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!