Filipino care assistant at the Toppila nursing home in the Kainuu welfare region in Kajaani, February 8, 2024. LEHTIKUVA


Finland is rolling out a significant initiative aimed at integrating nurses trained outside the EU/EEA into its healthcare system. Spearheaded by Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, the initiative seeks to streamline the process for these nurses to gain licensure and employment in Finland, in roles that match their qualifications.

This effort, backed by nearly three million euros in funding, involves 20 universities of applied sciences across the country.

The project is divided into two main parts: SAILA1, which focuses on developing national frameworks for the licensure of non-EU/EEA nurses, and SAILA2, aimed at piloting these frameworks. These projects, funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Continuous Learning and Employment Service Center, respectively, are set to run through 2024-2025.

Previously, the licensure process for foreign-trained nurses was fragmented and inconsistent across various projects. The new initiative, however, introduces a unified, smooth, and nationwide approach. The Finnish Social and Health Licensing and Supervisory Authority (Valvira) continues to oversee the verification of credentials and the granting of professional rights, while the participating universities of applied sciences are responsible for assessing and supplementing the nurses' competencies as needed.

The licensure pathway is tailored to each applicant based on their previous experience and the requirements set by Valvira. Prospective candidates can currently apply for pilot programs through the Studyinfo service, which details the application processes specific to each university.

This project not only aims to alleviate the staffing shortages in the Finnish healthcare sector by facilitating smoother employment of qualified nurses but also emphasizes strong employer cooperation and support for Finnish language acquisition in the workplace. Additionally, special attention is given to the bilingual regions' needs, ensuring the licensure process is inclusive and comprehensive.