How to Study Nursing in Sweden for International Students

Sweden is one of the top countries providing opportunities for those who plan a successful career in the field of nursing. Growth and aging of population create a demand for nurses/care workers in various sectors. For example, in oncology and cardiology.

Sweden puts big importance on the status of nurses working in the country. Each of them can legally have independent practice. Besides, every professional nurse is capable of solving different medical cases and performing complex tasks. The high quality of medical services is guaranteed by means of strict standards and a set of requirements. One of them is that of continuous education and constant training.

Today, we will discuss not only the best nursing schools in Sweden but also the requirements and process of studying nursing in Sweden as well.

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What Degrees are there for Nursing in Sweden?

In order to prepare future nurses for challenges they may face throughout their careers, Sweden has educational programs on various levels. Bachelor’s programs in this field are offered by Red Cross University College, Mälardalens University, Karolinska Institute, and the University of Gothenburg. Besides, the University of Gothenburg has a Nursing Master’s program for those applicants who want to expand their knowledge in this field.

Workplace-based learning (apprenticeship) may be included in the programs of Sweden’s secondary school education. It aims to help pupils decide on the field they want to work in. Even though the apprenticeship experience is beneficial and valuable, it is not enough to become a professional nurse/care worker in Sweden.

Cost of Studying Nursing

Sweden guarantees tuition-free education for many groups of applicants, including local applicants and exchange students. Applicants with temporary Swedish citizenship and/or applicants that have a relative legally living in Sweden also have the right to be freed of education fees. However, an official document proving this right should be sent to the Admission Committee. A full list of the students that are not required to pay tuition fees can be found on the official pages of the University of Gothenburg and Karolinska Institute.

All the rest foreign students need to have funds to cover educational expenses. The fees charged vary depending on the university. For example, the tuition fee for one academic year in Mälardalens University amounts to 135,000 Swedish crowns. The fee charged by Karolinska Institute is higher and amounts to 180,000 – 200,000 Swedish crowns per academic year. As a rule, the fee should be paid in installments.

Apart from the tuition fee, all foreign students are obliged to pay an application fee of 900 Swedish crowns. You can learn more about the application fee on the official Application Fee page of Karolinska Institute, University of Gothenburg,

These are not all the costs students are expected to pay while studying nursing in Sweden. Students will also need money for living. The amount of living expenses depends largely on the lifestyle of a student and his/her demands in terms of comfort. Most often, universities and institutes have a Student Housing Office responsible for dealing with the question of foreign students’ residence.

For example, the accommodation offered by the University of Gothenburg comes at the price of 4,000-7,000 Swedish crowns per month. All apartments are comfortable and fully furnished, but students are expected to pay additionally for electricity and Internet. More information can be found on the Living Expenses page of Gothenburg University.

Part of the costs can be paid with the money made by means of a part-time job. However, those willing to work while studying will need to organize their schedule adequately. The educational process is very intensive. In fact, it is said to consume at least 40 hours per week. Before starting to work, a student needs to apply and obtain special permission. Learn more about that on the Official Student Portal page of Gothenburg University.

Requirements to Study Nursing

The first and most important requirement is a basic set of documents. (The set of documents should be gathered before an applicant starts the process of online application) Karolinska Institute Admission Office requests an international applicant to copy all pager of his/her passport with personal data. The copies should be signed by a home university representative. Besides, a notarized transcript of grades, as well as a printed and signed application form (with a unique registration number), are necessary.

Those who apply for bachelor’s degree programs should meet basic eligibility requirements to be able to study nursing in Sweden. In the case of foreign students, a notarized certificate of secondary (higher) school education is enough. Other courses, including Master’s Degree programs, may require students to meet special eligibility requirements.

One of them is proof of sufficient knowledge in Mathematics (Advanced Level). Learn more about the requirements on the Official Competence and Eligibility pages of Mälardalens University.

To help you with the process of applying, we’ve provided a guide on How to Study in Sweden for International Students. If you feel lost, visit our guide to learn more!

In What Languages Do You Study Nursing in Sweden?

In the majority of Swedish higher education institutions, the language of instruction and teaching is Swedish. For example, the 3-year bachelor courses offered by the University of Gothenburg and Mälardalens University as well as a postgraduate course of the Gothenburg University are taught in Swedish. Obviously, fluency in Swedish is needed. To prove that s/he is fluent in Swedish, a foreign student should have either a Pass Tisus or other (equivalent) proficiency test certificate.

Since some courses within a program may be taught in English, fluency in English (TOEFL Certificate) is also required. An outstanding example, in this case, is Karolinska Institute. It offers the same nursing bachelor program in Swedish and in English.

Best Nursing Schools in Sweden

1. Karolinska Institute

Upon completing the course, graduates are able to provide high-quality medical services to patients of different age groups (infants, teenagers, adults, and elderly people). The course focuses on both essential theoretical knowledge and practical experience, with practice in nursing homes and healthcare centers involved.

2. University of Gothenburg

The bachelor program at this nursing school in Sweden allows students to get knowledge not only in medicine and nursery but also in behavioral and social science. All licensed nurses graduating from this university are trained and taught to relieve patients’ suffering and contribute to the quality of their lives.

The first 2 years of the course are devoted to theoretical courses in a vast range of fields. Students get and expand their knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and a set of other subjects. The 3rd year focuses mainly on practice and the basics of nursery leadership.

The postgraduate course is meant for those who want to specialize in various fields as nurses/care workers. For example, in intensive and/or surgical nursing.

3. Red Cross University College

Nursing bachelor’s degree from the Red Cross University College opens multiple job opportunities for graduates willing to work in Sweden and/or other countries. The program involves courses related to 3 main aspects, which are nursing, medicine, and public health science.

4. Mälardalens University

The last institution in our list of best nursing schools in Sweden is Mälardalens University. The nursing program can be completed either in Eskilstuna or Vasteras. A solid knowledge base in diagnostics and treatment techniques allows all graduates to successfully solve medical cases and improve the health condition of patients. Apart from nursing, graduates can devote themselves to nursing administrative work and teaching.

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, graduates can apply for advanced courses. The courses are meant for professionals who want to specialize in aspects of anesthesia care, emergency care, and home health care.


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