How to Study Nursing in Italy

//How to Study Nursing in Italy

Italy, a nation known for its ancient history, modern fashion, and delicious food. It’s no wonder the country has seen a record number of tourists in recent years, exceeding 50 million visitors annually. From the beautiful outdoor spaces of Cinque Terre to the art museums of Florence, there’s endless ways to explore. But what if you could make this wondrous place your home?

Steps to Studying Nursing in Italy

Each year more and more students are choosing to travel outside their home countries for educational opportunities. In addition to its rich cultural repositories, Italy has a number of excellent universities offering a vast range of areas of study. And, like almost everywhere else in the world, Italy needs nurses.

A look at nurses’ salaries globally shows that if you’re planning on joining the field, Italy is one of the best places to do it. With an average annual salary of $60,000, Italy ranks in the top ten highest paying countries for nurses in the world.

There are many options for studying nursing in Italy, starting with the different levels of study. Nursing students in Italy can attain a three-year basic degree (laurea) followed by a secondary master’s equivalent degree (laurea magistrale), and may continue with further training, including going on to a research doctorate. No matter what course of study you are intent on pursuing, it is important to look at the requirements of the specific programs to which you are applying.

Where to start? We’ll walk you through it.

1. Choosing a Program

Parli Italiano?

When looking at different schools for studying nursing in Italy, there are many elements you’ll want to consider, including school size, surrounding city, and program specifics. One of the first limiting criteria however is language.

Do you speak Italian? Many universities in Italy have classes in both English and Italian. Masters and postgraduate programs are more likely to be offered in English, so if your Italian is a little rusty or totally nonexistent, this won’t limit your options too much, but it is still something to keep in mind. If you will be taking the nursing boards in Italy, however, there will be an Italian proficiency element, so it might be best to start practicing Italian now.


Unfortunate though it is, sometimes it all comes down to what you can afford. If money is a limiting factor for you, make sure to check the price tag when looking at prospective schools. Luckily, many of the best universities do offer scholarships. When looking at your funds, don’t forget to factor in living expenses as well. Some regions of Italy are cheaper to live in than others, so looking at local cost of living is a must.

For more information on specific Italian universities, scroll down to see a snapshot of some of the amazing options.

2. Prepare for Visa Application

Once you’ve decided on a course of study, you’ll need to go through the arduous process of acquiring a Visa in order to study nursing in Italy. If you’re enrolled in a program that lasts fewer than 90 days (unlikely for a nursing program), you can apply for a schengen, or short stay, visa. For any amount of time longer than that, you’ll need to apply for a student visa and, once you arrive in Italy, a Permit of Stay.

Some of the visa requirements can take time, so it’s best to start making the necessary appointments and gathering documents well in advance. Additionally, different consulates will have their own requirements, including whether you must show up in person and how many copies of various documents are necessary. Check with your local consulate to make sure you have everything you need for a smooth application process. 

Here is a general list of required documents for obtaining a student visa:

  • Completed visa application
  • Passport (and photocopies)
  • Additional passport photos
  • Flight itinerary (scheduled travel arrangements indicating where in Italy you’re going and when)
  • Proof of financial means for school and living expenses (such as a bank statement)
  • Verification of enrollment at an Italian university 
  • Letter of acceptance to an Italian university
  • Proof of health insurance (this may not be a visa requirement everywhere, but it is important and may be a university requirement)

Again, it can take months from when you first apply for a visa to when you are approved for one, so check with your local consulate, and get started gathering the necessary documents ASAP.

3. Apply to Italian Universities

Now that you know the first steps, how to begin? Italy is home to some of the best universities in Europe and the world. Many of these schools have almost a millennium of experience backing them up, such as the University of Bologna with its records dating back to 1088 CE, making it the second oldest university in the world.

In addition to prestigious private schools, there are a number of incredible public institutions that are well funded by the state. If you’re just beginning your search and are not sure where to start, here’s a few Italian schools where you can study nursing in Italy!

Università Di Padova (f. 1222) 

Located in Padova (Padua), in the northern Veneto region, the Università Di Padova has the country’s top ranked nursing program. No wonder, when you consider the school has been around for almost 800 years! This public institution has about 45,000 students enrolled and is known as an international leader in research.

University of Milan (f. 1924)

While it looks young compared to some of its Italian peers, this school is easily one of the best in Europe, and it remains the only Italian member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU). Located in the fashion capital of Italy (and, some would say, the world), there is plenty to do outside of class as well when you’re living in this thriving metropolis. 

University of Pisa (f. 1343)

If you become a student here, you’ll be in good company – this public university counts Galileo Galilei and the Nobel Prize winner, Enrico Fermi as alumni. Located on the Arno River in the heart of Tuscany, Pisa has so much more to offer than just it’s famed Leaning Tower. So, if you are interested in studying nursing in Italy, you should definitely consider this university.

University of Naples-Frederico II (f. 1224)

With courses available in every existing academic discipline, this public university provides the opportunity to study beyond your chosen field and pursue a range of academic subjects. With 50,000 students, you might have to fight to get you slice of some famous Neapolitan pizza.

I hope that this article on how to study nursing in Italy was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Category!