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Working as a nurse in Sweden- how hard is it?

*Vania*
post 27.Feb.2008, 11:19 AM
Post #1


Hi everyone!

This is my first posting! I'm loving this forum by the way!

My husband (he's Swedish) and I are planning to move to Sweden in 1-2 years and I would like to work as a primary care nurse.

From reading different (very informative) posts in this forum I know I'll have to speak fluent swedish before I can start working.
What I would really like to know is how difficult it is to find work once you speak Swedish and how is it like to work in Sweden as a nurse.

From some of your comments, it seems that the vardcentrallen are seriously understaffed and the staff there are quite stressed/busy. Anyone who works there (or in healthcare) has any comments that might put my mind at rest?!

I had this image that swedish healthcare was the Holy Grail or something but now I'm getting quite worried...

We were thinking of moving to Uppsala as we're guessing with all the students it is a culturally diverse area. But we're wondering if the student lifestyle (partying mainly lol) would get on our nerves after a while (we're 25 and 28). Anyone who lives there can give any insight?

Sorry for the long post and thanks for any answers!

Vania
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Sofia_stockholm
post 27.Feb.2008, 11:28 AM
Post #2
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 12.Nov.2007

Most Vårdcentraler (primary care facilities) employ mainly district nurses, which means you need further training on top of your normal nurses training. They also employ nurses assistants, but I suspect that wouldn't be of interest to you.

If you could imagine working with the elderly it's usually quite easy to get a job once you speak Swedish.
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*Carolo Xiii*
post 27.Feb.2008, 11:32 AM
Post #3


QUOTE (Vania)
Hi everyone!

This is my first posting! I'm loving this forum by the way!

My husband (he's Swedish) and I are planning to move to Sweden in 1-2 years and I would like to work as a primary care nurse.

From reading different (very informative) posts in this forum I know I'll have to speak fluent swedish before I can start working.
What I would really like to know is how difficult it is to find work once you speak Swedish and how is it like to work in Sweden as a nurse.

From some of your comments, it seems that the vardcentrallen are seriously understaffed and the staff there are quite stressed/busy. Anyone who works there (or in healthcare) has any comments that might put my mind at rest?!

I had this image that swedish healthcare was the Holy Grail or something but now I'm getting quite worried...

We were thinking of moving to Uppsala as we're guessing with all the students it is a culturally diverse area. But we're wondering if the student lifestyle (partying mainly lol) would get on our nerves after a while (we're 25 and 28). Anyone who lives there can give any insight?

Sorry for the long post and thanks for any answers!

Vania


Welcome to the forum, dear Vania.

I cannnot give you much insight into nursing, although I do also have the perception, there is a great need for workers with the field of geriatrics.

As far as Uppsala being a "university city", someone had referred to Uppsala as such to me the other day as I was there. I have never had this perception of Uppsala, and my reply to this terming was: "What city in Sweden is not a 'university city'?"

I can imagine, you will quite enjoy Uppsala. It has the feel of a small town of sorts; like most places in Sweden. And is really just a stone's throw from Stockholm; which to me, seems nothing more than a small town in many ways itself.

Good luck with your aspirations and dreams.
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Bender B Rodriquez
post 27.Feb.2008, 12:20 PM
Post #4
Joined: 25.Mar.2006

QUOTE (Carola XIII)
As far as Uppsala being a "university city", someone had referred to Uppsala as such to me the other day as I was there. I have never had this perception of Uppsala, and my reply to this terming was: "What city in Sweden is not a 'university city'?"


If you go to the west side of Fyrisån you will find that vitually all buildings belong to the university which hosts 40 000 students and 6 000 employees in a town of 120 000 inhabitants, so I would say Uppsala is a major university town...
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Ricster Deluxe
post 27.Feb.2008, 12:49 PM
Post #5
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 12.Apr.2007

Vania which country are you coming from? I only ask as this will most definitely affect how you view working conditions here in Sverige.
Send me an email so that I can elaborate a little more smile.gif
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Puffin
post 27.Feb.2008, 01:51 PM
Post #6
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 5.Apr.2006

QUOTE (Carola XIII)
As far as Uppsala being a "university city", someone had referred to Uppsala as such to me the other day as I was there. I have never had this perception of Uppsala, and my reply to this terming was: "What city in Sweden is not a 'university city'?"


Uppsala is most definietely a University city - I'm surprised that you have missed its 40,000 students :shock:

OK it's not a 60s campus university As it is such an old University - dating back to 1477 - you may have missed the fact that many of the buildings in the centre are University owned.

It reminds me a bit of some of the other smaller towns that developed into University towns such as Cambridge.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uppsala_University
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Puffin
post 27.Feb.2008, 01:59 PM
Post #7
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 5.Apr.2006

When it comes to OP - there is a shortage of nurses in Sweden so once you have learned fluent Swedish and got your qualifications approved it should be no problem finding work.

In fact I have a friend who lives in a very rurual area of Sweden who retrained from being a lawyer to being a geriatric specialist nurse and has never had problems finding work since.

Information on getting your qualifications assessed:
http://www.socialstyrelsen.se/en/Licensing/Euleginfoeng.htm

I'm not sure where you come from as there are different procedures for EU/non-EU
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*Vania*
post 27.Feb.2008, 05:21 PM
Post #8


Hi again guys!

Thank you so much for all your kind answers!

I'm a EU citizen and currently work in London as a Practice Nurse so I'm hoping that I can do something similar in Sweden.

I'm planning on doing a specialist course in Health Visiting (promoting the health of mainly children yuner 5 years old and their families) because I dont' have as much expericne/knowledge of working with children as Swedish Nurses do. If I'm not wrong they do a generalist course.

It's reassuringt o know that once the language barrier is overcome finding work is not so difficult. I'm hoping this isn't because of mainly understaffing...!

Ricster Deluxe
How can I email you? Would love to get some more insight of what it is like over there.

Vania x
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AussieMel
post 28.Feb.2008, 10:43 AM
Post #9
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 16.Oct.2006

Hey Vania.

I am also a nurse and have been living in Sweden for 10 months now. I am Australian and my husband Swedish.

You will have no problems getting registration over here being from the UK. Socialstyrelsen will just require an EU certification from the NMC. You won't be able to apply for your registration here though until you are living in the country and have a personnummer (social security number).

As you realise you have to be fluent in Swedish to get a job. In saying that though I don't consider myself perfectly fluent and I didn't have a problem getting a job. I work at one of the big university hospitals in Stockholm and they have been extremely supportive with my English speaking background. I had no trouble finding a job either. There are loads around and within 2 days of sending in an application I got phoned for an interview and they offered me the job on the day of my interview.

As for the language my best advice is to start studying before you get to Sweden. I studied a bit at an evening course before I moved here and it made things go a lot smoother. When you arrive and enrol to study Swedish you will sit an exam to see what level you are. I managed to pass Sfi (Swedish for immigrants) straight away and went into the next level. I arrived in May, started studying in August full time (there is usually at least a 3 month wait) and was employed by the beginning of this year.

I assume you have read the other threads on here about nursing and you would have probably seen that I recommended SFA-Vård (swedish for health care professionals), plus the union over here, Vårdförbundet.

If you want to get in touch via email I'd be happy to help you out with anything.
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Alfredo
post 28.Feb.2008, 01:04 PM
Post #10
Joined: 1.Dec.2005

Thanks be to this thread.

Every time I read the heading I get the boy giggles ...
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*Vania*
post 29.Feb.2008, 02:58 AM
Post #11


I guess you can say that either at work or at home nurses aim to please...

Mel, thanks for the info/tips! It's very encouraging to hear of your very good fortune!
I'm plannig to start a distance learning swedish course in October and start forcing my husband to speak in swedish only lol
I've had a look at the SFA-Vard website you left in another forum but can you tell me if I have to pay for it and how much and what's the average waiting time to start?

AussieMel and Ricster Deluxe I'm gonna create a "public" email account and put it here so we can get in contact.

Vania x
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thebean
post 29.Feb.2008, 08:56 AM
Post #12
Joined: 24.Feb.2008

Hej AussieMel... I just started at SFAvård this week. Would love to talk about your study there. It seems that you were able to zoooom thru. Congrats. I am a nurse from the states with a swedish hubby. Moved here 5 months ago. Any advice would be great. Any ideas on translating a CV?
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AussieMel
post 29.Feb.2008, 06:36 PM
Post #13
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 16.Oct.2006

QUOTE
thebean Posted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:56 am Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hej AussieMel... I just started at SFAvård this week. Would love to talk about your study there. It seems that you were able to zoooom thru. Congrats. I am a nurse from the states with a swedish hubby. Moved here 5 months ago. Any advice would be great. Any ideas on translating a CV?


Hej! Ahhh, what a pity you didn't start just a couple of months ago. As you would have noticed there aren't really any with an English speaking background there, which I must say I missed a bit. Which level have you started at? Who have you got as a teacher? It is a fantastic course there, I have to say. I did manage to pass every level no problem...but I did do ALL of my homework. Sometimes it seems like so much and I did feel like my head would explode at times but you just need to push through. The whole CV thing was kind of hard in the beginning as my hubby (we have only been married a few weeks so feels a bit odd to say that!) has no idea about health care, so trying to translate was nearly impossible. In the end my positions that I had in Australia and the UK I kept in English, as I did my qualifications.
If you would prefer we could email each other. How are you settling into Sweden? I have been here 10 months and in some ways I feel at home but then in other ways I don't at all!
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AussieMel
post 29.Feb.2008, 06:45 PM
Post #14
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 16.Oct.2006

QUOTE
Mel, thanks for the info/tips! It's very encouraging to hear of your very good fortune!
I'm plannig to start a distance learning swedish course in October and start forcing my husband to speak in swedish only lol
I've had a look at the SFA-Vard website you left in another forum but can you tell me if I have to pay for it and how much and what's the average waiting time to start?


Hej Vania!
Once you are a resident in Sweden and have a personnummer then studying Swedish is free. The kommun (community) that you live in will pay for you to attend, although of course you have to apply. The waiting time depends entirely on how many immigrants waiting to study that there are at that time. It also depends when you arrive as they start at various times. I missed the start date by a couple of weeks and then had to wait until after summer...so waited about 3 months. I harassed them a lot though (which didn't bother them, I think they were glad to have someone "enthusiastic"). Good luck speaking Swedish at home with your hubby. We tried all the time but we were (still are really) hopeless.
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Marie775
post 5.Mar.2013, 09:14 AM
Post #15
Joined: 5.Mar.2013

Hi there, i have been reading your posts about nursing...looks like it was a while back now 2008. I have recently moved to Sweden and am a qualified nurse...i know only little Swedish. Can you give me your emails so i can contact you? Thanks from Marie.
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