Work as a nurse in Norway

This page outlines what you need to know about working as nurse in Norway.

How do you apply?

Nurses are employed in a number of types of institution in Norway. The most common are hospitals and local authority health and care services, e.g. care homes, nursing homes, home nursing, school health services and public health centres.

Norway has four regional health authorities: South-Eastern Norway, Western Norway, Central Norway and Northern Norway, which run hospitals in their areas. On their websites, the regions publish lists of hospitals, links to them and information for job seekers. 

In Norway, local authorities are responsible for care of the elderly and other care services. Read more about this on the public health portal Helsenorge.

General information about applying for a job

You can use the state employment service to look for work in Norway. The Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) website lists vacancies and is a good place to start. You can also use EURES - the European Job Mobility Portal in your home country to find a job in Norway, or contact a EURES adviser  or a local NAV office in the part of Norway where you would like to work. Since local authorities are responsible for a range of health and care services in Norway, it is also a good idea to check vacancies on the various council websites.

Another option is to use a private recruitment agency, or to make direct contact with potential employers. Certain recruitment agencies also specialise in finding staff for the health and care services.

Authorisation

In Norway, some professions are regulated by law and require authorisation. The Directorate for Health and Social Affairs is responsible for authorisation, which is required for doctors, psychologists, nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacologists, bioengineers, auxiliary nurses, care assistants, etc. Further info Helsedirektoratet.no.

Most employers in the heath sector require their personnel to have Norwegian authorisation. You can either apply for authorisation, which gives you full rights to practise your profession, or apply for a licence to work for a period until you acquire full authorisation. 

Thirty professional groups require authorisation, and nursing is one of them. This means that you cannot work in nursing, or call yourself a nurse, without an authorisation. It is the employer's responsibility to check that the authorisation is valid at the time of employment. To apply for authorisation as a nurse in Norway you must have a degree in general nursing. Norway does not have an authorisation scheme for specialist nurses, and they do not need a license. 

To apply for an authorisation or licence you must complete and submit an application form, attaching a number of documents. Documents in a Scandinavian language (Danish, Norwegian or Swedish) or English do not have to be translated. Remember never to send original documents. Submit stamped certified copies. Read more on Directorate for Health and Social Affairs’ pages on authorisation for nurses, where you will find the application form and information about documents to enclose.

Note that an application fee is charged. Further information about the fee is available on the Directorate website.To be considered for authorisation, EU/EEA citizens must have qualifications that entitle them to work in their home countries. Read more about this on the website of the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT).

Salaries and other relevant information about nursing

  • The Norwegian Nurses Organisation website carries information about the minimum wage for nurses working in the country.
  • News about the profession is also published in the Nurses Organisation's journal Sykepleien (The Nurse).
  • The trade union has also developed a Toolbox for anybody thinking about training as or working as a nurse. 

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