European Health Information Gateway

European Health Information Gateway

Professional nursing graduates, per 100 000

Full name:
Professional nursing graduates, per 100 000 population
health professionals per 100 000 population
Type of measure:
Population-weighted country group average, Rate
Data source:
European database on human and technical resources for health (HlthRes-DB)
Data source notes:
HlthRes-DB provides a wide range of statistics on human and technical resources for health and offers data on non-monetary health care resources collected through the joint work of the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and WHO/Europe. It contains nearly 200 indicators on human and technical resources for health.

Human resources indicators: Indicators include the number and density of a wide range of health personnel (such as physicians, nurses, midwives, dentists, pharmacists and health care assistants), according to three different concepts (those practising, professionally active and licensed to practice). Information on employment in hospitals and numbers of medical and other graduates is also available.

Technical resources data: Data include the number and density of hospitals and hospital beds, stratified by ownership of facility (public, non-profit-making private and for-profit private), in addition to the number of beds for long-term care.

HlthRes-DB also contains indicators on the availability of the following medical equipment: computed tomography (CT) scanners, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) units, positron emission tomography (PET) scanners, gamma cameras, digital subtraction angiography units, mammographs, radiation therapy equipment and lithotriptors.

Coverage: HlthRes-DB contains data from the 53 Member States in the WHO European Region. To be updated yearly, usually in late summer, it is currently available in English and Russian.

More information:
Indicator notes:
Professional nursing graduates, per 100 000 population
Indicator code: grad.profnurs.rate This indicator shares the definition with the parent indicator "Professional nursing graduates, total number".

Number of students who have obtained a recognised qualification as a professional nurse in a given year (see definition for "practising professional nurses").
- Graduates from a midwifery programme
- Graduates from an associate professional nurse programme
Note: In the European Union, a Directive has defined the training of nurses responsible for general care as comprising at least three years of study or 4600 hours of theoretical and clinical training, the duration of the theoretical training representing at least one-third and the duration of the clinical training at least one half of the minimum duration of the training. Member States may grant partial exemptions to persons who have received part of their training on courses which are of at least an equivalent level (article 31, Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council).
Country notes:
No data available.
Source of data: Statistics Austria.
- excludes associate professional nursing graduates ("Pflegehilfe");
- excludes specific training ("Sonderausbildungen");
- excludes further education.
Note:Division on Professional and Associate professional nurses does not exist in the country,
Note: This category does not exist.
Data not available.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Source: Federal office of statistic
Source of data: National Statistical Institute, Exhaustive annual survey
Reference period: Reference period: from 15.11 of the previous year (t-1) to 14.11 of the index year (t). E.g. data for year 2010 contains number of graduates from 15.11.2009 to 14.11.2010.
Note: The specialties for medical doctors, dentists, pharmacists, midwives and nursing are taught in public higher schools. Ministry of Education and Science is determining annually plan scheme (limits for new entrants) for each specialty in public higher schools, which varies at different years according to national needs. Thus, the number of enrolments and respectively graduates are varying during the different years. The reported data represents the real number of graduations.
Break in time series:
- 2007: According to the national legislation in 2007 the length of training of nurses was increased by a year.
Source of data: Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia
Reference period: From the year are provided by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. Data refers not on calendar, but on academic years. For example, registered data for the year 2008, refers to the 2007/2008 academic year (01.10.2007 – 30.09.2008)
Source of data: Annual survey conducted from the Statistical Service of Cyprus, “Education Statistics”.
Reference period: Year (n) refers to the school period: year (n)/year (n+1).
Coverage: Included are the graduates of the nursing school (at least 3 years are demanded for diploma acquisition) of the Public Sector (tertiary non-university level) Included are the nursing graduates of university level institutions both from the Public and Private Sectors (only from 2007 onwards the university level nursing schools have been established) Graduates of postgraduate level are excluded, since they already own the nursing diploma and they acquire additional specialization through a master’s degree, i.e. specialization in midwifery, etc.
Data not available.
Source of data: Statens Serum Institut, Register of Authorised Health Personnel.
Source of data:
- State Statistical Office, annual reporting.
- Ministry of Education and Research.
Reference period: Given year.
Break in time series: 1999.
- In 1999 the length of time of the educational programme of nursing specialists was extended.
Data not available.
Source of data: Ministere de la Sante et des Sports - Direction de la Recherche, des Etudes, de l'Evaluation et des Statistiques (DREES). Sous-Direction de l'Observation de la Sante et de l'Assurance maladie, Bureau des Professions de sante. Enquete “Ecoles de formation aux professions de la sante”. For further information:
- Data come from statistics compiled from a survey carried out in training institutions for health professionals which estimates the number of degrees valid at the national level, in metropolitan France and overseas departments and territories.
- Nurses include state-licensed nurses (“infirmiers diplomes d’Etat”, IDE) and psychiatric nurses (ISP). In 1992, a law ended the separate courses for psychiatric nurses who have to do a 3-month internship to obtain the common single degree (“diplome unique”, IDE). In 1994, a decree granted a nursing degree (DEI) without any conditions to all psychiatric nurses (ISP) requesting it.
Source of data: In 2012 – 2013 the National cemter for educational quality enhancement served as a data source. Reference period: 31 December.
Coverage: The provided data cover all regions except separatist regions, Abkhazia and South Osetia. Data for those two regions are unavailable.
Source of data: Federal Statistical Office, Statistics on Health schools, Statistics on vocational training; Statistisches Bundesamt, Fachserie 11, Reihe 2, table 4.3-BFS au?erhalb & 4.3-SdG;
- Passed examinations in nursing care.
- Professional nurses with a 3-year education (nurses, paediatric nurses and nurses for the elderly) who passed their examinations are included.
- Associate professional nurses with a 1-year education and midwives are excluded.
- Data for the regional state of Hesse are estimated.
- Data are available from 1996 onwards.
Break in time series: As of reporting year 2012 a new classification of occupation (KldB-2010) has been introduced. Therefore the data are comparable only in a restricted manner to previous years.
Source of data: Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT.).
Coverage: All the data refers to graduates from Greek universities. The 1980-1982, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990 figures cannot be retrieved from publications.
Source of data: Up to 2012: Hungarian Central Statistical Office on the basis of the data collection of the Ministry of Human Resources. From 2013: Office of Health Care Authorisation and Administrative Procedures Full title of the database: Basic register.
Reference period: 31st December.
- Up to 2012: Data are provided for college and bachelor level graduates in health care.
- From 2013: Besides the college and bachelor level graduates in health care the data contains graduates from other training of nurses responsible for general care as comprising at least three years of study or 4600 hours of theoretical and clinical training.
- Data on the professions of optometrists, dental technicians, pharmacy assistants, orthopaedic mechanics, medicinal gymnastics, medicinal massage therapists, sports massage therapists and infant and child attendants are not included.
Source of data:
- As of 1996: Statistics Iceland, Register of graduations.
- 1980-1995: Directorate of Health.
Reference period: As of 1996, the calendar year.
- Includes: Nursing graduates (BS 120 credits-units) and Nursing graduates - specially organised BS in nursing (45 credits-units). These refer to those who had already graduated as nurses when the education was at a lower level.
- Excludes: Graduates from midwifery programme and practical/associate nurse graduates whose education is at an upper-secondary level.
Break in time series: 1996.
Source of data:
- 1999 onwards: Higher Education Authority.
- Up to 1998: An Bord Altranais (Nursing Board).
Reference period: Calendar year.
Coverage: Universities, Institutes of Technology and Designated Institutions.
Source of data: The data are based on the Nurses License Registry maintained by the Nursing Division and the Health Information Division in the Ministry of Health, for which the demographic information is periodically updated from the Population Registry at the Ministry of Interior.
Coverage: Data are for new licensed professional nurses who graduated in Israel.
Note: The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.
Source of data: Ministry of Education; “Survey on Graduates and Exams” carried out yearly by the Ministry by collecting data from Italian Universities (
Reference period: Annual.
Coverage: From 2002, Nurses graduated. Data from 2002 onwards refer to the new education system of nurses (to become a nurse it is necessary to get at least a 3-year university degree).
Source: Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Note: Division on Professional and Associate professional midwives does not exist in the country. All nurses are classified as professional nurses.
Source of data: Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) since 2008.
Coverage: The annual surveys collected and compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) are as follows: on higher education institutions and colleges. Graduates from college, bachelor and master programmes are included into the provided data (hence probability of double counting). Distinction between professional and associate nurses not possible in Latvia. Break in series:
- 2008: Change in data source
- 2010: The significant increase in nursing graduates is due to the fact that nurses have taken the opportunity to raise professional qualifications by completing Bachelor’s degree in Nursing programme. This programme was financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and was free for the students. ESF programme was started in September 2009 and will end in 2014. The aim of this project was to provide nurses with the educational programme following the basic education. After graduation from this programme, nurses acquire specialization. The programme did not stipulate a definite number of new entrants; therefore the large variation in the number of graduates in years 2010-2012.
Note: source of data prior to 2008 not clear.
Source of data: Statistics Lithuania, data of entire annual survey of education institutions. Report “Health Statistics of Lithuania”, available from
Data not available.
Source of data: University of Malta. 2011 data was edited to include Mental Health Nursing graduates An increase in 2012 nursing graduates is a result of 2 cohorts graduating within the same year, since the nursing course was reduced from a 4 year course to a 3 year course.
Data not available.
Source of data: Statistics Netherlands, Statistics of education.
Coverage: The number includes nursing graduates in higher education (in Dutch: universiteit en HBO) and nursing graduates in senior vocational secondary education (in Dutch: MBO). The number of nursing graduates in higher education (in this case vocational colleges) is based on the “integrated higher education project”. In this project, Statistics Netherlands is working together with the Information Management Group (IBG), Higher Professional Education Council (HBO-Raad), Association of Dutch Universities (VSNU) and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). The number of nursing graduates in senior vocational secondary education is based on data from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW).
- Professional nursing graduates refer to higher education (level "5").
Source of data: Statistics Norway.
- Statistics Norway collects student data from the administrative systems of the various tertiary institutions. The administrative systems in tertiary institutions create data files in the format specified by Statistics Norway. Information on completed doctoral degrees is collected from NIFU (
- Tertiary graduation statistics include all individuals who have completed a degree of 2 years or longer from an educational institution classified by the Standard Industrial Classification as a tertiary institution. Registration of completed educational activities occurs during the period 1 October in year x, 30 September in year x+1.
- See and then 'About the statistics'.
Coverage: Complete coverage as statistics are based on enumeration of graduates in tertiary education. Sampling errors and non-response errors do not exist.
Break in time series: Individually based data on completed education have been published annually since they were first collected in 1973/74 (academic year). Most variables are comparable, but some have changed. The revised Norwegian Standard Classification of Education ( recoded education courses to enable comparison of newer and older data (also including a recoding to ISCED-97). While education courses are reasonably comparable over time, other variables are not (e.g. coding of institution types).
Source of data:
- Until 1990: publication of Ministry of National Education, “Higher education, basic data”.
- From 1990: Central Statistical Office, reports S-10.
Break in time series: 1990 due to change of data source.
Coverage: Number of graduates with first university level or a master’s degree from a nursing programme, including foreigners graduated in Poland.
Note: The education of nurses is now in a process of transformation, which means that traditional nursing schools were closed down and a new licence and master degree-based system is being established. This will allow the number of personnel with higher education to increase in these two occupational groups. Since 2003, Medical Universities have provided two types of studies for nurses: a 3-year licensing program and complementary studies for those who do not have the license. After graduating from these studies there is a possibility of 2-year master’s degree. There is a concern about double counting of graduates in the case when a person first completes a bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree. Each year universities give information about the number of graduates without identifying the people who continue their education in the second degree. As a result, these graduates are registered again two years later upon completion of their second degree. The last call for bridging studies had to be for the academic year 2010/11, although this was changed, between 2008 and 2010 greatly increased the number of nursing students: in 2008 there were 23 335, in 2009 - 25 578, in 2010 - 29 968 (as of 30.XI). Therefore, the number of nursing graduates is increased by 79% in year 2011.
Source of data:
- Since 2011: Directorate General of Statistics of Education and Science, Ministry of Education and Science.
- Between 2006 and 2010: Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education.
- Up to 2005: Ministry of Education.
Coverage: Data represent the total number of graduates.
Break in time series: Break in 2002 due to change in Nursing Education in the end of the 1990's.
Republic of Moldova
Source of data: Ministry of Health of the Republic of Moldova, National Centre for Health Management, Annual statistical report N17 “On staff and cadres of health institutions”.
Reference period: Data as of December 31.
Coverage: Data exclude Transnistria.
Deviation from the definition: Foreign health personnel are not included.
Source of data: National Institute of Statistics, Activity of Education Units (Statistical data on tertiary education) – annual survey performed by NIS.
Reference period: academic year. Break in the series: 1996 (Since 1996 including private sector).
Russian Federation
Data not available.
San Marino
Data not available.
Source of data: Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia.
Coverage: Data include nurses with ISCED level 4 and level 5 education. Data for Kosovo-Metohija province are not included in the coverage of data for the Republic of Serbia.
Data not available.
Source of data: National Institute of Public Health, Slovenia, Health Statistics Yearbook.
Note: During 1990’s nursing schools were gradually responding to increased needs for nursing professionals which resulted in higher numbers of graduates.
Source of data:
- Since 2011: Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports from University Education Statistic. as/alumnado.html.
- Up to 2010: National Statistics Institute (INE). University Education Statistic.
- In 2011 there are the last students who completed studies for (old) three-year Diploma in Nursing [9.731 graduates] and the first ones who completed studies for (new) four-year Degree in Nursing (new degrees according to Bologna Plan) [1.923 graduates].
- In 2012 there are 4.550 graduates from the old Diploma in Nursing, and 3.644 graduates from the new Degree in Nursing.
Deviation from the definition: Data include midwife graduates.
Note: In 2008 the new university degrees in nursing (within the framework of Bologna process) began to be implemented. These new degrees have replaced the old diploma in nursing. The duration of the new degrees is four academic years (instead of three years for the former diploma). The increment of one academic year has implied the reduction of nursing graduates in 2012 because of those nurses that should have been graduated through the old diploma.
Source of data: National Board of Health and Welfare. National Planning Support (NPS) register.
Reference period: 1st November.
Coverage: 100 per cent coverage.
Note: In 1993, the training for nurses increased from two to three years. This meant that almost no students graduated in 1995. In 1985, the training for prescriptionists was expanded to more universities.
Source of data: FSO Federal Statistical Office, Neuchatel; graduation statistics; yearly census.
Break in time series: 2009, inclusion of the graduates of Universities of applied science.

TFYR Macedonia
Source of data: State Statistical Office (SSO), Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of Macedonia
Reference period: 31st December
Note: significant increases in time series between 2005-2006 and 2007-2008 are due to commencing of new generations of graduated (university level) nurses from newly opened nursing programs and an introduction of a legal obligation requiring all employed nurses to complete their university education, thus increasing the number of students enrolling and graduating.
Source of data: General Directorate for Health Services, Ministry of Health and ESPC Higher Education Statistics.
- Data refer to total number of nursing graduates of vocational high schools of health and universities.
- Nursing departments in vocational health high schools accepted an increasing number of nursing students until the mid-1990s in response to domestic needs. In the late 1990s, vocational health high schools started not to enroll any students in nursing section. However, in the early 2000s, a growing need for nurses came to the agenda again, and these vocational schools begun accepting more nursing students again, explaining the rise in the number of graduates since 2004. In 2005, the vocational health schools again started not to enroll any new students. However, in 2007, the vocational health schools accepted huge numbers of nursing students and gave huge number of graduates from 2010.
- In 2014, the data have been updated since 2001 because of ESPC Higher Education Statistics updates.
Note: ESPC Higher Education working on up-to-date data for these figures for 2013
Source of data: Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan.
Note: division on Professional nurses and Associate professional nurses does not exist in Turkmenistan. All nurses have been classified as professional nurses and the time series for associate professional nurses is set to 0.
Note: Division of nurses on professional and associate professional does not exist in Ukraine.
United Kingdom
Data not available.
Note: there is no division of nurses on Professional and Associate professional in the country.