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The Local _ Newcomers _ Working as a nurse in Sweden- how hard is it?

Posted by: Vania 27.Feb.2008, 11:19 AM

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

Posted by: Sofia_stockholm 27.Feb.2008, 11:28 AM

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.

Posted by: Carolo Xiii 27.Feb.2008, 11:32 AM

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.

Posted by: Bender B Rodriquez 27.Feb.2008, 12:20 PM

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...

Posted by: Ricster Deluxe 27.Feb.2008, 12:49 PM

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

Posted by: Puffin 27.Feb.2008, 01:51 PM

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

Posted by: Puffin 27.Feb.2008, 01:59 PM

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

Posted by: Vania 27.Feb.2008, 05:21 PM

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

Posted by: AussieMel 28.Feb.2008, 10:43 AM

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.

Posted by: Alfredo 28.Feb.2008, 01:04 PM

Thanks be to this thread.

Every time I read the heading I get the boy giggles ...

Posted by: Vania 29.Feb.2008, 02:58 AM

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

Posted by: thebean 29.Feb.2008, 08:56 AM

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?

Posted by: AussieMel 29.Feb.2008, 06:36 PM

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!

Posted by: AussieMel 29.Feb.2008, 06:45 PM

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.

Posted by: Marie775 5.Mar.2013, 09:14 AM

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.

Posted by: Johno 5.Mar.2013, 09:27 AM

Since you are a newcomer, a hint. If you are logged in, click on the posters name and you will see you can send them a message via this board. (Sometimes referred to a PM in posts). Its not usual to disclose direct links in posts and it was 5 years ago wink.gif

Posted by: stephanie921 19.Mar.2013, 10:45 PM

Hej!

I moved to Sweden almost a year ago from the US where i was an RN. I feel like im going nowhere fast lol and am getting frustrated. A tidbit of my history here in sweden... I did sfi in Sala and was done in 8 months with 3 months off for summer. When i was done in Dec we moved to Västerås and i missed the cutoff for registration and had to wait till march to begin SASgrund. So i started that this week(my opinions are being held asof now cause im not quite sure how i feel about it).
But i am frustrated because after this 20 or 40week class (my teacher said that 80% of the class will need 40wksto pass) i still need to do SAS 1,SAS 2 and SAS 3 and ive been told those are 5wks or 10wksdepending. Then after all this I need to pass several tests for nursing and find my own praktik of sorts for i dunno how long... Btw i did have my education varified with SOcialstyrelsen. ANd all i keep thinking is that this Swedish im learning is never gona help me pass these tests for nursing because that is a whole notherlangauge in itself! Sooo i have many frustrations with this whole process, but im happy to hear that IF and WHEN i eventually finsih all this I will have a job. lol

Posted by: cmany 7.May.2013, 03:53 AM

Hey Stephanie 921!
I would like to find out how it went or is going for u? I am also a certified nurse and socialstyrelsen evaluated that i need only svenska 3 and then pratik to work as a nurse in Sweden.I am currently studying SAS 1. but the road looks tooooo long,i wonder if i will ever be able to speak Swedish...i mean all the diseases and signs and symptoms of all diseases,human anatomy and physiology in Swedish!!! all these seem almost impossible.please fill me in how it went or is going for you.i am considering giving up.I presently work part time in an elderly care home.but of course there we dont use many medical jargon there.

Posted by: Kaipa 7.May.2013, 11:44 AM

OP As you are already learning Swedish you can see that it is going to be a long road. To put it into perspective imagine someone who is already a qualified nurse who wants to work in the UK, Australia etc but has no English.That person has to be capable of using the language at a very high level.This means high level comprehension, high level production and good pronunciation. I have never managed to have a student acquire this level in under 3 years of full time study. Normally it would take about 5 years. Don't set your sights on just being a nurse. Be realistic. Look at your language learning as an end in itself and not as a means to an end. Treat it in the same way you would if you were undertaking an undergraduate course. Define yourself by it and try and patient. Good luck

Posted by: cami 15.May.2013, 07:24 AM

I'm a nurse and I want to come in September in Sweden. I want to specialize here. I want to go to the Swedish language intensive courses. Who can help me?

Posted by: Anna C 2.Jun.2013, 09:58 AM

Hi there!
I enjoyed reading your posts and found it very informative.
I am a South African registered nurse. I completed a 4 year nursing degree and I did a post basic course in Intensive care nursing. (Critical Care nursing).
The international company that my husband is working for will be transferring him to Sweden early to middle 2014. I would like to work as a nurse in Sweden. I am wondering about the following:
1.)Can I send my application for an assessment of foreign nurse training at this stage already while I am still living outside Sweden?
2.)How long will it take to get an answer from the Socialstyrelsen of whether my training meets the knowledge requirements for a Swedish license to practise?
Thanks
Anna

Posted by: ikemun 23.May.2019, 06:15 PM

Let me formally tell my story.
I moved to Sweden a few years ago and while there I finished SFI C and D. I was working as a warehouse worker and was unable to get a permanent job, therefore I made the decision of studying nursing in Scotland. This decision was taken due to the long process of getting into SAS GRUND, KOMVUX and Nursing School, which would probably take me more than 5 years.
I am now a third year mental health nursing student here in Scotland and although I have gotten a job offer from NHS, my wish is to return to Sweden, to work as a mental health nurse.
So I was wondering about the chances of moving back to Sweden and becoming a registered Psychiatric/mental health nurse. I speak Swedish (not fluently), so I would have to get done with the SAS and then I would like to start working as a nurse. How possible is it to get a nursing job as a foreigner straight after finishing the Swedish as a second language (SAS)? And is there a high demand of nurses in Sweden?
And lastly, is there anybody in here who works as a nurse in Sweden with a nursing certificate acquired in another EU country or outside the EU? Please share your experience.


Tack

Posted by: skogsbo 23.May.2019, 08:09 PM

I'd use your reasonably fluent Swedish to contact the governing body covering that sector of nursing? Without them recognising your UK qualification anything else is just speculation.

Posted by: kiwi3 13.Jul.2019, 09:28 AM

Hi Everyone,

This is a first time I am posting smile.gif .

I am an Enrolled Nurse/Nurse Associate currently working in New Zealand. I am a theatre nurse with over 15 years of experience in a variety of nursing fields. I would like to move to Sweden as this has always been my great wish. I was wondering if anyone out there can give me any realistic idea to where and how do I look for the job and most of all do I have any chance of getting a job in Sweden. I have been reading your posts and can see I have to learn Swedish but in a mean time I was wondering if there is any chance of me finding a job as a healthcare assistant while I am working on my language.

Thanx to anyone who is reading this and posting

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