posted by in Amsterdam forum
Hi, I have a slightly different experience, It might be from a younger standpoint which might mean more willing to take lower paying jobs, but oh well.
First of all, when trying to learn dutch one of the challanges is that even people with a "poor level of English"tend to try and respond to you in English, you do get one or two people who will be offended when you speak to them in English, but they are few and far between. To get myself started in Dutch at a time I couldnt afford lessons, I told people I did not speak English and so they were forced to speak Dutch to me.
As far as working in nursing goes, I work in the health care area and about 2 years ago applied for a role which is common in Holland. You are a care nurse who is based in a central building of a care centre, the patients are independant most of the time and although you can make rounds, they generally call when they need something, you may have to get them out of bed in the morning, put them to bed at night, help them with tasks, but only when they call. You do need to be able to communicate with them in Dutch, but elderly people are very good at understanding the hand and foot speaking.. so a basic level (enough to convey yourself in the interview) should be enough.
I would suggest the best entry point is for your partner to apply to lots of recruitment agencies in Holland, the experiences with these agencies tend to differ a lot from one person to the next, but I would give it a go before you move. If you are very lucky (and I mean very lucky) he may be offered a package that includes a small financial and practical assistance in your relocation. It is hard work finiding a job at this time, and it can depend on what you are willing to accept, but I have a number of friends that can only ask for beer and count in dutch and have made a success for themselves here.
But the best option is always the internet, try to get as much as possible organised before you make the decision to move. Maybe come over for a couple of weeks of interviews.
I wish you lots of luck!