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Facts and figures about nurses in Finland

How many nurses work in Finland? How many of them work part-time? And what kind of salary do nurses earn? Find out the statistics on nurses!

General data

Registered nurse (RN) is the third most common profession for working women in Finland. In the following text, we will refer to RN as nurse.

Nurses account for around 1.3% of the total Finnish population. In 2018, there were 115 988 nurses (including paramedics), 24232 public health nurses (PHNs) and 7210 midwives in the social and health care sector aged 18-68 years. The total number of nurses receiving an employment or national pension in 2018 was 2,310 (Source: Statistics Finland’s purchasing statistics 2020).

In Finland, there are 73 688 nurses in the workforce (including nurses in private practice, midwives, public health nurses). 92% of nurses are women and 8% are men. The proportion of men is highest (10%) in the group of young nurses aged 26-30 and decreases with age, reaching 4.4% in the group aged 56-60. 32% of nurses are aged under 36, 50% are aged 36-55 and 16% are aged 55 and over. Only 0.5% of nurses are aged over 66. There were only six nurses aged 71 and over working in the profession in 2018.

(Source: Statistics Finland’s purchasing statistics 2020).

Part-time employment

Around 14% of nurses worked part-time in 2020, compared to around 15.5% of part-time nurses in the previous year. The majority of part-time nurses were women. The proportion of men is less than 1,000 per year, leaving a percentage of zero. As a proportion of the total employed population, nurses work less part-time than the population as a whole (16.4%, women 20.8% and men 12.3%). (Source: Statistics Finland’s Purchasing Statistics 2021/Labour Force Survey)

In 2020, 21% of nurses in the municipal sector worked part-time, compared with 22% of women (9189) and just under 9% of men (385). (Source: Statistics Finland’s StatFin Wage Structure and Salary Statistics 2020).

Immigration and emigration

Foreign-born nurses account for 3.3% of working nurses. Of these, 31% are from EU countries and 69% from outside the EU. The origin is unknown for 1.4% of those working in the nursing profession. Of those from EU countries, 65% work as nurses in health care and 30% in social care. Of those from outside the EU, 65% work in health care and 28% in social care. (Source: Statistics Finland’s Purchasing Statistics 2020).


499 nurses retired from the municipal sector in 2018. The average retirement age was 63.8 years. Almost as many retired on disability, 467, with an average age of 52.6 years.

In the municipal sector, 26% of nurses, 31% of public health nurses and 47% of middle directors in nursing will retire in the next ten years between 2021 and 2030 (source Keva 2021).

Students in the sector

The number of primary applicants for nursing education has steadily declined between 2016 and 2020. The number of total applicants increased slightly in 2020, while the number of those who accepted an initial place increased. However, the proportion of priority applicants among all applicants was even lower than before (31%) in 2020 (Source: Education Administration’s statistical service 3.5.2021).


In 2019, the average total pay for nurses was €3,155/month and the median was €3,058/month. The average total earnings of nurses are below the average for Finnish employees. The average salary in Finland is 3527 /3139 €/month. However, total earnings do not reflect the regular salary received.

A large part of a shift nurse’s total earnings consists of compensation for irregular working hours.

For local government employers, the average salary per job excluding the compensation for irregular hours was as follows in 2020 :

  • Nurse €2567/month
  • Public health nurse €2593/month
  • Midwife €2579/month
  • Paramedic (nurse) €2570/month
  • Middle director in nursing/Matron €3257 /month.

Source: Statistics Finland Statistics on structure of wages and salaries 2019-2020, updated 24.6.2021.