Nurse registration in Spain

You must have recognised training to practise as a nurse in Spain

Nurses in Spain can work in both the private and public sector. Nurses are currently needed to fill the many vacancies available in the health system. There are many great and interesting career opportunities and healthcare professionals are highly sought-after, and valued.

To register and practise as a nurse in Spain, you will need to meet and complete a number of requirements and processes.

Where can you register as a nurse in Spain?

Registration to work as a nurse in Spain is done by registering at any of the professional associations located throughout the country, the central body of which is the General Nursing Council.

Registration to work as a nurse in Spain is mandatory and it should be done at the professional association in the area where you want to start working. Specialisations are not taken into consideration in the registration, as it is of a general nature, but they are for the organisational and internal information purposes of the association.

What documentation will I need to submit in order to correctly register?

Each association has its own way of managing the process, whether online or in person, but the documentation generally requested is as follows:

  • Official degree certificate.
  • If you don’t have the Official University Degree Certificate, you will need to submit the Provisional Supplementary Certificate, which must include the National Registry Number of Official University Degree Holders, which has the same legal effect and will be signed by the Vice-chancellor (Article 14 of Royal Decree 1002/2010, of 5 August on the issuance of official university degrees).
  • Academic certificates (original and photocopy).
  • Certificate of the corresponding specialisation, where applicable.
  • 2 photographs (which can be digital).
  • National identity document (original and photocopy).
  • Bank account number for fee payment.
  • Document justifying payment of the corresponding registration fee.

For foreign degrees, the following must also be provided:

  • Foreigner’s ID document (NIE) or passport.
  • Certificate of equivalency/recognition issued by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities or the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare.
  • Certificate of suitability or good practice issued by a competent authority of the country of origin. The certificate should state that the applicant has not been disqualified from practising medicine and a sworn translation of it will be required if it is not in Spanish.

Where is the equivalency or recognition of foreign degrees carried out?

For non-Spanish degrees, registration applicants in Spain must get their qualifications recognised. The procedure will be different depending on where they were granted:

EU degrees and qualifications:

  • In Spain, the recognition of healthcare degrees issued by any other EU Member State is regulated by Royal Decree 581/2017 of 9 June (under Directive 2013/55/EU of the European Parliament) and it is carried out through the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare.

Non-EU degrees and qualifications:

The equivalency and recognition of non-EU degrees in nursing and recognition of specialisations is carried out at different ministries:

  • Equivalency of Degrees in Nursing: corresponds to the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities. The equivalency will be valid throughout Spain. The corresponding fees must be paid for the process to commence. Once the request has been approved, applicants can start postgraduate courses and apply for jobs.

Recognition in Spain of specialist qualifications obtained outside the European Union is regulated by Royal Decree 459/2010 of 16 April, implementing Article 18 of Law 44/2003, on the Management of healthcare professionals and is obtained through the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare.

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How can you accredit your level of Spanish in order to register as a nurse in Spain?

If your first language is not Spanish, you will have to submit a Level B2 certificate with your application for equivalency or recognition in order to practise as a nurse in Spain:

How to accredit a level B2 in Spanish:

  • Be from a country where the official or co-official language is Spanish.
  • Have studied at least 75% of your degree or specialist training in Spanish.
  • DELE test certificate (a Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language) issued by the Miguel de Cervantes Institute).

Official certificate of advanced level B2 in Spanish for Foreigners, issued by the Official Language School. Certificate of Linguistic Ability in Spanish for Foreigners, issued by the Official Language School.

Due to the health crisis caused by COVID-19, this service is suspended until it can develop normally.


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