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:
- Folk univiersitet
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:
- Application form for assessment of education abroad
- A copy of a valid passport or a copy of a valid Swedish ID card
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: https://legitimation.socialstyrelsen.se/en/educated-outside-eu-and-eea/nurse-responsible-for-general-care/assessing-your-education
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.