Why Do Foreign Nurses Migrate to The Netherlands?

If you are reading this blog, it is probably because the idea of working abroad as a nurse has been buzzing you or you probably landed here by accident. Many countries (including the Netherlands) are experiencing an acute shortage of qualified experienced nurses. This has resulted in a golden opportunity for international nurses to move overseas either temporarily or permanently. Whatever reason it is, this blog focuses on some of the most common reasons for moving abroad.  

1. Salary 

For some nurses, salary can be a push factor to migrate to the Netherlands as an average salary for a registered nurse working at a hospital in the Netherlands ranges from 2600 euros to 3700 euros per month. However, this depends on different factors like years of experience and field of expertise. Yet, to work in the Netherlands as registered nurse, you must first obtain your Dutch nurse registration. 

Furthermore, compared to other countries, irregular hours are paid according to the time, date, and healthcare institution where you work. You can see an overview of the irregular hours payment in this article.  

2. Job Stability 

Many young nurses across Europe face job uncertainty as job contracts are often temporary.  This often causes stress, financial insecurity, mental health problems which ends up affecting personal goals. In the Netherlands, nurses are offered job stability as the Dutch government provides regulations on temporary and permanent contracts for organizations not to abuse and for its citizens have a better work-life balance. Furthermore, as a result of the shortage of nurses in the country, Dutch health care organizations ensure that professional growth is present in the workplace so that health care professionals remain in the organization.  


3. Professional Experience 

In the Netherlands, the field of nursing is broad. There is a wide variety of specializations and the working culture differs slightly from other countries. Hence, it provides nurses the opportunity to develop a career path and gain professional growth. Many Dutch health care organizations encourage its employees to join nursing courses to continue learning about a specific skill or field. In fact, some hospitals will often provide specialization courses at no cost as they see this an investment in their health care professionals 

Moreover, the gained experience while working in the Netherlands is an asset for nurses who then decided to return to their country of origin as in addition to your professional experience you will outstand against candidates that don’t have the international experience and the soft skills that come along with.  Nevertheless, for nurses who permanently relocate, this continues to be an advantage as the professional opportunities are immense as you can define your own career path through long- and short-term goals.  

4. Personal Growth 

Another common reason to work abroad is to step outside of the comfort zone where self-confidence will be continually boosted by challenging experiences that come with the territory. This comes from the fact of communicating with patients in a new language, working with international colleagues, learning new working protocols, and adapting to a new culture. Although all these events can sound daunting, they are all part of individual growth and becoming more independent and self-reliant in a new foreign environment.  

 5. Travel Adventure  

We cannot miss to include that the travel experience is also one of the most common reasons for nurses to work abroad. In this case, the advantage of moving to the Netherlands is that its location makes it easier to travel across the European Union. Should we mention that the Amsterdam airport is only 15 minutes away from Amsterdam and within 3 hours of flight you are anywhere in Europe? Well, now you know.  

Besides the traditional tulip fields and famous districts in Amsterdam, the Netherlands is an attractive destination to internationals as it offers freedom, it is a small country with many hidden gems to discover, life and travel is cheaper in the Netherlands than Scandinavian countries, and Dutch are friendly people. EMTG nurses agree that they enjoy the Dutch landscapes and canals.  


There can be both up and downsides to moving abroad and we are aware that leaving your home country, packing up your life and readjusting to a new language, culture and city are all big steps to take when moving abroad. There are many more reasons as to why a nurse decides to migrate and work in the Netherlands but is up to you to take the challenge and discover what the country has to offer you. EMTG has helped over 400 foreign nurses take the leap on their new Dutch adventure to the Netherlands and can help you on this new experience.  

Are you looking to work in Dutch healthcare? 

EMTG is a company that supports European nurses in the trajectory to obtain the BIG register while gaining professional experience in the Netherlands and Dutch language skills. EMTG has created an EMTG program that begins with an intensive Dutch language course and a job contract at a Dutch health care organization.   

Let EMTG help you build your healthcare career in The Netherlands.