - Infirmiere

Departement de Soigner
Vacancy (or employment) Offene Stellen emplois
Job Application Bewerbung Formulaire de candidature
Certification and Recognition of Foreign Diplomas Anerkennung auslaendischer Diplome La certification et Reconnaissance de Diplomes Etrangers
Co-worker/Associates Mitarbeiter (often used in the context of "Suche Mitarbeiter" - searching for Personnel/Associates) Collaborateur - Collaboratrice
Job Offer Stellenangebot Offres d'emploi
Full time employment - Part Time employment - when you go through employment offers you will find the % employment (hours worked) offered. This can be 100% or 80%...40% etc Vollzeitstelle - Halbzeit a temps partiel
Cantonal Hospital (A Hospital owened by the State - Canton) Kantonsspital hospital cantonal
Education - further education Ausbildung - Weiterbildung Formation - Formation continue

Web Site Type of Site Location, Language Remark
(Nurses and Care Giver recruitment)
Postfach 2290
CH-8022 Zuerich
Ph: 41 1 211 18 14 
Fx: 41 1 212 29 12
Recruiter and Job Board - Resume Posting Job Searches; Vacancy Posting; Switzerland.
German, French, Italian
Your resume submission will only remain on the site for four weeks, then it will be automatically removed Job Board, Resume Posting Job Searches; Vacancy Posting; Switzerland.
German, French, Italian
Job Market for the Health and Medical Industry in Switzerland
Hirslanden Group
Zollikerstrasse 164
8008 Zurich
Ph +41-1-388 85 85
Fx +41-1-388 85 88
Large Swiss Hospital and Healthcare Group- There is an English Application form Switzerland.
German, French, Italian, English
A group of clinics based in Zurich, Lausanne and Bern. Operates 14 leading clinics and over 100 service centers offering advanced medical care. Look under "Karierre"
It is now less of a job site but with more informarion
This is a portal site for nursing and medical care Switzerland.
German, French, Italian
Portal site now called Pflegewiki
Ph:+41 41 340 8000
Fx:+41 41 340 8001
Resume Posting Job Searches; Vacancy Posting; Switzerland.
German, French, Italian
Job Market for the Health and Medical Industry in Switzerland


Swiss Job Boards and Recruiters

Web Site Type of Site Location, Language Remark
Gigajob Job Board, Resume Posting Job Searches; Vacancy Posting; Switzerland.
This is a simple to use job board where you can search by job title (obviously in German only!), locations etc. German site but with Austrian and Swiss sub-sites
Med Talents
c/o ag
Carmenstrasse 28
8032 Zuerich
Job Board, Resume Posting Job Searches; Vacancy Posting; Switzerland.
German, French
Job Market for the Health and Medical Industry in Switzerland Job Board, Resume Posting Job Searches; Vacancy Posting Switzerland.
German, French,
A site for jobs in senior homes for the whole of Switzerland
Learn4good Job Board for general jobs but with a Health care job section Switzerland.
German, French, English
International job board - you have to look for Switzerland under Krankenschwester/Krankenpflege Strengelbacherstrasse 2a
CH - 4800 Zofingen
Tel +41(0)31 371 08 08
Recruiter and Job Board Resume Posting Job Searches; Vacancy Posting; Switzerland.
German, French,
Specialized Recruiter Site for Healthcare personnel - Central Switzerland (Zurich-Lucerne-Berne-Basel area)

Web Site Type of Site Location, Language Remark
Swiss Advice and Information Service for the Health Industry
Schaffhauserstrasse 21
CH-8042 Zuerich
For Jobs click here
Job Board Resume Posting Job Searches; Vacancy Posting; Switzerland, German This site will give advice on the general employment framework for health care professionals within Switzerland, salaries social insurance, working hours etc. Unfortunately, it is only in German
Swiss-medical swissmedical online gmbh,
Postfach 319,
3280 Murten
Ph:+41(0)26 670 13 81
Fx: +41(0)26 670 13 76
Job Board with resume posting, vacancy posting and job searches. Difficult to negotiate for the non German speaker Switzerland, German To post a resume you have to go to "Stellengesuche" (Situations wanted) and to do a Job Search go to "Stellenangebote" (Job Offers) unfortunately only in German! Job Board Resume Posting, vacancy Posting, Job Searches Switzerland, German, French This is a general on-line job site, but has a specialist healthcare section. Look under Medizin/Pflege
c/o IFP AG
Schaffhauserstrasse 358
8050 Zuerich
Ph:044 317 55 55
Fx: 044 311 93 53
Job Board Resume Posting, Vacancy Posting and job searches Switzerland, mainly German, French For Pharmacologists and related jobs This is not an actual nurses job site, but a list of all doctors in Switzerland, who have a web presence Switzerland, mainly German, French, List of doctors Josefstrasse 216
8005 Zuerich
Ph:+41(0)43 210 20 20
Fx:+41(0)43 210 20 30
Job Board Resume Posting, Vacancy Posting Switzerland, German Founded in 1989 with 100 employees in Switzerland. Based in Zug - does health care recruiting - Unfortunately, it is only in German

Public Hospitals in the Eastern Part of Switzerland
(Zuerich and St. Gallen)

Web Site Type of Site Location, Language Remark
Chidrens Hospital (Kinderspital) St. Gallen
Claudiusstrasse 6
CH-9006 St. Gallen
Ph:+41 (0)71 243 71 11
Fx: +41(0)71 243 76 99
Childrens Hospital with "Stellen" (Jobs) Switzerland, German Large Regional childrens hopital (known as KISPI) funded by the City and Cantons of SG, AI, AR, TG and also thew Principality of Liechtenstein
Cantonal Hospital of St. Gallen Rorschacher Strasse 95
CH-9007 St.Gallen
Ph:+41 71 494 11 11
City Hospital - Go to "Stellen" Section Site is in German only Switzerland, German The hospital also includes the Kantonsspital Flawil and Rorschach, about 30, resp. 10 miles from St. Gallen with, in total 900 beds and 4000 employees
St. Gallen
Geriatric Clinic
Retirement Home - Assisted Living etc
Rorschacher Strasse 92
9000 St.Gallen
Ph: 071 243 88 50
Geriatric Hospital of the City of
St. Gallen with Retirment Homes, Senior Apartments etc
Switzerland, German Large multi disciplinary facility for the aged with a range of services for the population of the City of St. Gallen. Look for jobs under "Stellenangebote". Smallish town with 75,000 people but only 50 miles east of Zurich
Spital Limmattal
Urdorferstrasse 100
8952 Schlieren (outside Zurich)
Ph: 044 733 11 11
Fx 044 733 22 18
General Suburban City Hospital - Go to the "Offene Stellen" Section - Site is in German Switzerland, German Suburban hospital with 728 full time employees - 190 acute beds and 140 long stay beds
Stadtspital Triemli
(City Hospital Zuerich) City of Zurich
Stadtspital Triemli
Birmensdorferstr 497
8063 Zuerich

Ph:+41(0)44 466 11 11
Fx:+41(0)44 466 26 00
Large City Hospital - Go to the "Jobs" Section Site is in German and English Switzerland, German, French, English The very large Triemli hospital offers a wide range of high-quality medical treatment to the general public round the clock taking advantage of most modern diagnostics and therapy. Our field of operation comprises 11 clinics with various specialised sections and 5 institutes. A great emphasis is placed on interdisciplinary co-operation between our various clinics and institutes.
Universitaets Spital Zuerich
Raemistrasse 100
8091 Zuerich
Ph: +41 (0)44 255 11 11
Large University and Research Hospital (in English) Switzerland, mainly German, French, English University Hospital Zurich is one of the largest and most important teaching hospitals in Europe. With its 40 departments and institutes, the hospital is renowned for its achievements in health care, research and teaching, as well as for compassionate care. It offers state-of-the-art treatment for a broad range of illnesses, provided by a dedicated team of leading consultants of the highest international standing.
Stadtspital Waid
Tichestrasse 99
Stadtspital Waid
8037 Zuerich
Ph:+41(0)44 366 22 11
Fx+41(0)44 366 20 99
Large City Hospital - Go to the "Jobs" Section - Site is in German and English Switzerland, German, French, English With its acute medical care service and Emergency Walk-In, Waid City Hospital has been looking after the health of Zurich citizens since 1953. At our state-of-the-art hospital, around 1,000 staff work using the latest in diagnostic and therapy equipment. Our range of services are available to people who have full private, partial private or general healthcare insurance, and include a wide range of inpatient and outpatient examination methods including different types of treatments and therapies.

There are many more hospitals in the same area. The above is only a small selection.

Public Hospitals in North-Eastern and Central Parts of Switzerland
(Basel, Luzern and Bern)

Web Site Type of Site Location, Language Remark
Universitaetsspital Basel
Spitalstrasse 21/
Petersgraben 4
4031 Basel
Ph:+41 (0)61 265 25 25
Large University Hospital - Go to "Das Spital" then to "Stellen" (Jobs) on the Navigation tabs Switzerland, German - There is an English page if you go to "Angebotscenter" and then to "International Services" The University Hospital Basel is one of Switzerland's leading university medical centers. It has an international reputation for providing the most advanced treatments in a compassionate, patient-centered environment. More than 700 physicians and 1500 registered nurses provide state-of-the-art treatments in all medical fields. The patients receive the best care possible and they benefit from the latest technical and scientific knowledge.
beider Basel

CH-4005 Basel

Ph: +41(0)61 685 65 65
Childrens Hopsital- for Canton Basel Stadt and Canton Basel Land Switzerland, German, French For Jobs go to "Offene Stellen" on the tab on the right hand side of the Page - A newly constituted hospital/research center with 129 beds and 830 employees in a new building complex

L'hospital universitaire des enfants des deux Basles (UKBB, Universitaets- Kinderspital beider Basel) est un centre universitaire autonome de medecine pour enfants et adolescents ainsi q'un centre de formation et de recherche.
Kantonsspital Bruderholz
4101 Bruderholz (Basel)
Ph: +41 61 436 36 36
Fx: +41 61 436 36 50
Large Cantonal Hospital Look for the "Jobs" link on the roght hand navigation side Switzerland, German, French (site is only in German) Large 430 bed Cantonal hospital on the outskirts of Basel with 1,600 employees from 45 nations
Bern University Hospital (Inselspital)
CH-3000 Bern
Ph:+41(0)31 632 44 33
Fx:+41(0)31 632 07 65
Large University Hospital - Go to "Arbeitgeber/ Stellen" on the Navigation tabs - Top of the page Switzerland, German, French Site is only in German Large university hospital and research center with a 1,000 bed hospital employing over 6,700 people from 80 nations. 1,020 Phycisians and scientists and over 2,900 caregivers and therapeutic occupations
Kantonsspital Luzern 6000 Luzern 16 Large Cantonal Hospital Switzerland, German Large Cantonal Hospital with three sites and 5,400 employees

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A large part of the Swiss Hospitals are run by the Canton's, that is the individual States. There are 26 States in this small country of 8.7 million people. They each have quite restricted salary scales which leave little room for reflecting nurses shortages within specific specialties. Some of the private hospitals offer slightly higher salaries, but by and large the figures shown below are the average. The Cantons of Zurich and Geneva pay slightly higher salaries, while Aargau, despite its proximity to Zurich, pays some of the lowest salaries.

The median pay in the health industry is (end of 2020) around Sfr 129,000 per year (currently about US$ 132,000) with 20 to 28 days paid vacation and working a 42 hour week. While pay for a staff nurse ranges from SFr 98,000 to SFr 129,000 (end 2020 currently about US$100,500 to US$ 132,000) per year. Employees offering specialties get paid more. Nurses work generally 42 hours per week. There are night shift, weekend and overtime payments which are about 20% higher than the standard hourly rate. Because of the shortage of nurses, there is a good opportunity for overtime. There are also opportunities for time in lieu and in general, employers offer four or more weeks of paid vacations annually. As a general rule employers are also generous financing further education in your health speciality. Health Insurance is as a rule not covered by the employer, but it is easily available and by international comparison (except when you come from a country with a National Health Service!) relatively cheap. Some employers offer subsidized housing and restaurant services for staff.

The working environment in Swiss hospitals, especially the relationship between doctors and nurses, is said to be correct but cool. If anyone has personal experience, please send us an e-mail and we will add your comments on this page. Modern management methods, and especially methods of personnel management, appear, from some reports, still to be a kind of mystery for many Swiss hospitals and clinics.Though it has improved somewhat during the last ten years. But, please write, if you have personal experiences and we will add your comments on that point as well!

There is currently a nursing manpower shortage of about ten percent and a large number of planned positions are not being filled. This figure also varies widely across the country. Foreign nurses amount to approximately 35% of all nursing staff employed.

The requirement of knowledge of a national language and similarities in education and training make German nurses the largest foreign contingent in Switzerland.

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