Nursing Schools in Japan: A Comprehensive Guide

Japan is known for its high-quality healthcare system, which is supported by well-trained healthcare professionals. Nursing is a popular career choice in Japan, with a growing number of students pursuing nursing education. If you are interested in studying nursing in Japan, this article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to nursing schools in Japan.

Before we dive into the details, let’s take a look at some key facts about nursing education in Japan:

Fact Details
Duration of nursing education 3-4 years for undergraduate programs, 2 years for associate degree programs, and 1-2 years for graduate programs.
Licensing exam Nursing candidates must pass the national nursing exam to become licensed nurses.
Language of instruction Japanese is the primary language of instruction in nursing schools in Japan. However, some universities offer nursing programs in English.

Types of Nursing Programs in Japan

In Japan, there are three types of nursing programs: undergraduate programs, associate degree programs, and graduate programs. Let’s take a closer look at each type:

Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate programs in nursing are four-year programs that prepare students for the national nursing exam. These programs are offered by universities and colleges throughout Japan. The curriculum covers a wide range of topics, including anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, nursing theory, and clinical practice.

In addition to classroom instruction, undergraduate nursing programs require students to complete clinical rotations in hospitals and other healthcare settings. These rotations provide students with hands-on experience in delivering patient care and working as part of a healthcare team.

Associate Degree Programs

Associate degree programs in nursing are two-year programs that are offered by community colleges and vocational schools. These programs provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to pass the national nursing exam and become licensed nurses.

The curriculum for associate degree programs is similar to that of undergraduate programs, but with a narrower focus. Students learn the essentials of nursing theory and clinical practice, including patient care, medication administration, and communication with patients and healthcare professionals.

Graduate Programs

Graduate programs in nursing are designed for students who already hold a nursing degree and want to advance their careers. These programs are typically one to two years in duration and offer a more specialized curriculum than undergraduate or associate degree programs.

Graduate programs in nursing cover advanced topics such as healthcare policy, nursing research, and leadership in healthcare. Students may also have the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of nursing, such as pediatrics, oncology, or critical care.

Top Nursing Schools in Japan

There are many nursing schools in Japan, but not all are created equal. To help you find the right nursing program for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top nursing schools in Japan based on rankings and reputation:

1. University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo offers a highly respected nursing program that combines classroom instruction with clinical rotations in some of Japan’s top hospitals. The program is four years in duration and offers a broad curriculum that covers all aspects of nursing theory and practice.

2. Kyoto University

Kyoto University is another top nursing school in Japan, known for its rigorous academic standards and strong emphasis on research. The nursing program at Kyoto University is a four-year program that prepares students to become leaders in nursing practice and research.

3. Osaka University

Osaka University is a renowned research institution that offers a comprehensive nursing program. The program is four years in duration and provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to pass the national nursing exam and become licensed nurses.


1. Can I study nursing in Japan if I don’t know Japanese?

While Japanese is the primary language of instruction in nursing schools in Japan, some universities offer nursing programs in English. However, these programs may be limited in number and more competitive to get into.

2. How much does it cost to study nursing in Japan?

The cost of studying nursing in Japan varies depending on the type of program and the institution. However, as a general rule, nursing programs in Japan tend to be more affordable than similar programs in the United States or Europe.

3. Are nursing jobs in Japan in demand?

Yes, nursing jobs in Japan are in high demand due to the country’s aging population and growing healthcare needs. According to the Japanese Nursing Association, there is currently a shortage of nurses in Japan, offering good job prospects for nursing graduates.


If you are considering studying nursing in Japan, there are many options available to you. Whether you choose an undergraduate program, associate degree program, or graduate program, you can be sure that you will receive a high-quality education that will prepare you for a fulfilling career in healthcare. By researching the top nursing schools in Japan and considering your own goals and interests, you can find the right program for you and take the first step towards an exciting and rewarding career as a nurse.

Thank you for reading! We hope this guide has been helpful in your search for nursing schools in Japan.

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