Turkey has over 83 million in population, and it is a growing market for medical technologies and healthcare services. The Ministry of Health (MOH) is the largest healthcare service provider in Turkey, and they have been responsible for the planning and effective implementation of the healthcare policies. The Ministry of Health continuously seeks ways to improve its services and one of which is to employ software developers to use health IT solutions in the country’s healthcare system. The MOH uses its centrally stored healthcare information to forecast the health of Turkey’s population and to analyze patterns when it comes to illnesses and whatnot.

Alongside Turkey’s IT solutions for healthcare issues, there are also over a million healthcare professionals working in the country. The ministry has shared that the total number of healthcare staff each year increases, and this includes the doctors, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, specialists, general practitioners, and medical residents. That being said, the number of nurses in the country is shooting up every year, graduating from Turkey and some coming from abroad. There is a lot of organization in Turkey; however, the Turkey Nurses Association (TNA) is the largest and the most organized group of nurses in the country. However, no matter how large the number of nurses increases, the member of the TNA is still low. This is why Turkey is still welcoming professional nurses, to keep the numbers of nurses increasing, to help in delivering quality healthcare system and service all over Turkey.

To know more about the nursing profession and how to become a nurse in Turkey, the specific steps and details are enumerated below.

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Steps to Become a Nurse in Turkey

1. Get a Language Proficiency in Turkish or English

Universities and colleges in Turkey offer nursing courses or programs in Turkish or English. Universities require applicants to provide proof of their language proficiency level by submitting a language proficiency certificate. This is important to become a nurse in Turkey. For instance, some universities with the English Language as their medium of education require students to pass a TOEFL IBT Certificate with an overall average score of 75 as part of their application for admission. There are also universities requiring applicants to have level B2 in Turkish.

To get language proficiency in Turkish, please visit TOMER Certification Exam.

2. Choose a College/University Offering Nursing Courses, Finish the Program and Obtain a Diploma

Like most colleges or universities offering a nursing course, the program usually takes two or four years to finish in a Turkish institution. Turkey offers diploma-based programs and associate degree programs. The diploma-based programs take four years to complete. On the other hand, associate-degree programs only take two years to complete. Turkey also transitioned into offering a bachelor’s degree program, which takes four years to finish. The minimum requirement before someone is considered to be an able and competent professional nurse in the field of healthcare is a bachelor’s degree.

After finishing a bachelor’s degree in nursing, the student may opt to further his or her studies and take up a master’s degree, which takes four semesters to complete. A nurse who finishes his or her graduate school studies is deemed to be called a “specialist nurse.” Specialist nurses work in preventive and therapeutic health services.

3. Students Who Complete Their Studies in Turkey can Already Work as Specialist Nurse

Graduates of nursing from Turkish institutions or universities can work as service nurses and clinical nurses providing therapeutic and preventive health services in all private or public health institutions.

In the therapeutic services, nurses provide physiological, psychological, and social care. The healthcare services provided in this field take into account the basic human needs such as nutrition, movement, excretion, breathing, proper sleep, proper rest, body temperature, and whatnot. Therapeutic services involve and apply prescription treatments for patients, monitoring patients, keeping written reports regarding the patients and their medical health conditions, assisting in the examinations and diagnosis procedures, and giving descriptive information of the findings to the patients.

As for the preventive services, nurses provide maternity, child, and family planning services care, healthcare education, protection from infectious diseases, and are responsible for the collection and evaluation of any statistical information.

4. For International or Foreign Students, Look for an Accredited Turkish University Offering Nursing Courses and Complete All the Requirements Needed

Applicants must research the different institutions offering nursing programs and apply to the institution/university online. Documents are also requested when applying to the university, so the applicant must prepare the following:

  • A diploma in high school or secondary education (or higher)
  • Transcript of records
  • A Certificate of Language Proficiency
  • Identification Card or any proof of identity
  • At least two references

The requirements do not limit to the ones enumerated. It may vary from university to university. Also, some universities require a copy of the documents in English or Turkish, so if the documents are in different languages, the applicant must get official translations of the documents along with the verified original copies. This is a crucial step for international students to become a nurse in Turkey.

5. Make a Deposit Payment

After the application online, the chosen university or institution shall be asking for a deposit payment of the applicant’s tuition fees. The applicant may contact the person in charge of the university online or through the school website where he/she applied for the specific amount that needs to be deposited.

6. Apply for Student Visa

After the application and the deposit payment, an acceptance letter shall be issued and given to the applicant, which shall be used to apply for a student visa. The student may apply for a visa in their country’s respective Turkish Embassy. The requirements usually depend on which country the applicant is from. For studies lasting for more than 90 days, the applicant must apply for a residence permit. The required basic documents that need to be submitted are the following:

  • Acceptance letter from the university
  • Medical reports and/certificates
  • Original and photocopy of passport
  • Passport-size photograph
  • Paid Immigration fee (to be consulted and inquired in the applicant’s respective Turkish Embassy)

The residence permit to be issued to the applicant is only valid for one year. Applicant must renew his/her permit at least 60 days before its expiration.

7. Await Issued Permit from the Turkish Embassy and Prepare to Study in Turkey

Wait for the issuance of the student visa or residence permit. After getting the permit, the applicant is ready to go to Turkey to study nursing. The same steps enumerated in Steps 1 – 3 apply to the foreign/international students to become a nurse in Turkey and be able to practice the profession in the country.


I hope that you found this article on the steps to becoming a nurse in Turkey informative and helpful. Do visit the Asia Scholarships Page to find out more about universities and scholarships in Asia!