Work for a English-speaking nurse in Madrid?
January 13, 2007 4:58 AM   Subscribe

Work for an English-speaking nurse in Madrid?

Due to my job, I may soon be moving over to Madrid but a big part of the decision relies on my girlfriend's ability to find work there.

After graduating (from a London uni) this September, she will be a qualified nurse with a specialisation in sexual health. She has done several placements in various fields of nursing, including palliative care, ICU, recovery wards etc. so she has a good general knowledge of nursing and can adapt well to different working environments. Ideally she would like to pursue her specialisation, but any work is better than none at all.

The question is if there is work for a UK-trained nurse in Madrid?

Her Spanish is basic, though we will both be receiving lessons on behalf of my employer. Will this be as major hindrance as I think it is? Also, is there any extra training that has to take place before she is allowed to work as a nurse in Spain? How much do nurses earn in Spain? Should we be looking at private or public?

Any resources, information or personal anecdotes are welcome. Thanks in advance.
posted by slimepuppy to Work & Money (4 answers total)
I can't speak for Madrid but I know that most overseas placements for Nurses ask for between 2-5 years experience beyond the degree before they'll hire you.

I'm not saying your girlfriend won't get a job, I'm planning on trying on bucking the trend myself next year by applying for a job overseas with only one year of experience, but she shouldn't be surprised if they won't hire her because of lack of experience.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 6:02 AM on January 13, 2007

I'm assuming you're coming from the UK and not the US, so that you can work in Spain as an EU citizen with no problems.

Personally, I think she may have problems finding work because Spain has a glut of nurses (and doctors) and very few positions. In fact, as I understand it, many medical professionals are lured to the UK to work as apparently there is a dearth there. So you may be heading in the wrong direction.

On the other hand she may be able to find work as a private nurse taking care of some retired English speaking person who lives in Madrid (you'd have better luck in the Canaries or Costa del Sol, frankly); HOWEVER, the Spanish government just passed a low providing financial aid to families who take care of disabled or elderly people -individuals that can't take care of themselves (info in Spanish). This may open up a market for private nurses. However, if I know Spanish bureaucracy, the caregiver will have to prove they have a valid degree - which means whe will have to get her degree validated in Madrid at the Ministry of Education and Science (link in Spanish, here's some info in English). The wait for this validation ("convalidación", in Spanish) to go through an be quite lengthy (up to two years!).

Perhaps she could advertise in some expat magazine or website offering private nursing services for people living in Madrid?

Oh wait this looks like it could be helpful...

Good luck.
posted by sic at 7:51 AM on January 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

do a search for "english nurses working in spain" some interesting information pops up: for instance, this conversation may be helpful.
posted by sic at 7:56 AM on January 13, 2007

Sic really nailed it. You cannot get public sector work without sitting the oposiciones, competitive exams that must be taken through Spanish. There are grind schools to coach people through these incredibly frustrating and difficult exams cos at the end of it if sucessful you would get a job for life.
If you work for one of the private hospitals they may ask you to have the degree validated before taking up a position(convalidacion) which can take many months.

I recommend she takes a Celta course at IH Madrid and work for a few months teaching English as there fairly constant demand in Madrid. While she's busy, earning money and improving her Spanish she can start to put adverts among the ex-pat community although very few older english speakers live in Madrid. She can also suss out the situation in private clinics once her language skills have improved.
Madrid is an amazing city, enjoy!
posted by Wilder at 8:10 AM on January 13, 2007

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