Hungary operates and provides a program of universal healthcare, which means all of the country’s population receives healthcare services. However, public healthcare in Hungary is very inconsistent. There are excellent hospitals, research programs, facilities, and healthcare professionals in the urban areas but not in other areas all around the country. Unfortunately, some hospitals are outdated when it comes to technologies; some are even understaffed, and some lack testing capabilities and research. Healthcare in Hungary suffers from an unequal distribution of equipment and human resources.
The number of healthcare professionals within the country is not as high as in other EU countries; the government has been building programs to attract more professionals to practice and work in Hungary. The government has been channeling funds to its healthcare. This includes increasing the compensation of nurses and even offering scholarships to students to make it more attractive and desirable to students and increase the number of interested applicants. Over the past ten years, more respect has been shown to the healthcare professionals, and extensive efforts have been made to secure new supplies and equipment for nurses and doctors. The number of practicing nurses in Hungary increased over the past years, and it’s still increasing up to this date.
The Hungarian healthcare professionals mainly consist of nurses. And due to the different terminology around the country (i.e., nursing groups with primary education in nursing, nursing groups specializing in nursing), it is very complex to identify the exact number of nurses working and practicing the profession in Hungary. Please check the specific steps enumerated below for additional information about the nursing profession and how to become a nurse in Hungary.
Steps to Become a Nurse in Hungary
1. Find a Nursing Program in Accredited Nursing Institutions/Colleges/Universities
A full-time bachelor’s degree in nursing in Hungary consists of eight semesters. Some of the famous universities in Hungary that offer nursing programs include Semmelweis University, the University of Pécs, and Szeged University. There are other universities offering nursing programs, so be sure to research these universities and choose the university you think can best provide quality education and training.
2. Get a Language Proficiency Certificate
Just like other EU countries/areas, universities and colleges in Hungary also require a B2 level (Intermediate) English language proficiency certificate. Nursing programs in Hungary are taught in the English language. The applicant must be ready to prove his or her proficiency in the English language to become a nurse in Hungary, especially those whose mother tongue or native language is not English. The applicant can get an IELTS or TOEFL certificate for this matter.
3. Prepare All the University Requirements and Pay for the Necessary Fees
University requirements vary from university to university. All documents are usually requested to be in the English language. If the applicant’s documents are written in another language, it is advisable to get the official translation of the document and submit both a copy of the original and the English-translated documents. The most basic requirement every university will require the applicant to submit is as follows:
- Official copy of the Secondary School certificate or diploma (in English or with official translation)
- Transcript of academic records
- B2 level (Intermediate) English Proficiency Certificate
- Curriculum vitae
- Motivation letter
- Medical documents
- Passport or Identification Card
On average, a bachelor’s degree in nursing in Hungary usually cost €2,500 to €3,500. Aside from the tuition fee, universities may also charge additional fees like application fees and whatnot. Fees like this are expected to be paid after the official admission to the chosen university or college.
4. For International Students, Take an Entrance Examination in the Chosen University
For foreign or international students who want to study nursing in Hungary, some universities may require students to pass the entrance examination before admission. The entrance examination is necessary for the university to be able to choose the best applicant for the designed education and training. In addition, there are also some universities that would invite students/applicants for an interview as part of the application process.
5. For International Students, Obtain a Student Visa after University Application
Foreign or international students should apply for a student visa before arriving in the country. Student visas usually take 14 days or more to process, so it is best to apply as soon as possible. The responsible authority will require the applicant to submit necessary documents for them to identify and take into consideration the validity period of the visa to be issued. Since requirements vary depending on what country the applicant came from, the basic requirements include but are not limited to the following:
- Receipt or any evidence showing the applicant’s paid tuition fee
- A letter of admission from the chosen Hungarian university
- Visa application form
- A valid passport (and a copy of the passport photo page)
- Passport-sized photo not more than six months old
- A bank statement or any proof of funds showing that the applicant can cover living expenses
- Proof of health insurance
Applicants who are citizens of non-EU countries must pay the registration fee. To know more about the registration fees, visit the immigration near your area or check the immigration website of your government.
6. Finish the Nursing Course/Program and Obtain a Diploma
The student must finish the nursing program in his or her chosen university and obtain a bachelor’s degree to be able to apply for a nursing license in Hungary. The nursing program will take four years or eight months to finish. The four years of the program will include the theoretical and clinical practice and/or training of the students. This is an important step to become a nurse in Hungary.
7. Register to the National Healthcare Service Center (AEEK)
After obtaining the bachelor’s degree, the university will report your diploma to the AEEK’s Department of Registration for you to be listed in the National Basic Register of the Healthcare Professionals. Once registered, you shall receive a registration number and you are one step closer to become a nurse in Hungary. To check your registration number, you can visit the public database of AEEK.
8. Apply for a Valid Operational Registration and a Professional Chamber Membership
To be able to provide healthcare professional services unsupervised, you must obtain a professional chamber membership and a valid operational registration. To apply for a professional chamber membership, you can visit the National Healthcare Service Center Application Forms. And for further information about operational registration, please visit the Department of Registration and Training.
Other information regarding the requirements in working as a health professional, administrative and registration fees, and contact information of the responsible authority in processing the requirements needed in working in Hungary can also be checked in National Healthcare Service Center Point B.
9. After the AEEK Registration, Find Work in Hungary
After registration with the AEEK, you are already eligible to become a nurse in Hungary. The nurses in Hungary can opt to also work as self-employed or as a specialist in Hungary. If the applicant has plans to work as a specialist, it is advisable to take further education or postgraduate programs.
I hope that you found this article on the steps to becoming a nurse in Hungary informative and helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!