Generalist nursing courses in Germany: Get free training & great job prospects
The German government recently restructured training programmes for nursing professionals in the federal republic, to create the new general degree “Nursing specialist” or “Nursing professional” (Pflegefachfrau / Pflegefachmann). WBS Training explains what the new, free course entails and what job prospects it can bring.
As of January 1, 2020, the German government created a new nursing profession, known as the “nursing specialist” (Pflegefachfrau / Pflegefachmann). This new qualification combines three previously-separate training courses (nursing, geriatric nursing, and paediatric nursing) into one qualification.
The new generalist nursing qualification therefore allows its holder to work in positions with people of all ages and in all areas of care. As a graduate, this puts you in a strong position on the job market and allows you to decide flexibly whether you want to work in nursing, daycare, or in a retirement home. Best of all, the training is now free of charge.
On top of that, the generalist nursing qualification is international. The new course is designed in such a way that it meets EU requirements and is recognised throughout Europe, making it easier for you to work outside of Germany after you complete your training.
The nursing specialist course
The new, state-recognised general nursing course teaches comprehensive theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of professional nursing. While the term nursing is often associated with seniors (for example, helping with personal hygiene), the actual profession and the training it requires covers a lot more since people of all ages need care, whether due to an accident, illness or disability.
Nursing not only includes supportive assistance and the promotion of physical health, but also the emotional care of patients. A nursing education is therefore always a dual education with a highly practical element.
Prerequisites for nursing training
To be able to apply for an apprenticeship in nursing, you need at least a secondary school leaving certificate. You must also have completed an apprenticeship of at least two years' duration, or a one-year apprenticeship in a nursing-related field, such as geriatric nursing assistance.
Since nursing is a physically-demanding job, your health suitability must also be confirmed with a medical certificate. Contrary to popular belief, there is no maximum age limit for nursing training.
As a future caregiver, as important as these prerequisites are, you must possess empathy and psychological resilience. After all, this profession is about helping and supporting people in need. Furthermore, one should be happy to have physical contact with people of any age, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.
Structure and content of the three-year generalist nursing course
The generalist nursing training course is divided into theoretical lessons and practical modules, including at least 2.100 hours of theoretical instruction and at least 2.500 hours of practical training.
If the training is completed full-time, it lasts three years. You can also choose to study part-time, in which case the course takes five years to complete. The detailed content of the course, as well as the salary, depends on the federal state in which the training is located.
Over a three-year course, all of the prospective nurses are taught together for the first two years, after which they take an intermediate examination. In the third year of training, students can opt either to continue with their general nursing training or to specialise in either geriatric nursing or paediatric nursing.
School-based training covers all of the content that enables a nurse to care for a person's well-being. Thus, the training begins with the basics of biology and chemistry. The trainees learn about human anatomy as well as the most important physical processes. Diseases, medicines, diagnostics, treatments and first-aid are all part of the course.
Non-medical subjects also play an important role, such as administrative tasks. The trainees learn how to prepare care plans, how to document their work, how to communicate with health insurance companies, and how to prepare invoices and service overviews.
Anyone who opts for a generalist nursing qualification will enjoy great career opportunities after graduating. The need for well-trained nursing staff is currently high across Germany - something that is not likely to change in the coming years. You can rest assured that you possess a skill set that will continue to be valuable in the future, because people of all future generations also need to be cared for.
Nurses also have excellent opportunities on the international job market, as skilled nurses are urgently needed not only in Germany but also abroad.
Learn more about WBS Training
WBS Training offers a variety of nursing training courses at locations across Germany. Join one of their online information events in 2022 to learn more about the course, free of charge and from the comfort of your own home.