Planning to move to Finland for work?
Notice the changed circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see information on the current situation and restrictions. See also the guidelines for border traffic during pandemic.
It’s great to hear that you are planning to move to Finland to work as a nurse! Do, however, take into account, that especially if you arrive outside the EU/EEA countries, the process is both costly and time consuming. The main reasons for this are that you need to have all the required documents officially translated and approved, and to learn the language well enough.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Work in Finland website offer you important basic information on the issues you need to consider before moving to Finland. Take into account that if you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, you must have a job before you move to Finland. If you are an EU/EEA citizen, you can move to Finland and search for a job during a period of three months.
In Finland you have to have a license to practice as a nurse. You will first need to contact the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) in order to apply for the right to practice.
See where to look for jobs in Finland. Check also the European jobs network to find out job possibilities throughout Europe, including in Finland. The Jobs in Finland service aims to aggregate job openings that don’t require Finnish skills. But take into account that if you work as a health care professional in Finland, you must be able to speak well enough either Finnish or Swedish.
For vacancies you can also contact directly Finnish employers. You can also contact any of the five University Hospitals in Helsinki, Kuopio, Turku, Oulu or Tampere. See also regional hospitals and local hospitals, such as city hospitals. Note that health center in-patient wards may also be referred to as hospitals. Private hospitals supplement the public services, such as providing day surgeries.
In Finland all the citizens are entitled to adequate health and social services. The responsiblity to organise public social and health care services lies within the 21 wellbeing services counties, the City of Helsinki and the HUS Group, which is the joint authority for Helsinki and Uusimaa. Private companies also provide services alongside the public sector. In addition, Finland has a wide range of social welfare and health care organizations, providing services both free of charge and for a fee. See more.
The Info Finland Info Bank pages contain important basic information for immigrants on the functioning of society and opportunities in Finland.
SIMHE Services (Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education) are for immigrants to recognize their competencies and to guide them into suitable educational and career paths. The aim is to ensure that previous studies and degrees of highly educated immigrants are identified and recognized according to national policies as quickly as possible so that these people find their way to appropriate education and career paths. See the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences website: information on the SIMHE services and guidance and councelling services.
At the moment, in addition to SIMHE, there are unfortunately hardly any clear nationwide and permanent services for nurses who come from outside of the EU and need to acquire a license to work in Finland as a nurse.
To practice as a nurse in Finland
The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) grants, upon application, the right to practice as a licensed or authorized professional and authorizes the use of the occupational title of healthcare professional.
Valvira registers all persons granted professional practice rights in the Terhikki-register and also maintains information on all registered nurses. A person practicing as a healthcare professional in Finland without a license may be sentenced to a fine or imprisonment.
In addition, all medical or health care professionals working in Finland must be able to speak well enough either Finnish or Swedish. See information on Finnish and Swedish language courses for adults. There are also some videos available to practice and to familiarize yourself with the Finnish language.
National legislation closely regulates the education and professional practice of health care personnel. Nursing training in Finland is also based on the European Union’s Directive 2005/36/EC,amended by Directive 2013/55/EU. Therefore, the requirements in Finland are similar to those elsewhere in the European Union and other collaborating European countries. See the national competence requirements and contents for general nurse education. See also how to study as a nurse in Finland and the career possibilities available. Check out as well some facts and figures on nurses in Finland.
You can find information on the Finnish health care system e.g. on the web page of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). The EU-Healthcare.fi page contains many useful links and clear information on the service system in Finland. Reform of public healthcare, social welfare and rescue services took place in 2023.
The Study in Finland website offers a lot of information on Finnish higher education possibilities for international students.
Once you have been registered as a nurse in Finland by Valvira, you can apply for the membership of the Finnish Nurses Association and Tehy, the Finnish Union of Health and Social Care Professionals. Membership is voluntary, but highly recommended.