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.
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: 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:
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.
The FiNAN will start introducing its board members.
Elma de Laza is a Registered Nurse(RN) in the Philippines, Finland, United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Global Development and Management in Health Care at Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Finland. She has worked in Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) as an Operating Theatre Nurse and now currently working in Ireland as an Operating Room Theatre Nurse. She is a current member of the European Operating Room Nurses Association and International Association of Nurses in Palliative Care.
Elma is committed to increase awareness and education to Filipinos living in Finland on how to become a Registered Nurse.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment down below.