Posted in Stories

Ralph’s Journey as a Swedish Nurse

The Nordic Countries, probably the richest and most happiest countries in the world has always been a dream of mine. At nursing school while my classmates aspired about the Great American Dream, the vast and lush Arabian pastures, or the Majesty and Dominance of the United Kingdom. I on the other hand always had my mind set on the beautiful awe-inspiring Scandinavian Region specially the Kingdom of Sweden.

My aunt has lived in Sweden for more than 10 years and has worked as a preschool teacher so Ive had tales and stories of how life and grandeur is in Sweden. With her help i began my tedious and off the path journey in the capital of Scandinavia, Sweden.

My name is Ralph Chito Picardal, a mindanaon born and raised in the city of majestic waterfalls Iligan City. I began my nightingale calling year 2011 at Iligan Medical Center College with a scholarship from my fathers company. I graduated top of my Class with a GPA of 1.6,  year thereafter topped the Philippine Nursing Licensure Examination at the 12th spot with a general average of 84%. I have always believed in my ability academically and dazzled in the fact that I have had highest achievements during my school years and I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO WRONG until i came to Sweden.

I first lived with my aunt while studying swedish but learning a language proved to be a lot harder than memorizing the 12 cranial nerves. In order to be able to get my license I must be competent with the language with a C1 level competency which equates gymnasial nivå (highschool level) approximately 15 language courses in a span of 2 years which with right motivation took me a year to complete. I always wanted to be financially independent so 2 months after i began my language course i so bravely worked at a kindergarten while only having 20 swedish words in my vocabulary. I thought Pathophysiology is hard but trying to communicate to children in a foreign language with 20 words deemed to be harder than i thought.

I then applied to take the nursing board exam counterpart in Sweden which is the National Clinical Examination for Nurses (NKSE) which can only be done 3 times. What could possibly go wrong? I topped my board exam in the Philippines there is no way I could fail this. And then just when you thought you could conquer the world, the universe conspires to set your feet on the ground. I so greatly failed my board exam here in Sweden leading to a 3 month depression.

I then re-applied to take the Swedish Board Exam which would take around 6-10 months wait. While waiting I worked as a Health-Aide in dialysis department and then afterwards transferred to a special medicine department catering kidney, stroke and  nevrological patients. December 2018, I retook and passed the swedish nursing board examination. I then underwent an OSCE- based practical examination at the University of Gothenburg and made it out alive with flying colors May 2019.

As of the moment I am currently working as a nurse at Falu Lasarett (Falun Hospital) with a clinical instructor for a duration of 3 months as a final requirement to get my authorization. Furthermore I am currently studying Swedish Health Laws and Regulations at Umeå Law and Juridicial University in Sweden. By September this year would I finally become a full-pledged Swedish nurse. Afterwards I plan to take my masters degree in pediatric care and psychology at the home of the Nobel Prize, Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden . I look so forward to the opportunity to meet and learn from my distinguished members and directors of this organization.

 Med Vänliga Hälsningar från Sverige!


Posted in Board Members

Registreret Sygeplejerske Cristal Tolosa Warburg

Filipino Nurses Association-Nordic, Denmark Chapter Chairperson

Cristal is a Registered Nurse in the Philippines and has worked as a Pediatric Nurse at Bicol Medical Center year 2007.

She is now working as a Registered Nurse at Herlev-Gentofte Hospital, Infection Department for almost four years and is in charge for the medication quality control in their department . Gentofte Hospital is located in Gentofte within Copenhagen in Denmark. Administratively, it is part of the hospital service of Region Hovedstaden. The hospital primarily serves the municipalities of Gentofte, Lyngby-Taarbæk, and Rudersdal, with a population of about 175,000 (Gentofte Hospital 2009).

She is the current Chairperson of Filipino Nurses Association-Nordic, Denmark Chapter and has been guiding several Filipino Nurses who are living already in Denmark to get their Registered Nurse license.

She is also now working as an Assistant Nurse Manager in Herlev Hospital in an infection ward department. Her secret to success is helping Filipino nurses of becoming Registered Nurses in Denmark and helping young children in the Philippines.

Posted in Licensing

Sairaanhoitaja: How to be a Nurse in Finland?

Kristine Nordman shares her experience on how to become a Nurse in Finland when you are qualified outside the EU/EEA Member State.

Recently, I have been receiving inquiries and messages on how I applied for accreditation of my Philippines’ Nursing Degree in Finland. In this blog, I will share with you how I did it without studying three and a half years. This is my experience and my situation might not be the same as yours. So, It is still best to ask guidance from Valvira, a national agency that handles the social and healthcare sector of Finland.

1. General Requirements

Please be guided that requirements differ depending on which country you got the nursing license. Since I got mine in the Philippines, I will solely focus on the qualification requirements outside EU/EEA. Gather all the necessary requirements such as application form, TOR, diploma, working experience, certificate of license, etc. All other information needed is listed at Valvira site. In the case of a transcript of records, all the course syllabus related to nursing degree since the beginning of study are needed for evaluation and comparison purpose. Course syllabus can be requested easily from your alma mater. All the papers needed should be in English, Finnish, or Swedish language and notarized by the proper authority. In my case, I sent it for authentication at Magistrate, Vaasa.

2. Language Skills

In order to proceed with your application, you also need to show that you passed the intermediate or higher level of National Language Proficiency Test (3-4 score) either in Finnish or in Swedish. In my case, I had it in Swedish. Each level of the language test is required to pass in a satisfactory level (3-4 score) or even higher. If you haven’t done the test, it is similar to IELTS.

3. Waiting Time

Valvira will contact you via email or post if they need additional information. I waited for a few months (maybe roughly 4 months) until the decision came. Valvira sent my papers to Metropolia University to compare it from Finland’s Nursing Educational System. According to Metropolia, my nursing degree in the Philippines complied with the same education in Finland. However, I needed supplemental studies to match up my competency against Finland’s Nursing Educational System.

Valvira was kind enough to inform me that I can withdraw my first application without paying and reapply it again after completing the required courses.

(Please note that you don’t need to start from scratch again once you reapply, only the certificate as a proof that you have done the suggested courses and a new application form are needed)

4. Course Completion via Open University

Right after the decision, I immediately contacted Novia Yrkeshögskolan and showed them the decision that I got from Valvira. Please take into consideration that Valvira does not require any specific credit units. It will depend on the school on how they will interpret the subjects that the expert recommended. In my case, the courses were Pharmacology 1, 2, and 3, and the Health Care and Social Welfare in Finland.

I took all those subjects via open university. While studying, I was working full time. Courses were offered in different seasons so it took some time for me to finish it.

5. Second Application

When I finished all the courses, I directly sent a new application form and the courses certificate to Valvira. I could not remember how many months it took after I reapplied, but mind you guys it’s worth the wait. One day, I just opened a post and got a certificate that I am officially a Registered Nurse in Finland. I could not believe it myself.

Author’s Blog:


This is the direct link of the application form.

Posted in Licensing

Sjuksköterska: How to be a Nurse in Sweden?

Author: Mikez Naid (a Filipino Registered Nurse working in Sweden)

This is the step by step process on how to work as a licensed nurse in Sweden to those who have studied nursing in the Philippines:

Step 1) If you plan to work in Sweden as a nurse so it is important that you can speak the Swedish language functionally. So the first step is TO START STUDYING THE SWEDISH LANGUAGE ASAP. That is the toughest part of the process. When we say functionally you are not expected to speak fluently same as the natives. Level just enough to communicate and be understood is already okay. To those who are already in Sweden, SFI ( Svenska för Invandrare; Swedish for foreigners) is the best way to start learning the language. To those who dont have residence permits in Sweden so a youtube swedish channel can be of help or other Swedish-language app or if you already here in Sweden without personal number you can start learning Swedish in the nearest bibliotek (public library) in your kommun. It is entirely free of charge. Below are some of the examples of the helpful websites to learn the Swedish language:

For some instances you need to pay for some services. Other ways to learn Swedish is to buy a book. To those who are in Sweden you can always ask your SFI teachers or you can borrow books from the library. The span of time expected to learn Swedish varies from person to person. It really depends with the person as to how focused he/she is in learning the language. Here are some helpful tips to learn Swedish:

  • Practice always and try your best to speak Swedish all the time.
  • You can start watching american kid shows with Swedish subtitles. If you want a little higher level of Swedish then you can try watching Swedish Children shows with swedish subtitles or maybe american movies with Swedish subtitles or if you want to be highly challenged then watch Swedish movies without subtitles.
  • Read children swedish books or if you want higher level then try reading Swedish novels or sagas.
  • Forget ENGLISH for the mean time and dont translate english word by word.
  • Improve your swedish vocabulary by memorizing 3-5 words every day and try to make use of those words in a sentence.
  • Be a member of any Swedish page or Newspage or any swedish community on facebook where you can see discussions in Swedish.
  • Set the language of your phone/laptop or any device/gadegts you have in Swedish.

The level needed to get a license is SAS3, C1 level, Svenska B or Tisus certificate.

Step 2) While you are on the process of learning the Swedish language you can already start sending your credentials to Socialstyrelsen for validation. Validation means that socialstyrelsen is going to look at your bachelors degree program if its the same with the Swedish nursing bachelors program. In our experience all of the Nursing Bachelors degree holder from the Philippines got an approval from Socialstyrelsen thus technically saying that a Filipino Nurse from the Philippines has the same level of that of the Swedish Nursing bachelors degree holder. The only thing that lacks in order to work as a nurse in Sweden is a license (legitimation) which has different ways to get and will be explained further below. Socialstyrelsen is like a PRC of Sweden which is the one responsible for regulating health related professions in Sweden. Below is the list needed by socialstyrelsen to validate your credentials:

Please also send copies of the following documents, in both the original language and translated:

  • A certificate of completed education, for example your diploma.
  • A certificate that lists the courses you took and how long the programme lasted.
  • A certificate that shows any changes you have made to your first or last name after completing the programme.

The application should be send via snail post to this address: Socialstyrelsen
SE-106 30 Stockholm, Sweden

Processing time varies from 2 mos to 6 mos depending on Socialstyrelsens workload. For more information about education assessment via Socialstyrelsen please visit this link:

Step 3) To those who are in Sweden and has residence permits, If you think that you can already speak Swedish a little enough to understand and be understood and while waiting for the response from Socialstyrelsen you can already start working as an undersköterska/omvårdare (asst. nurse/caregiver) to practice and improve your Swedish language in parallel of going to school.