I am a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Nursing in Philippines. Choosing to study nursing again at Lapland UAS which offers a different kind of educational system based on Finnish Education program is definitely a choice to make to be able to work as a nurse and learn the Finnish healthcare system on a first-hand basis. Moreover, nursing graduates from Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences are recognize as nurses in other members of EU. For me, getting back to school is a win-win situation.
I moved in Northern Finland in 2016, and at that time I was working as a nurse assistant in a nursing home. Since moving, it took me a while for me to be familiar with the Finnish culture, weather, language and working life. 2018, when I decided to apply for the nursing degree in Finland having English Language as the mode of teaching and got accepted in Lapland UAS as my study place. Before the start of the official Autumn semester, there were entrance test and interview session with the potential students as part of the screening process of the school. Since I am living and working in Kemi, it was a big advantage on my part having the study place in the same city. In my opinion, Kemi´s location is a good place to stay not just for living but for studies as well. Kemi is located 100 kms. in between Oulu and Rovaniemi. To add, the border of Finland and Sweden is just 25 km. away, so it´s another opportunity to visit the neighbouring country. Basically, transportation is not a problem because buses and trains are always available and most of the people go by bike.
In my opinion, studying in Lapland UAS is a personal discretion. Meaning, I get to arranged and make my study plans for the whole semester personally with the help and guidance of the teachers. Planning my studies ahead of time boost my sense of responsibility and accountability towards finishing my degree. The step by step process in study planning made my studies easier to understand and helped me focus on the courses included in the nursing program. Also, through this personal study planning, working is possible to do while studying. There were challenges along my journey at school but overall, studying in Lapland UAS offers a student friendly approach.
In nursing program, studies consist mainly of lectures & discussion, practical exercises, seminars and training camps. These set of activities are done according to schedules. Also, teachers do not play the role as traditional teachers anymore, but nowadays they served as Guiding teachers and instructors. In most cases before the start of the semester, teachers provide the list of studies and tasks through moodle environment throughout the semester. Doing this approach, helps the students to be prepared about what kind of task and studies they need to undergo throughout the semester and provides time for clarification and questions if it is needed. Studying is Lapland UAS is very conventional. Before the pandemic started the school has been utilizing virtual classrooms where online classes is held.
The best thing for me while studying in Lapland UAS, is they care about the student´s improvement, student´s feedback and overall experience all throughout the semester. Teachers are openminded to hear and set the table for discussion regarding the implementation and success of the courses implemented. The faculties of Lapland UAS are very supportive and always ready for change focusing on creating a study environment which is effective and reliable.
Part of the nursing degree program, students are required to go to practical trainings every semester. These trainings help the students gain a better idea and understanding about the working life of a healthcare provider in Finland. During practical trainings, students are guided towards their professional improvement as future nurses through conducting mid- evaluation and final evaluation together with the guiding instructor and guiding teacher. Moreover, students can have potential job offer opportunities after their completion. As students accomplished more practical trainings, their number of school credits also increases which allows them to work starting from being a nurse assistant, practical nurse to becoming nurse substitute. Practical trainings prepare the nursing students for their future by increasing their confidence in using the Finnish language and expanding their professional network. In my case, I worked my way up from working as a nurse assistant to becoming nurse in a nursing home. The gradual increase of my working position has helped me to prepare myself for bigger responsibilities required at work.
Studying nursing is not just a wise choice to make since the work opportunities will always be available. Future nursing students should remember and consider that this is a good opportunity to develop our nursing skills connecting with vulnerable people, family or even community. This is a chance to understand our well-being and provide impact to the society as healthcare provider.
Living in Lapland while studying is a good opportunity to experience solemnity and witness the beauty of nature. It´s an opportunity to enjoy life away from the current standards we live in this world. Students can focus with their goals and studies, while harnessing their personal attributes by generating positive vibes from the majestic views Lapland can offer. True enough Lapland has extreme cold season during winter, nevertheless the beauty of extremeness can be witnessed in every season all throughout the year.
- Marie Lagundi, Nursing student -