Nursing for healthcare assistants and social care workers

Nurses care for us when we’re sick, help us maintain our health and are in great demand on the labour market. We offer a hands-on approach to nursing in this varied, exciting degree programme.

  • We prepare you to take on the complex demands of nursing.
  • You will hone your skills in our learning centre under the guidance of specialists and implement your new-found knowledge during work placements.
  • You will learn to think critically and provide scientific reasoning for your professional decisions.
  • You will acquire expert knowledge of the interdisciplinary facets of modern nursing and learn to take an active role as a trained professional.
  • Following graduation, you may choose to specialise, or continue your studies with our consecutive master’s programme, or even a doctorate (PhD).

Portrait Bachelor of Science in Nursing (German)

Factsheet

  • Title/Degree Bachelor of Science (BSc)
  • Specialisations None
  • Mode of study Part-time study (8 semesters)
  • Start date Calendar week 38
  • Application deadline Academic year 2021/2022: 15 May 2021
  • ECTS credits 180 ECTS credits
  • Study language German
  • Location Bern
  • Department Health Professions
  • Next info event 10 November 2020

Content + Structure

The bachelor’s degree programme in Nursing at BFH provides you with a sound theoretical foundation in science and extensive professional and practical experience. All content is designed to give you the tools you need for career success.

Portrait

By combining studies with work experience, the bachelor's degree programme in Nursing prepares you for various professional opportunities. In addition to the hands-on experience you will gain working with patients, you can explore the many options our wide-ranging programme has to offer, such as:

  • Quality development
  • Evidence-based development of new concepts in nursing
  • Practical research projects
  • Consulting
  • Leadership roles in nursing

The spectrum of job opportunities extends far beyond the traditional areas of nursing to include the following professional fields:

  • Insurance
  • Management
  • Applied research and development

Three questions to...

Learning outcomes

Upon graduating, you will obtain the title ‘Bachelor of Science BFH in Nursing’. This bachelor’s degree is federally recognised in Switzerland, compatible with other European systems and counts internationally as a university degree.

Upon completing the programme, you will have comprehensive, specialised nursing knowledge:

  • You will possess a thorough understanding of topics relevant to the field of nursing. Such topics might include:
    • Nursing diagnostics
    • Theories of health and disease
    • Aggression
    • Pain
    • Paediatrics
    • Transculturalism
    • Psychiatry
    • Malnutrition
  • You will have a solid grasp on the organisation and purpose of the Swiss healthcare system. You will feel confident debating the following topics:
    • Health policy
    • Health promotion
    • Public Health
    • Social security
    • Health economics
  • You will be skilled in training and advising diverse patient groups with an understanding of the systemic context of various social backgrounds.
  • Drawing upon your own knowledge and orientation guides, you will be able to contribute to theoretical and ethical discussions, decisions and actions in all areas of nursing practice.
  • Clinical assessment will allow you to systematically review each patient’s clinical situation and determine the urgency of any given intervention. Clinical assessment is one of the core competencies of a nursing professional with a bachelor’s degree.
  • You will appreciate the significance of nursing science and understand the differences and similarities between quantitative and qualitative approaches to research. You will employ nursing research processes and different study designs as well as associated methods for data collection and analysis in your work.
  • You will examine and deepen your own theoretical knowledge and apply it to your everyday work in nursing. You will design strategies on how to improve the quality of care based on research findings and evidence-based approaches. You will then implement these strategies in the appropriate areas of practice. For instance, this might pertain to topics of applied nursing diagnostics, developing new concepts in nursing as well as advising and educating patients.
  • You will view nursing from an interprofessional, interdisciplinary perspective. You will ensure comprehensive quality management in the workplace by keeping informed of social changes, legal requirements and available resources.
  • You will be equipped to lead or assist in leading initiatives for change in nursing, then evaluate these processes.
  • You will be prepared to take on leadership duties in nursing.
  • You will fulfil the expectations and demands of various roles, such as communicating with patients in critical health situations as well as with people from different cultural backgrounds. You will meet these challenges by conducting professional conversations and implementing any action items resulting from these discussions.
  • You will consult scholarly literature to research, analyse and evaluate answers to nursing-related questions, then model everyday best practices in the workplace after your findings. Using evidence collected from your nursing practice, you will systematically assess the instruments derived from these research findings. This will allow you to make feasible suggestions for updating guidelines, standards or instruction manuals.

Bachelor's degree programme in Nursing at the BFH

Specialisations + Focus areas

In addition to gathering work experience during your studies, you will also begin planning for your future career as a nurse. You will develop strategies for finding a position commensurate with your level of specialised training, monitoring the improvement of your own skills and considering how best to implement these in your work.

Mode of study + Duration

Part-time study (8 semesters)

Curriculum + Modules

For students with their baccalaureate and training as either FaGe (healthcare assistants) or FaBe (social care workers), this bachelor's degree programme lasts four years, or eight semesters.

  • During the first four semesters, you will continue to work (at least 40% of your time) as either a FaGe or FaBe and dedicate the remaining time to your studies. You will attend classes at BFH two days a week, except during the week-long orientation (calendar week 38), with classes held every day. The programme focuses on deepening your existing knowledge.
  • From the fifth semester onwards, you will increasingly utilise your knowledge in practice.
  • In the fifth semester, you will spend 100% of your time gaining hands-on work experience in a new field as a nursing student.
  • The following semester will be split 50/50: 50% is spent in practice and 50% at BFH.
  • For six weeks of the seventh semester, you will spend 100% of your time at BFH; the rest of the semester will be spent entirely in practice.
  • The eighth semester will be split 50/50: 50% is spent in practice and 50% at BFH.

From the fifth semester onward, we support and encourage you in your nursing practice with an educational framework in accordance with BFH specifications. 

Our goal is to help you acquire the professional skills you need. You will receive additional support in achieving your own goals from both a practical instructor and a mentor.

The bachelor's degree programme in Nursing is modular. Every semester is structured around modules dedicated to specific topics.

The programme is designed as follows:

  • Professional nursing
  • Emergency situations
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Inferential statistics
  • Communication in everyday nursing
  • Pain management
  • Perioperative nursing
  • Fundamental knowledge of research
  • Dependence and autonomy
  • Technical English 1
  • Technical English 2
  • Difficult situations
  • Systemic nursing and ethics
  • Counseling in everyday nursing
  • Applied research
  • Health management
  • Challenging conversations
  • Clinical assessment 1
  • Technical English 3
  • Technical English 4
  • Quality development
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical assessment 2
  • Training and counselling
  • Interprofessionality
  • Practical Experience Module 1
  • Practical Experience Module 2
  • Project management
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Reasoning and presentation
  • Bachelor’s thesis
  • Health economics and policies
  • Clinical decision-making
  • Scientific writing
  • Practical Experience Module (Optional-Mandatory Module)
  • Practical Experience Module 3
  • Practical Experience Module 4
Structure of bachelor's degree programme in Nursing - full time (since beginning of studies 2020/2021) Enlarge image
Structure of bachelor's degree programme in Nursing - part time for healthcare assistants and social care workers

Student mobility

We highly value mobility for our students and professors alike. We maintain partnerships with various foreign universites of applied sciences, which helps streamline our study abroad options.

The bachelor’s degree programme aligns with the Bologna model, which ensures transparency and mobility among universites of applied sciences across Europe. Student performance is measured and recognised according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).

Projects + Student theses

Bachelor’s theses

Partners

Requirements + Admission

The number of places available on our bachelor’s degree programme in Nursing at BFH is determined by a numerus clausus. Provided you meet formal admission requirements, you must then complete a written aptitude test.

Formal admission requirements

Baccalaureate and vocational training (EFZ) as healthcare assistant (FaGe) or social care worker (FaBe).

If your prior training (completed successfully in no more than three years) was not conducted in German, you must demonstrate proficiency in the German language. We require students to have achieved level C1 in the Common European Framework of Reference.

Foreign baccalaureate results are evaluated according to swissuniversities guidelines.

Those applying from abroad must provide the following documents in either German, French, Italian or English:

  • Certified translation of baccalaureate results with all associated documentation
  • Swiss Red Cross SRC approval of your foreign diploma in nursing

Knowledge + Abilities

You should demonstrate the following interests, knowledge and abilities:

  • You are self-competent and resilient with excellent social skills and an analytic mind.
  • You are interested in a professional career with an academic background.
  • You have solid observation skills.
  • You enjoy approaching and interacting with other people.
  • You are a great communicator.
  • You have a deep sense of responsibility.
  • You work well with others, regardless of differences in professional or cultural background.
  • You have extensive prior knowledge of biology and other sciences.
  • You are prepared to work within an institutional context and complete administrative tasks with close attention to detail.
  • You are resilient and autonomous in your work.
  • You will need strong English skills for this programme: level B2-C1 or completed First Certificate (grade A).
  • We also require proficiency in maths and offer a preparatory course in statistics to any interested students who have been admitted to the bachelor's degree programme in Nursing for healthcare assistants (FaGe) and social care workers (FaBe).
    For further information or to register for the course, please email or call our administrative offices at +41 (0)31 848 35 40.

In the year of the planned start of your studies, you must complete a binding aptitude assessment (which is subject to a fee). This will determine your admission to the bachelor’s degree programme in Nursing for healthcare assistants and social care workers at BFH. The aptitude test is conducted in German and comprises a written part.

Academic year 2021/2022

Aptitude test: Friday, 11 June 2021

Degree + Career prospects

A promising future for your degree: as a nursing professional with a bachelor’s degree, you have broad general training with specialised knowledge in the field of nursing as well as the skills to manage the effects of diseases and treatments alike.

Title + Degree

Upon graduating, you will obtain the title ‘Bachelor of Science BFH in Nursing’. This bachelor’s degree is federally recognised in Switzerland, compatible with other European systems and counts internationally as a university degree.

Career prospects

A bachelor’s degree in Nursing prepares you to work in healthcare institutes and beyond, in the private or public sector or for locum work.

Possible fields of work
 

  • Urgent care facilities
  • Psychiatry
  • Retirement or nursing homes
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Preventive care
  • Long-term care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Palliative care, hospice care
  • School health services
  • Company health promotion
  • Advice
  • Education
  • Research and teaching
  • Politics
  • Home care

Public organisations
 

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Homes
  • Vocational schools with healthcare focus
  • Schools and universities
  • Associations
  • Municipalities/administrative departments

Private organisations
 

  • Health centres, HMOs
  • Health insurance companies
  • Medical manufacturers
  • Companies (e.g. health promotion within the workplace)
  • Freelance consultant or homecare provider

Practicalities + Application

If you fulfil the formal entry requirements, we will look forward to meeting you. Take the first step toward an academic career in nursig.

Academic year 2020/2021
 

  • The application deadline for the 2020/21 academic year has passed.
  • Start date: 14 September 2020

Academic year 2021/2022
 

  • Application deadline: 15 May 2021
  • Written aptitude test: Friday, 11 June 2021

Fees + Costs

Tuition fees for a semester at the Berne University of Applied Sciences currently amount to a standard CHF 750, plus costs for study materials (photocopies, literature, internet access at home, etc.) and examination fees of roughly the same amount per semester.

Own notebook necessary

Your own computer (ideally a notebook) with a powerful internet access is required. The Berne University of Applied Sciences will assist you with the procurement.

Grants, loans and other funding options

Financial aid. Financial aid is available through grants and loans. Grants are one-off or ongoing payments that don’t usually have to be paid back provided you complete your course. Loans are one-off or ongoing payments that must be paid back after you finish your course.

Cantonal grants

Grants and loans for Swiss students and overseas students are generally paid out by the canton where the students’ parents are tax residents.

Students who have been tax residents in the Canton of Bern for at least two years are able to apply for cantonal grants and loans. Applications should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at the Department of Education.

Further information (incl. financial aid calculator):

The websites ausbildungsbeiträge.ch, stipendium.ch and European Funding Guide cover all the key information about grants in Switzerland and overseas.

Foundations and funds

There are also numerous private foundations and funds that offer financial support to students. The electronic foundation directory administered by the Federal Department of Home Affairs offers a comprehensive summary of these organisations and can be searched by keywords (e.g. student, research, financial aid, etc.). Other sources include the foundation directories for individual cantons and private foundations.

The following foundations offer funding specifically to BFH students and students from other universities:

Bern University of Applied Sciences has various sites in the Canton of Bern. At Biel and Bern, new campus-style buildings are now being built and from 2022 and 2026 will connect previously separate locations.

In principle, you are responsible for finding your own accommodation. The HAFL department has a limited number of rooms for students of BFH-HAFL who live a long way from the university.

Rooms and appartments for students in Bern:


The Bern University of Applied Sciences is a partner and member of studentlodge.ch, a non-profit association for the promotion of student living in Bern.

More available rooms and appartments

   

WG-Zimmer

Flatshare classifieds (mainly Switzerland)

airbnb

Holiday homes, apartments and rooms for rent

students.ch

Student flatshares and flats

meinwgzimmer.ch

Flatshare accommodation service Switzerland

STUWO

Student accommodation association

Studentenresidenz Stöckacker

Furnished studios and flats in Stöckacker

Immobern

Bern property portal

Wohnungsmarkt Stadt Burgdorf

Accommodation in the city of Burgdorf and the surrounding area

Alle-Immobilien.ch

Search machine for all properties in Switzerland

Homegate

Swiss property portal

Immoscout24

Swiss property portal

Immowelt

Swiss property portal

More Information

Living expenses

Average living costs (in CHF) per month:

Average living costs per month

from to
Course costs
(Tuition fees, learning materials excluding study trips / study weeks)
CHF 140.– CHF 180.–
Fixed costs
(Sickness / accident insurance at non-reduced rate, taxes / social insurance, travel costs)
CHF 420.– CHF 500.–
Personal Expenditure
(Clothes / shoes, spending money / mobile phone, hairdressing / grooming)
CHF 250.– CHF 350.–
Provisions
(Health costs: retention, deductible rate, dentist)
CHF 60.– CHF 60.–

Rent / shared accommodation costs

CHF 300.– CHF 600.–
Other accommodation costs
(Electricity, telephone / radio / TV / Internet, home contents and personal liability insurance)
CHF 70.– CHF 100.–

Food / drink, including refectory

CHF 400.– CHF 500.–
Other houskeeping costs
(Washing powder and cleaning products, general toiletries, waste removal costs)
CHF 20.– CHF 40.–
Total CHF 1700.– CHF 2550.–

Meals outside the home CHF 8 to CHF 10 per meal

   

Source: Budgetberatung.ch

Annual average living costs for students living alone or in shared accommodation. The effective yearly amount may vary between approximately CHF 18,000 and CHF 27,000.

At Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH, we promote balance between study, work and family.

A limited number of nursery places are available to BFH staff and students. If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, the relevant documents can be found on the BFH Intranet. The fees are based on your income and are in line with the cantonal rates described in the Verordnung über die Angebote der sozialen Integration (Decree on Social Integration Offer ASIV) issued by the Canton of Bern. You can apply for a nursery place using the online form on the BFH Intranet. If you’re a new student or member of staff and don’t have access to the Intranet, please contact Corinne Badertscher (Tel. +41 (0)31 848 33 01, corinne.badertscher@bfh.ch). There is no legal entitlement to a nursery place.

Apply online for our bachelor’s degree programmes. Speed up the application process by having all your electronic application materials ready in advance (please see checklist). We only accept applications for the bachelor’s degree programme via our online application form. We cannot accept any applications after the application deadline.

The application and aptitude test fee of CHF 300 is itemised as follows:

  • Application processing fee of CHF 100 (credit card) or CHF 110 (paper invoice*). This fee is required.
  • Aptitude test fee of CHF 200 (blanket charge).

* Please remit payment within 10 days. We review applications only once payment has been received.

If you are admitted to the programme following the aptitude test, please provide written confirmation that you accept our offer within 20 days. The first semester fee is due upon accepting our offer of admission.

Information events + Advice

Visit one of our information events for further details on our bachelor’s degree programme in Nursing. We are happy to advise you individually.

Information events for the bachelor's degree programme in Nursing

At the Department of Health Professions of the Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH, there are currently no on-site information events due to the coronavirus.

We are therefore offering prospective students the option to attend an online presentation of our information event. We will provide you with details for accessing the online presentation via email.

Location + Learning Centre

Centrally located and easy to get to: the Department of Health Professions is located within a 10-minute walk or five-minute ride with public transport from Bern central station.

The Learning Centre with its Digital Learning, Communication Training and Skills Centre supports a modern and realistic teaching and learning environment at the Department of Health Professions.

Digital learning

Digital media play an important role in all degree programmes. Via the web-based learning platform Moodle, students have access to all relevant teaching and learning content independent of time and location. Numerous other web applications such as Microsoft Teams, the video platform Kaltura or web applications developed in-house support students in their daily studies.

Skills Centre

The Skills Centre of the Department of Health Professions represents a teaching and learning landscape which, thanks to practice-oriented premises, a variety of equipment, models and materials, allows individual use by students and lecturers. It offers ideal conditions for the systematic training and optimisation of profession-specific skills. The focus here is on the further development of practical and technical skills and abilities. The available infrastructure should, among other things, also offer the opportunity to prepare specifically for practical work as encountered in practice.

Communication training

Communication training is an innovative learning method. With professional actors and actresses, students practise communicative skills by simulating challenging situations from professional practice: Handling a patient who hardly speaks German, a patient who has just received a serious diagnosis or emotional relatives. Mobile video recording systems enable the recording and immediate viewing of the communication situation. In this way, students learn how to deal professionally with demanding tasks in the health care sector in communication training.