How to Study Nursing in Finland for International Students

The system of educating professional nurses in Finland slightly differs from that of other European countries. Firstly, only certain higher educational institutions have the right to offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in nursing. These institutions are called universities of applied sciences.

Secondly, the time it takes to complete a basic (bachelor) course in nursing is a bit different. Compared to Norwegian nursing bachelor’s degree programs (lasting for 3 years), Finnish nursing programs of the same level take 3,5 years to complete.

Before starting to study, every applicant should take the time to apply to the chosen program. This seemingly long process will go smoothly if applicants pay attention to certain aspects. So, let’s talk about how international students can study nursing in Finland.

What Degrees are there for Nursing in Finland?

People believing that nursing is their vocation have several options for starting nursing practice in Finland. The first way requires apprenticeship or completing competence-based qualification courses. Upon finishing such a course, a graduate has the status of a practical nurse. The second way implies completing a bachelor’s degree course in nursing. In this case, a graduate has the status of a registered nurse.

Bachelor’s degree courses take more time to complete than competency-based ones. However, the status they allow to obtain has more benefits. Registered nurses have a higher level of qualification. They have more skills and are able to perform a wider range of tasks than practical nurses.

In Finland, bachelor’s degree courses are offered by Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, and

Centria University of Applied Sciences. Applicants looking for a master’s degree in nursing should pay attention to the program offered by Arcada University of Applied Sciences.

Cost of Studying Nursing

The amount of money foreign students needs while studying in Finland is comprised of educational and living expenses.

Educational expenses involve mainly tuition fees. Some universities have relatively low tuition fees while others charge high tuition fees. Anyway, the sum is determined by each university independently.

How much are students outside of European countries and/or students without permanent/continuous stay permission should pay? The prices for nursing programs range from 5,000 to 11,000 euros per academic year. To learn more, please visit the Official Tuition Fees pages of Lapland University, Metropolia University, Arcada University, and Centria University.

These pages also contain information about scholarships, discounts for early application, and groups of students that can study nursing for free. In addition, check out How to Study in Finland for Free.

As for the cost of living in Finland, foreign students are recommended to have around 700 – 1 000 euros per month to cover living expenses. Of course, the prices for apartments and food vary depending on your campus location. Check, for example, the information provided by Centria University and Metropolia University.

Requirements to Study Nursing

In terms of requirements, everything depends on the level of program an international student is willing to apply to. For bachelor degree programs, a notarized and translated into English (Finnish) certificate of secondary school education is enough. More information about necessary documents is provided on the Eligibility pages of Arcada University and Centria University. For master’s degree programs, basic experience and education (bachelor’s degree) in a certain field are usually required.

To help you with this difficult process of applying, we’ve compiled a guide on How to Study in Finland for International Students. If you feel lost, check out the guide!

In What Languages Do You Study Nursing in Finland?

Finland is a great country to complete a bachelor’s degree course in nursing because the majority of the programs available are taught in English. Some examples are the programs offered by Metropolia University, Centria University, and Arcada University.

Higher degree courses may be taught in English as well as in Finnish and Swedish. For example, the master’s degree program offered by Arcada University is taught only in Swedish.

Applicants that are non-native English speakers may be asked to send a certificate proving English proficiency to study nursing in Finland. Besides, students are also encouraged to learn Finnish. Fluency in Finnish is necessary for those who will choose to do clinical practice in Finland.


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Best Nursing Schools in Finland

1. Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

As a university of applied sciences, this higher education institution values innovation. Innovation is believed to be a powerful and major driving force. This force based on the principle of joint project work can produce new solutions and medical findings. These things are essential for the successful tackling of current global health issues.

In this nursing school in Finland, the bachelor program in nursing created in accordance with EU standards has been in existence for 20 years. Over two decades time, thousands of students successfully converted into professional nurses/care workers. At present, they continue practicing in Finland and other countries worldwide.


2. Arcada University of Applied Sciences

  • Nursing Program Link: Bachelor/Master
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor, Master

The University of Arcada offers a wide range of bachelor and master degree programs in analytics, communication, welfare, materials technology, and healthcare. Apart from these courses, the university also has additional educational options. For example, courses for people who do not have time for a full-time studying process. Moreover, a set of specialized courses is offered. These courses help students develop skills that are highly demanded in the labor market.

The nursing bachelor’s degree course lasting for 3,5 years endows students with knowledge and skills necessary for helping patients of different age groups. Compulsory team and individual projects are expected to help students faster develop the skills of individual and team research/work. Advanced courses in this nursing school in Finland provide a deeper insight into the aspects of clinical care and leadership.

The master’s degree program consists of courses for experienced professionals. The course will be interesting for practicing nurses/care workers that seek opportunities to learn more about health promotion.

3. Lapland University of Applied Sciences

The merge of several Finnish universities marked the starting point of Lapland University’s history. The merge resulted in three campuses based in different towns of Finland and a wider range of educational programs. Currently, the university is offering degrees in the field of arts, business administration, hospitality management, forestry, agriculture, and health.

The bachelor in nursing program is a 3,5 year, full-time course. The education process is structured so that to allow students to obtain theoretical knowledge and connect it to practical experience. In order to comply with the needs of the modern world, future graduates are encouraged to get insights into digital services and distant counseling.

4. Centria University of Applied Sciences

The final candidate in our list of best nursing schools in Finland is Centria University of Applied Sciences. The university is a perfect choice not only for applicants seeking undergraduate and postgraduate programs but also for those who want to retrain or complete certain open courses.

Blended educational courses should be discussed separately. The format implies online lessons and workshops several times a week and time for students to learn independently. The simulation format of lessons is introduced for better development and improvement of practical skills in a chosen field.

The nursing bachelor course lasts for 3,5 years. The course consists of 5 aspects. The basic studies aspect deals with theory. The professional studies aspect involves the basics of nursing and clinical nursing. Besides, students are encouraged to choose one field related to nursing for advanced studies. The last aspects are thesis (written paper implying deep independent research), practice, and several elective courses.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.