How do foreigners work as nurses in Japan How to become nurses, associate nurses, and nursing assistants?

As of 2021, the number of foreign residents living in Japan is about 3 million, and the total number of foreign visitors to Japan for travel and business has increased year by year to about 32 million in 2019, according to statistics released by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). In 2021, the impact of coronavirus has been large, and the number of foreign environmental guests has decreased significantly, but it is expected that the total number of foreign visitors to Japan will return to an increasing trend due to the spread of vaccines and the rebound of the economy.

In this way, as the number of foreigners in Japan increases, it is required to establish a hospital and medical system to support their health, but according to a questionnaire survey conducted by YOLO JAPAN, 60% of foreign resident members answered that they felt uneasy when using Japanese hospitals and medical institutions, and about 30% of them said, “I do not speak the language and how to use hospitals and medical institutions such as reception and payment, I feel inconvenienced.”

One of the solutions to responding to foreigners is to hire foreign nurses who can speak their native language and Japanese.
In this article, we will introduce how foreigners can become nurses, associate nurses, and nursing assistants (nursing assistants) in Japan.



How foreigners become nurses in Japan

There are three ways for foreigners to become nurses in Japan:

(1) Graduate from a nurse training center designated by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare and pass the national examination for nurses
In order to enter a nursing training center designated by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, you must have graduated from a Japanese high school. In other words, just like Japanese people living in Japan, they enter and graduate from Japanese high schools, enter and graduate from Japanese nurse colleges and colleges of nursing, take the national examination for nurses, pass and qualify as nurses.

(2) Those who have graduated from a foreign nurse school training school and obtained a nurse’s license in a foreign country will be certified for the examination in Japan and pass the National Examination for Nurses in Japan.
In addition to obtaining certification for examinations for Japanese nurses, the following seven items must be met (quoted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (about qualification for taking the National Examination for Nurses).

(1) Training year of foreign nurse school training institute
Details are based on the certification criteria of A) to U).
A) Qualifications for admission to a foreign nurse’s school training institute
Those who have graduated from high school or higher (at least 12 years of study) or are recognized as equivalent
b) Training year of foreign nurse school training institute
More than 3 years
c) Period of study until graduation from a foreign nurse’s school training center
Those who are 15 years of age or more or equivalent

(2) Hours of study for educational subjects
The total number of hours taken is 97 credits or more (more than 3,000 hours), and the number of credits and hours in the basic fields, specialized fields, specialized fields I, specialized fields II, and integrated fields specified in the regulations designated by the Public Health Nurses’ Nurses’ School Designation Institute (Ordinance No. 1 of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health and Welfare in 1941) shall be generally met.

(3) Educational environment
It is recognized as equal to or higher than the nurse school training school in Japan.

(4) Judgment of the country
Be a foreign nurse’s school training center officially recognized by the state government, etc.

(5) After graduating from a foreign nurse’s school training center, whether or not you have obtained a nurse’s license in the country
Acquired in principle.

(6) National examination system for obtaining a nurse’s license in the country
National examinations, or equivalent systems, have been established.

(7) Japanese language ability
For those who have not graduated from japanese junior and senior high schools, the Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1 (including level 1 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, which is the certification category until December 2009). the same as below).

(3) Be selected as an EPA foreign nurse candidate in a foreign country and pass the national examination for nurses while training and working for up to three years after coming to Japan.
Epa foreign nurse candidates must hold nurse qualifications in their home countries in three countries: Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Epa candidates for foreign nurses are allowed to enter Japan only if they have Japanese language proficiency of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test N4 or higher after taking the Japanese language training before visiting Japan for 6 months. After coming to Japan, students will receive a six-month Japanese language training program after visiting Japan, where they will learn to pass the national examination for nurses while training and working in nursing. You can take the National Examination for Nurses without receiving “Certification of Examination”.

【Status of Residence of Nurse (Visa): Visa)】
If an EPA foreign nurse candidate passes the national examination for nurses, in addition to the status of residence “medical care”, you can also select the status of residence of a specific activity as a work visa.
In addition, you can work in Japan as a nurse without obtaining a work visa for “permanent residents”, “spouses of Japanese nationals”, “spouses of permanent residents” and “long-term residents” based on their status of residence.

How foreigners become associate nurses in Japan

There are three ways for foreigners to become associate nurses in Japan:
The nurse examination is a national examination, but the associate nurse examination is a test conducted on a prefectural basis.

(1) In Japan, graduate from an associate nurse training institute or a nurse training center and pass the associate nurse examination.
In addition to nurse training schools, associate nurse training institutes are required to graduate from junior high school, and the number of years completed is as short as two years. In addition, it is not necessary to pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1.

(2) Those who have graduated from a nurse school training school in a foreign country and have obtained a nurse’s license in a foreign country will be certified for the examination in Japan and pass the associate nurse examination.
Qualifications for examinations can be received in a country or prefecture. The conditions include passing the Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1.

(3) Be selected as a candidate for EPA foreign nurse in a foreign country and pass the associate nurse examination after coming to Japan
If you are an EPA foreign nurse candidate and fail to pass the nurse exam, you can take the associate nurse exam.

[Status of Residence of Associate Nurse (Visa: Visa)] If an EPA foreign nurse candidate passes the associate nurse examination, the work visa applies to the status of residence “medical care”, but it is important to note that you can only work for 4 years after passing the examination.
In addition, for “permanent residents”, “spouses of Japanese nationals”, “spouses of permanent residents”, “long-term residents”, “long-term residents”, there is no restriction on the working period, and you can work in Japan as an associate nurse based on your status of residence.

How foreigners can become nursing assistants in Japan

There are four ways for foreigners to become nursing assistants (nursing assistants) in Japan.

(1) Have a status of residence “permanent resident”, “spouse of a Japanese national”, “spouse of a permanent resident”, “long-term resident”, and work as a nursing assistant
It will be the same conditions as japanese people.

(2) International students, etc. obtain a “permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of qualification” and work as a nursing assistant (nursing assistant) within 28 hours per week
It will be treated as a part-time job.

(3) As a “technical intern trainee”, practice is performed in “nursing care occupation”.
As a “technical intern trainee”, it is possible to perform the same work as a nursing assistant (Japanese language training, lectures, etc.) are required.

(4) Work as a nursing assistant with specific skills “nursing care”
If you pass the “Specific Skills Evaluation Test” and “Japanese Language Test”, which are said to be relatively easy, you can start working immediately.