Working in the Netherlands as a Nurse

Moving to a new country is usually not an easy task, but why not? If prepared, the move can go smoothly and be beneficial! The key to succeeding in your adventure is good organization, preparation and researching for information. Hence, in this blog, we shall briefly introduce the working conditions and working culture for nurses in the Netherlands.

What is the CAO?

The CAO (Collectieve Ardbeidsovereenkomst) is a written document that contains agreements on working conditions such as wages, working hours, overtime payments, probationary period and notice or pension. In this link, you can find more information about what CAO is and how it is regulated.

Hours, Salary and Vacations

In the Netherlands, nurses usually work an average of 32-36 hours a week (4-5 days). During irregular hours of work, the remuneration will follow the CAO table. According to the CAO 2021, the gross salary of a nurse in the Netherlands ranges between 2492-3818 euros per month. This depends on studies and professional experience. Dutch highly appreciate their time, so there is more flexibility in the schedule and freedom when choosing vacations. Nurses are entitled to a minimum of 20 days of vacation with paid leave. This has been applied by law to supplement a healthy rhythm of work and an increase in the quality of life of employees.

Trial Period

During the first weeks at a Dutch company, there is a period of introduction, akin to a trial period, called “inwerking” in which the new employee is assigned an experienced colleague who will be their contact person. This colleague ensures that team integration and work tasks are gradually achieved until the team feels confident enough to function independently. Furthermore, the Netherlands is a country known for its multiculturalism and as a result, this has generated a very natural and tolerant environment.

Dutch Mentality

Many elements characterize the Dutch work culture, one of which includes the efficiency in which work is done. Dutch mentality is much more focused on achieving proposed objectives and results. Therefore, being ambitious and having initiative are qualities highly valued in the working place, especially in healthcare.


Another aspect in the Dutch healthcare is the organization of work teams, this allows for better communication and relationships between colleagues. Today, this communication takes place in a more informal and relaxed way, which provides an open exchange of ideas and greater motivation in the team.

Professional Growth

Finally, the entrepreneurial nature of Dutch culture encourages employees to improve and evolve as professionals. In the Netherlands, different nurse specializations exist that have not been developed yet in many countries of the European Union. Every year many nurses take this adventure and start a new life and professional project.

Are you a healthcare professional that is interested to move abroad to Holland?

At EMTG we are happy to announce that we offer job opportunities for nurses, doctors and psychologists. The EMTG program provides language and culture courses to prepare you for the adventure to Holland. Apart from teaching you the language for free, we also help you with administrative duties, housing and provide a job mentor to help you settle down at work and in your personal life. All you have to do is pack your bags! What are you waiting for? You can contact your local recruiter for any questions.