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.
This is the direct link of the application form.