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Bachelor in Nursing

“Career opportunities in nursing are attractive and very diverse.  A course of study at ZHAW provides you with the best current knowledge and skills available for a successful start to your nursing career.”

Irène Ris, Head of BSc in Nursing Programme

A practically oriented nursing programme with an internationally recognized university degree and a licence to practice.

Three good reasons for studying nursing at ZHAW

A Bachelor in Nursing that suits my needs

(Filmclip in Swiss German)

Human beings with their individual health, psychological and social needs and demands are the focus of nursing practice. A nurse’s work environment ranges from caring for patients and their next of kin to exchanges with specialists in healthcare institutions and other professional groups, such as social workers, insurance experts and case managers in a complex health care system.

Entry requirements for BSc in Nursing

  • Baccalaureate + additional module
  • Federal Specialised Baccalaureate + additional module
  • Federal Vocational Baccalaureate + additional module
  • Degree from a College of Higher Education and Training or another tertiary B qualification + additional module

Additional information on entry requirements

Structure of the course

The full-time undergraduate programme in Nursing takes three years to complete and offers dual benefits:

  • a licence to practice as a fully qualified nurse (diplomierte/-r Pflegefachfrau/-mann FH)
  • the applied degree Bachelor of Science ZHAW in Nursing

Study achievement is measured in ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits, which makes your degree comparable across Europe. The programme takes 180 ECTS credits to complete, with one credit equalling 30 hours of study workload.

Our BSc in Nursing fulfils the required national and international standards and educational requirements. The study programme consists of classroom teaching (40 percent) and self-directed study (60 percent). Classes are taught using a combination of mainly lecture-based teaching methods and independent, action-oriented learning (exercises, case studies, project work, workshop instruction and simulations).

Profession-specific modules

  • Fundamentals of professional nursing: fundamentals of science, nursing as a science, the nursing process, caring, symptom management, nursing specific age and patient groups, ethics, and education
  • Physical examinations and interventions: nursing techniques, pharmacology, clinical assessment, assessment of families, best practice

Multi- and interprofessional modules

Scientific work, communication and interprofessional collaboration as well as various multi-/interprofessional courses on aspects of society, culture, and health care.

Practical experience

Students complete three 12- to 16-week clinical placements in different clinical disciplines during their studies. After their sixth semester of study, they must undertake another clinical placement of at least 10 months (additional module C, depending on previous qualifications).

Clinical placement providers are mostly located in the canton of Zurich and the neighbouring cantons. Placement is arranged by ZHAW.

Bachelor’s thesis

For their Bachelor’s thesis, students work on a topic relevant to their profession and apply the theoretical and scientific methods they have learnt in their studies.

“I like that instruction at ZHAW is a combination of classroom blocks and practical learning in the form of clinical placements in different external institutions. I completed my first clinical placement on a children's ward. I then broadened my skills in long-term nursing and, finally, I was able to care for adult patients at Zurich University Hospital.”

Adina Wehrle, BSc student in Nursing

Professional profile and training objectives

Registered nurses work in a wide variety of health settings such as hospitals, psychiatric care, retirement and nursing homes, home care nursing (Spitex) or outpatient healthcare facilities. They perform nursing duties in different areas of expertise for all age groups – from infants to children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. With additional professional experience and continuing education qualifications, they can also take over team, run a department, or work as instructors. Other options include academic teaching, research and health promotion and prevention.

Competencies in seven roles

Registered nurses with a degree from a Swiss university of applied sciences have extensive practical, theoretical, and scientific expertise in the areas of health care, illness prevention and nursing.

During your studies, you will acquire competencies in seven different roles:

  • As a communicator, you facilitate the building of trusting relationships and selective sharing of information.
  • As an expert in your field, you perform specialist nursing tasks and make appropriate decisions.
  • As a collaborator, you are proactive and participate in interdisciplinary teamwork.
  • As a manager, you assume professional leadership, contribute to the effectiveness of the organisation, and develop your own professional career.
  • As a health advocate, you are committed to helping patients responsibly within the health care system.
  • As a scholar, you are committed to lifelong learning and the development, transfer, and application of knowledge.
  • As a professional, you promote the professionalisation process in nursing through reflective practice.


At a glance

Degree: Bachelor of Science ZHAW in Nursing

Workload: 180 ECTS credits

Duration of study: 6 semesters

Course structure: full-time, practice-oriented Bachelor’s degree programme

Start of the course: Calendar week 38

Registration deadline: April 15

Teaching location: Winterthur

Language of instruction: German

Tuition fees: CHF 720 semester fees + additional study and living expenses

Postgraduate courses: Master of Science in Nursing