Bachelor of Heath Care, Nursing

Gain your expertise and qualification in nursing at the Oulu University of Applied Sciences.  As a Registered Nurse, you are an expert in delivering the highest standards of quality care in primary health care and specialised medical care. You are highly competent in caring for diverse groups of clients and patients of different cultural backgrounds in a multidisciplinary team.  You are equipped with leadership and management skills in fast-paced work environments and have broad evidence-based and organizational skills needed in nursing.

The language of the degree programme is English. Oamk requires all selected students to have minimum A2 level knowledge in Finnish language. Separate language test is organised in March 2022.

What is the Nursing degree all about? 

The degree studies are full-time studies and are implemented in multiform learning. The evidence-based competencies and critical thinking skills are achieved by using social constructivism approach and other modern teaching methodologies which are needed to work as a Registered Nurse in Finland.  Students receive personal guidance from the tutor teachers throughout the stages of their studies. 

High Fidelity Simulation (HFS) is implemented at all stages of the studies. Studies are implemented in a hybrid format either independent or group learning.  Oamk has state-of-the-art facilities and utilises the latest technologies in collaboration with other healthcare professionals. The clinical practicums constitute almost half of the studies and often require working in shifts (also on weekends) and can be completed in different parts of Finland. In addition to nursing care, professional accountability and working life skills are learned during the practical training.

After the first year of nursing studies, you will know the fundamentals of nursing care, chronic care, and medical nursing. You will learn how to give first aid in life-threatening situations. You will also study other allied health sciences. 

During the second academic year, you will learn how to perform a comprehensive physical examination, history taking, and health assessment. Moreover, you will become familiar with mental health, substance abuse, and family-centered care.

At the end of the studies, you will learn gerontological nursing, outpatient and ambulatory care, leadership, clinical judgement, and advanced decision-making skills.  Advanced studies also include free choice of medical studies and 12 weeks of practical training. The recommended language of instruction for the practical training will be in Finnish or Swedish. You can acquire additional skills for future work tasks by choosing free choice studies (10 ECTS) from the selection of advanced studies or other online teachings offered from other polytechnics.

After graduation, you will be awarded a Bachelor of Health Care (Sairaanhoitaja AMK) degree that will qualify you to become a Registered Nurse under the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) in Finland. The training gives the qualification of a nurse in accordance with the European Union (EU) Directives.

Study Structure of Nursing

The scope of the degree is 210 credits. The degree programme consists of: 

  • Basic and professional studies (110 ECTS)
  • Elective Studies (10 ECTS)
  • Clinical Practicums (75 ECTS)
  • Bachelor’s Thesis (15 ECTS)

Half of the degree programme consists of basic and professional studies, which aim to strengthen the theoretical and clinical skills background through intensive lectures, independent studies, and group work in the clinical learning environment. Competencies will be evaluated through written examination and skills demonstrations.

In practical trainings, students are given the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge into practice and prepare them for professional work life. Before graduation, nursing students will be required to produce a thesis meeting the European Qualification Framework (EQF) Level 6 equivalent to a Bachelor's level.

At the end of your studies, you will deepen your skills, knowledge and competencies in the chosen field of specialisation. You will learn how to work in a multidisciplinary team enhancing your communication, leadership and clinical judgement skills in nursing. Advanced studies will be completed during the last two semesters after demonstrating your nursing competencies and completing 180 ECTS. It can be in any of the following specialities.

  • Outpatient and Ambulatory Care Nursing
  • Gerontological Nursing
  • Family-centered care in Pediatric Nursing
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Nursing
  • Perioperative Nursing
  • Medical and Surgical Nursing
  • Intensive Care Nursing
  • Acute and Emergency Care Nursing
  • Palliative Care Nursing

Language of Instruction

The language of instruction of the degree programme will be in English. International nursing students will undergo intensive Finnish language training to better prepare them for practical training and Finnish working life after graduation. 

The language training is conducted in close collaboration with the language centre which will address the professional language needs of the students.

Language Requirement

English and Finnish language skills will be assessed at the entrance examination. There is no need to present proof of language skills. However, a minumun of A2 Finnish language level is required for entry.  

Immigrants with Nursing Background

Immigrants with nursing qualification obtained outside European Union (EU)/ European Economic Area (EEA) will undergo the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process which will be personally assessed by the head of the degree programme. Previous competencies will be compared to the learning outcomes of Oamk's Nursing curriculum.

Oamk offers SIMHE (Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education in Finland) services for recognizing prior learning and competence of highly educated immigrants. SIMHE services are funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The services are also available in other polytechnics.

The guidance and counselling services of SIMHE-Oamk consist of information sharing on the higher education system in Finland and on the application opportunities and practices. More instructions can be found here.  

Career and Employability

Employment prospects are good in nursing. Graduates of the programme have made career paths in primary and specialised healthcare facilities locally and internationally.  As a Registered Nurse, you can work in medical-surgical units, outpatient departments, operating room theatres, emergency departments and intensive care units. Your workplace can also be in a home hospital, rehabilitation and nursing home, health centres, private medical clinics and even digital clinics. The degree in nursing gives you opportunities to work in various expert and consulting positions, non-profit organisations or international positions. In addition, you can become an entrepreneur.

Post-graduate study opportunities

Specialisation Studies

Post-graduates can deepen their expertise with specialisation studies. Studies promote professional growth and development. The studies are planned and implemented in co-operation with working and business life. The scope of the studies is at least 30 ECTS and can be completed alongside the work.

Professional specialisation programmes train you to become an expert in more demanding nursing tasks. It gives you broader perspective to address the needs and challenges of your clients and patients in the work life. You can become an expert for example in wound care, rehabilitation, cancer, palliative care, mental health and substance abuse, digital health and ambulatory care nursing.

Master's Degree

Master's degree programmes are offered both at polytechnic and academic levels. After graduation, you can continue your studies to a Master of Health Care (YAMK) at the polytechnics. You can also apply to study at a university, such as the Faculty of Health Sciences. In addition, you can apply to a professional teacher education after gaining the required experience.

Doctoral Degree

Completion of a master's degree in a polytechnic or university will make you eligible for doctoral studies. Studies are granted based on research and funding plan from the receiving higher education institution. 

Internationalisation

Oamk is part of the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme through which you can apply for exchange studies in our destinations in the EU and EEA countries. The institution has also bilateral agreements outside the EU including China, Japan, and South Korea. Exchange studies are recommended during the third year of studies.

Our lecturers have national and international experiences

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“As an immigrant nurse myself, I deeply understand the needs of the international nursing students. The Degree Programme in Nursing at the Oulu University of Applied Sciences is designed to address the needs and challenges of foreign nursing students to help them integrate into the nursing workforce in Finland. I have handled international nursing students in my clinical and academic nursing career from different parts of the world so you will be in good hands.”

Floro Cubelo, MPH, RN, BSN
Senior Lecturer

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“I have lived in several parts of Africa doing voluntary works during my younger years. I have a broad experience in nursing both in low and high-income countries including Kenya, Sweden and Norway. From primary health care services to tertiary level of care in Intensive Care and Anesthesia Nursing, you will have the best experience in your nursing studies in Northern Finland.”

Markus Karttunen, PhD, RN
Head of Education, Field of Nursing and Paramedic

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“Back in the day I did my Bachelor´s Degree in Nursing in an international degree programme in Nursing in Finland. Therefore, studying nursing in English in an international group is very familiar to me. During my Bachelor and Master level studies, I have spent some time abroad for example in South Africa and Slovenia. Internationality is close to my heart, and I have active companionships within various higher education institutes in Europe. What comes to nursing; evidence-based practice, critical thinking and high quality of nursing care are very important to me.”

Kirsi Myllykangas, MHSc, RN
Senior Lecturer