Portrait of the month: Léa, a nurse in Luxembourg, explains her decision to stop working in France

Leïla Kharoubiavatar

Published on 01/08/2023, by Leïla Kharoubi


After discovering the portrait of our Account Manager Inga, the Moovijob.com team introduces you to Léa, a French nurse who couldn’t be more fulfilled in her job. For nearly 3 years, Léa has been leaving her small village near Metz (in France) several times a week to go to the CHL in Strassen, Luxembourg. Yet, she had sworn never to cross the border...


Luxembourg, land of opportunities 

At the end of 2020, Léa decided to leave the hospital in France to work at the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL). She was working three shifts (3 x 8 hours), giving her greater flexibility in the care of the patients, particularly for follow-ups after a discharge and special monitoring. A few months after joining the hospital, Léa learned that she was going to become a mother.

"I was still on probation when I found out that I was expecting my first child. Today I have a permanent contract, and I'm grateful for the institute’s understanding of my decision to switch to 80% since the birth of my son."

Moreover, she points out the advantage of having been on maternity leave very early on, and of having been able to benefit from more paid parental leave than in France. "I was able to enjoy both my pregnancy and my baby," she says.


The reasons for making an informed decision

Before working in Luxembourg, Léa worked for three years in France, in the hematologic department at the Hôpital Mercy. She acquired a solid work experience there, which she was able to put to use in Luxembourg.


According to Léa "the recognition of the salary in Luxembourg is undeniable, and well-deserved.” She points out that, in Luxembourg, nurses have to possess a multitude of skills and manage patient care from A to Z, which justifies their salary that far exceeds that of their French counterparts.

Another major advantage of working in Luxembourg is the opportunity to combine the professional life with further education. Léa is glad to be able to participate in training classes at the CHL quite easily, which was more complicated in France due to frequent replacements.

"The multilingualism of the CHL is another plus. I love working in this cosmopolitan environment! I’m gaining work experiences. And my language skills have improved as well."


Luxembourg, an Eldorado for nurses?

Besides the advantages, there are certain barriers for those wishing to work in Luxembourg. "But these barriers can easily be overcome," reassures Léa. 

To have an equivalent diploma to the one in Luxembourg is a must in this field, and requires a financial investment (around 70 euros) to have the diploma recognized in Luxembourg.

When it comes to mastering the language of Luxembourgish, Léa doesn't know the requirements of each healthcare establishment. But at the CHL, the management is very understanding. In fact, free courses are offered to facilitate the learning and integration of foreign nurses.

Commuting time, a disadvantage put into perspective

"I was very apprehensive about the time spent in the car. In the end, I quickly got used to it! My staggered working hours allow me to avoid rush hour."

She even goes so far as to express her appreciation for these moments spent in the car, which she enjoys with music after her long days at work. Léa's preference for the car over the train is largely due to her unusual early morning hours, which make carpooling more practical and affordable. She is part of a mostly French-speaking team, which meets up regularly to share the ride to work.


Luxembourg, a different healthcare system

When asked about the differences between French and Luxembourgish public hospitals, Léa voiced that it's unfair to compare them with each other. 

"While Luxembourg offers better financial recognition and greater resources for research and training, the nursing profession there is also very demanding, with cases of burnout and an increased workload." 

She also calls for a general rethinking of the healthcare systems, as the stakes in both France and Luxembourg are equally high.


At the moment, Léa has no plans to return to her profession in France. In the future, she would like to pursue her project of opening a daycare or working independently.


Have a look at all the job offers that are available in the health sector in Luxembourg on Moovijob.com.

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