26 April 2024 By Nicolas

Crossing Borders: A Deep Dive into Nursing Salaries, Work Conditions, and Professional Migration in France and Switzerland


Nurses are key players in the health system, ensuring overall patient care. Their working conditions and salaries vary considerably from country to country. In this article, we will compare the situations of nurses in France and Switzerland, two neighboring countries which are experiencing a growing phenomenon of professional migration.

Salaries of nurses: Switzerland well ahead of France

According to the OECD ranking of salaries of nurses around the world, Switzerland is positioned among the countries offering the best remuneration for this profession. Indeed, according to a study published on November 2, 2023, a beginner nurse earns on average around 5,000 CHF (around 4,600 euros) per month in Switzerland compared to only around 1,800 euros net monthly for a new entrant into the French hospital civil service. .

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This gap widens over the years of experience with faster salary progression among our Swiss neighbors. Thus, after a few years of professional practice, it is not uncommon for an experienced nurse to be able to receive up to twice their French salary if they work in Switzerland.

Testimonies from cross-border workers

Numerous testimonies from French nurses who crossed the border to work in Switzerland confirm this data. Thus, Julie, a French nurse for 10 years and now employed in a Swiss hospital, declares: “I doubled my salary by coming to work here, and I do not regret my choice.”

Same story with Thomas, who also left France to practice his profession in Switzerland: “The working conditions are much better here than in France. We are better paid and we feel more valued.”

Working conditions: a more favorable professional environment in Switzerland

Beyond the salary differences between the two countries, nurses also speak of significantly better working conditions in Switzerland. In fact, nursing staff generally benefit from better supervision with a better distribution of tasks and responsibilities.

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In addition, Swiss hospital infrastructures are often judged to be of better quality than those present on French territory. The medical equipment there is at the cutting edge of technology and allows caregivers to carry out their profession in optimal conditions.

Impact on neighboring French regions

This growing migration of nurses to Switzerland is not without consequences for the French regions located in the immediate vicinity of the Swiss country. According to the study published on November 2, 2023 previously cited, hospitals in these regions are struggling to recruit and retain their nurses due to the better conditions offered by Switzerland.

This is causing a shortage of nursing staff in certain French border areas, with repercussions on access to care for patients and a risk of professional burnout for the remaining nurses who must compensate for this lack of staff.

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Working as a nurse in Switzerland: an opportunity to seize

For those considering the nursing profession or wishing to give new impetus to their career, working in Switzerland can represent an interesting opportunity. In addition to the undeniable salary advantages, working in this country also allows you to benefit from a stimulating and rewarding professional environment.

However, it is important to find out about the administrative procedures necessary to practice this profession outside French territory (obtaining a Swiss work permit, recognition of the French diploma, etc.). Additionally, adapting to the Swiss way of life can take some time and it is essential to weigh the pros and cons before taking the plunge.


In conclusion, if you are a nurse or wish to embrace this exciting and demanding profession, it is crucial to take into account the differences between France and Switzerland in terms of salary and working conditions. Migration to Switzerland offers great opportunities, but it is also important to be aware of the challenges and responsibilities that come with it.