Germany Doctoral and Nursing Equivalence Procedures


Germany is one of the world’s leading destinations when it comes to offering education for healthcare professionals, especially Medicine, Nursing, and related fields. It attracts not only students but also professionals who seek doctoral-level and nursing equivalence, which allows them to practice their professions in Germany and across Europe. However, the process of achieving the equivalence has certain requirements that candidates need to fulfill. In this article, we will explain Germany’s doctoral and nursing equivalence procedures in detail.

Doctoral Equivalence Procedure:

Doctoral equivalence is needed for those who hold a doctorate degree from a non-German institution and who wish to work as a professor or researcher in a German university or research facility. The procedure for doctoral equivalence involves the following steps:

Step 1: Application to the Higher Education Institution (HEI) accredited in Germany:

The applicant should contact the academic institution where he wishes to work and obtain their agreement to supervise their research as a doctorate candidate. Once the HEI agrees, the individual should complete the application process, submit the required documents, and pay the fees.

Step 2: Verification of Degree:

The HEI will then verify the validity of the degree certificate from the non-German institution. The degree should be recognized as equivalent to a German doctorate.

Step 3: Verification of Research Proposal:

The research proposal should be verified by the HEI, and the scientific relevance and feasibility of the project should be assessed.

Step 4: Examination for Required Skills:

The HEI will conduct an examination to ensure that the candidate has the necessary language proficiency and subject-specific knowledge for the research project.

Step 5: Acceptance as a Doctorate Candidate:

If the HEI approves the application, the individual will be accepted as a doctorate candidate and will be granted the right to use the academic title of a doctor.

Nursing Equivalence Procedure:

The nursing equivalence procedure aims to determine whether the candidate’s qualifications meet the standards and requirements set by the German Federal Ministry of Health for professional nursing practice in Germany. The process involves the following steps:

Step 1: Recognition of Non-German Nursing Qualification:

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in the UK and the Federal Health Authority (Bundesgesundheitsamt – BGA) in Germany have an arrangement for recognizing nursing qualifications. The candidate should apply to the NMC, and once recognized, the NMC will inform the BGA, which will then issue a certificate of equivalence.

Step 2: Language Proficiency:

The candidate must demonstrate proficiency in the German language, which can be shown by passing the TestDaF examination.

Step 3: Professional Adaptation:

The candidate must undergo a professional adaptation period under supervision, which could last up to twelve months. During this period, they will receive practical training in healthcare facilities under the guidance of a senior nurse.

Step 4: Certification:

On successful completion of the adaptation period, the candidate will receive certification that their qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to the German nursing qualification.


1. What documents are required for the doctoral equivalence procedure?

The required documents are an application form, a CV, a motivation letter, a research proposal, academic transcripts, a degree certificate, a language proficiency certificate, and a statement from the academic institution agreeing to supervise the research.

2. What is the duration of the doctoral equivalence procedure?

The duration of the procedure depends on the HEI, but on average, it can take up to three months to complete.

3. What is the criteria for passing the language proficiency test (TestDaF)?

The candidate should score at least 16 points in each of the four parts (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) of the TestDaF.

4. What are the benefits of nursing equivalence in Germany?

Nursing equivalence allows candidates to practice their profession in Germany and other European countries that recognize the German nursing qualification.


Germany has well-established doctoral and nursing equivalence procedures that allow professionals in healthcare fields to work and excel in their careers. These procedures aim to ensure that candidates meet the required standards and regulations set by the German authorities for professional practice. With the increasing demand for healthcare professionals, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, Germany presents an excellent opportunity for professionals seeking to advance their careers.

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