Higher education in nursing

Health care workers always in demand.

As the economic climate continues to cause hardship for businesses and employees, for some there is always a situation vacant. Nice Matin reported last week on the continued demand for care workers to help seniors, saying that out of around 15 Monaco job offers in the classifieds that day, 9 were for domestic help, mostly for the elderly. The Principality has an aging population, with around 23.5% of the population aged 65+ according to the 2008 census.

Caring for the sick and elderly is considered to be a vocation, and although work is not in short supply, there is always a need for motivated, skilled and well qualified staff. If higher education opportunities in banking and art are of no interest, Monaco students can choose to study nursing in the Principality at the Institut de Formation Superieur des Infirmieres (IFSI), or institute of nursing education.

IFSI celebrated its 80th anniversary on 17th November last year. It's a small higher education establishment, offering places to just 30 students. At the end of the 3 year course each graduate is guaranteed a job at the Princess Grace Hospital (CHPG). Many students don't take up the offer, choosing to specialize in a discipline that isn't available in Monaco. There's a great local need for nurses trained in geriatric health care, but this is just one of many professional specializations. Since the beginning of 2009 and the reform of nurse training, the IFSI diploma is equivalent to an undergraduate degree and can be followed by Master and PhD research.

If you're interested in a career in nursing, IFSI holds an "open house" each January, with entrance examinations held in late March, and confirmed places by July.

These dedicated people in the shadow of senior citizens

IFSI : 80 years old but looking to the future