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!




Filipino Nurses Association-Nordic is a Non-Profit Organisation which aims in empowering Filipino Internationally Educated Nurses living in the Nordic Region. Founded in October 2018 to address the needs of Filipino Nurses and help future Filipino Nurses on how to become Registered Nurses in the Nordic Region.

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