In order to qualify as a nurse in Switzerland, students have to obtain a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from one of the country’s top universities. As with all medical sciences, Switzerland invests heavily in the education of future nurses and there are great options for pursuing a degree in this country. However, tuition will be carried out in one of Switzerland’s official languages: French, German, or Italian.

Here is a selection of the top nursing schools in Switzerland.

Best Nursing Schools in Switzerland

1. University of Basel

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: Master’s Degree in Nursing Science
  • Language of Instruction: English

Founded in 1460, the University of Basel is the best nursing school in Switzerland and counts among the oldest in the world. Its illustrious researchers and academics have long been held in high regard at a global level and Basel leads the Swiss higher education rankings on most subjects.

Here you will have access to some world-class facilities such as the impressive multi-disciplinary library or the center for biomedical research.

The Master’s Degree in Nursing Science takes six semesters to complete and is taught in English and German, but the emphasis is in German and you will need to be able to speak it fluently to make the most of your study program there.

2. University of Bern

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing
  • Language of Instruction: German

This university in the capital of Switzerland was founded in 1834 and is home to over 100 specialized institutes of study and research, as well as multiple faculties to focus your studies in. The Bachelor of Nursing program is a three-year program taught over 6 semesters, followed by a 10-month compulsory internship module. It is taught exclusively in German and is split between Bern and Basel.

A second option from 2021 is to actually study exclusively in Basel for the 2021 intake, taking full advantage of the modern facilities there. However, students still have to carry out their practical training at health institutions in and around Bern and will still have the local experience that many would prefer.

3. Zurich University Institute of Nursing

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: BSc for Registered Nurses, BSN in Occupational Therapy, Master’s in Nursing, etc.
  • Language of Instruction: German, English

Zurich University is one of the leading educational institutions in Switzerland and the Zurich University Institute of Nursing is one of the best nursing schools in Switzerland as it offers various degrees for those looking to have a career in health care. Medicine has been taught on the premises since 1525 and the current University was established in 1833 from a merger of various institutes. Today, the University of Zurich is the largest in Switzerland.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is taught over three years and has a focus on Occupational Therapy. It is split between 60% classroom teaching at the Zurich University of Applied Science, and the rest in clinical placements at various health institutions.

There is also a BSc for Registered Nurses – a 4-semester program for nurses who already have the background training and are looking to get formal recognition via a Bachelor’s diploma.

To study further, the University of Zurich also offers a Master’s and various other continuing education options.

4. University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science HES-SO in Nursing
  • Language of Instruction: French, German, or both

The University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO), a top nursing school in Switzerland, is a network of higher education institutions spread across the seven cantons of Western Switzerland. With 21,000 students, HES-SO is the largest institution of its kind in the country, and only behind Zurich as a university.

There are medical and nursing schools based in Geneva, the Berne/Jura/Neuchatel cantons, Valais, Fribourg, and the Vaud, covering therefore lots of various urban centers in this part of the country and offering numerous opportunities for clinical practice on the ground.

The BSc in Nursing is offered in each center, taught over three years on a full-time basis and in different languages depending on where you enroll: either French, German or bilingual in Fribourg and Valais. Qualified alumni can look for a career in health care as well as in research, teaching, and humanitarian action institutions.

5. University of Applied Sciences and Arts Southern Switzerland

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: BSc in Nursing
  • Language of Instruction: Italian

The University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) is a conglomerate of educational institutions in the Italian-speaking part of the country, offering over 30 bachelor and master courses.

This top nursing school in Switzerland is based in Manno in the district of Lugano. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program taught full-time over three years with the option of full-time study as well. Courses are completely in Italian. The course aims to provide a great combination of academic theory and practice, linking with research activities too. The university prides itself on employing interdisciplinary teaching methods, as well as crossing over in other departments such as Physiotherapy and Ergotherapy with which the nursing program has common modules.

Students at SUPSI have the opportunity to carry out internships abroad thanks to a number of international cooperation projects put in place by the university. They can also study abroad for one semester, within the Swiss-European Mobility Program – programs are offered in Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey.


I hope that this article on the best nursing schools in Switzerland was helpful. To know more information like this, check out the Programs in Europe for International Students!