Denmark is known internationally as the home of the Little Mermaid, Danish cookies, and its beautiful multicolored houses. However, it is also one of the best countries in the world to work. A huge part of this is a culture that prioritizes respecting everyone’s right to free time: employees in Denmark work fewer hours on average than those in other developed nations. When they do have to work extra hours, they are fairly and generously compensated.

If you’re a nurse, you will also have very few problems finding employment in Denmark. The country is currently dealing with a shortage of healthcare workers. Because of this, the government is actively seeking foreign nurses and trying to make the process of getting registered in Denmark simpler.

The process of gaining permission to practice nursing in Denmark is similar to that in other European countries. You will need to have your qualifications assessed, learn the language, and go through an administrative process. As with other countries in the region, this process is much simpler if you’re from the EU.

In this article, we will take you through the steps you need to take in order to become a registered nurse in Denmark!

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Steps to Become a Nurse in Denmark

1. Get a Nursing Education

The first step to becoming a nurse in any country is to receive a relevant college degree. To work as a nurse in Denmark, you’ll need to submit your college diploma and transcripts, among other documents, to the Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed, or the Danish Patient Safety Authority. This is the official body responsible for regulating the health industry within the country.

If your diploma was not awarded in either English or Danish, you’ll need to have it officially translated to one of these languages. While Danish authorities accept diplomas from a wide range of education systems, you’ll have a much better chance if you studied in an EU country.

If you haven’t yet received a degree or if your degree has been assessed to be insufficient to practice in Denmark, your best option, if you’re set on working there, is to study in one of its universities. Fortunately, the country is home to a number of top-class institutions. As an aspiring nurse, you may want to consider a degree from the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University, and the University of Southern Denmark.

2. Submit Documents to the Danish Patient Safety Authority

Besides your diploma, the next step to become a nurse in Denmark is to submit related documents. There are several other papers you’ll need to send to the Danish Patient Safety Authority for processing. These include an application form, evidence that you’re eligible to practice in your home country, and a valid ID.

You’ll also be required to submit a CV as the Danish Patient Safety Authority takes work experience into account when deciding whether to grant you permission to practice. For a full list of requirements, you should head over to the organization’s website.

While the entire process normally takes a few months, the Danish Patient Safety Authority has recently bolstered its staffing in an effort to expedite the inflow of nurses. If you want to apply to work as a nurse in Denmark, now is as good a time as any.

3. Learn Danish and Pass a Language Exam

As with anywhere else, being a healthcare professional requires knowledge of the local language. Danish is the official language of Denmark and is what doctors, nurses, and patients use to communicate.

In order to qualify as a registered nurse in Denmark, the next step includes passing the language exam. You’ll need to pass a test called the Prøve i dansk 3, or Danish 3 Exam. This roughly corresponds to a B2 level. The exam tests reading, writing, and oral communication. The maximum score for each section is 10, and you’ll need to get at least a 7 to pass.

The Danish Patient Safety Authority waives the exam requirement if you meet one of several conditions. These include having studied in Denmark, passing the Danish 3 Exam at most 12 months prior to your application, and passing another recognized language test.

4. Go Through a Supervised Employment Period in Denmark

After going through the first three steps of becoming a nurse in Denmark, you’ll be granted temporary authorization to work. This is for the purpose of completing an evalueringsansættelse, or employment for adaptation and training purposes. This is essentially an internship that lasts at least six months in which you’ll learn how to work in a Danish hospital setting under the supervision of more experienced colleagues.

During this period, you will also be assessed for suitability to work in Denmark. After completing your training period, your employer will get in touch with the Danish Patient Safety Authority and give their assessment on whether they recommend you receive permanent authorization to work.

5. Secure a Permanent Authorization and Find a Job

If your employer gives you a positive assessment, the Danish Patient Safety Authority will register you as a nurse and give you permanent authorization to work. This allows you to practice in public and private health institutions throughout Denmark.

Now that you’re allowed to work, your next step to be an official nurse in Denmark is actually finding a job. If you built a good working relationship with your employer during training, it’s possible they will offer you a position after it ends or recommend you to other hospitals with current openings. It’s also possible to apply directly to these hospitals. If you studied in Denmark, you might also find employment at a hospital associated with your university.

Many foreign nurses find employment in Denmark through recruitment agencies, which are specialized companies that are paid by hospitals to essentially act as an HR department. Many agencies will also help you with the other steps on this list.


I hope that this article on Steps to Become a Nurse in Denmark was helpful. To know more information on how you can study in Europe, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.