news 28.8.2023

Jamk's international nursing students become employed well in Central Finland

There is a need for healthcare professionals throughout Finland. To help with the shortage of nurses in Central Finland, Jamk University of Applied Sciences is running a project called Integration of Nurses into the Finnish Career Path (SaSU). The aim of the project is to support the employment of international nurses graduating from the English-language degree programmes.

50 students from English-language degree programmes or international groups have participated in the project funded by the European Social Fund. Students who have graduated during the project and students who are about to graduate have all found jobs in their internship units. Most of the students who have participated in the project who are still completing their studies have also found summer jobs in their own field. International nursing students from Bangladesh, Ghana, Iran, Cameroon, Kenya, China, Nigeria, Romania, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Tanzania, Turkey and Vietnam have participated in the project.

Among other things, the project has implemented language workshop activities to support the development of professional Finnish language skills outside the workplace. In the workshops students have practiced linguistically challenging situations related to nursing, such as telephone conversations, reporting and recording of treatment procedures.

Graduating nurse Nelly Mukhwana, who found employment through the project, has found the language workshops useful, both from the perspective of language studies and understanding the general Finnish nursing culture.

"On the first day of the internship, the teachers of the project joined the internship. They introduced me to the staff, which gave me the opportunity to tell more about myself and my strengths and areas for development, one of which is my Finnish language skills. Even though my Finnish language skills are still developing, I was able to show my skills during the internship, which impressed my instructor at the internship," Mukhwana says.

"With the little language you have, you still can deliver services to the clients efficiently," she adds.

After the internship, Mukhwana received a contract as a nurse.

Cooperation between Jamk's and employers enables a smooth transition to working life

Project Manager, Lecturer in Nursing Riikka Sinivuo is very happy about every employment relationship where a new nurse or nursing student gets into working life. At the same time, the units will get much-needed highly motivated and committed nursing experts.

'It has been wonderful to follow the students' development and increased confidence in both actual nursing and the use of Finnish. It is great that we have been able to offer students additional support in deepening their Finnish language skills and integrating into Finnish nursing communities. Graduating nurses who participated in the project can also continue to receive help and support from teachers when they need it. Similarly, the employer organisation can contact teachers and discuss any issues that arise in practical work," Sinivuo rejoices.

The multicultural project team has also been able to support the staff of the organisations participating in the project by utilising their own experiences, students' experiences and research data. Small practical measures in work communities include, for example, short, as simple instructions as possible, opening up jargon into standard language, naming objects and tools both in speech and in writing, and repeating phrases needed in the treatment situation before the situation.

"Jobs and internships are extremely good places to learn and use a new language, because the language used in real life is learned through interaction. In addition, coping and succeeding in real situations motivates in a completely different way than just using language in a course. Of course, separate language courses taught by a trained language teacher are still an important part of language learning and practice, but they alone are not enough," says Sara Tuisku, Lecturer in Finnish Language and Communication at the project.

Learn more about the SaSU project at (in Finnish).

Further information

Riikka Sinivuo

Lehtori, Senior Lecturer
HYVI Terveysala, Health Studies
Hyvinvointi, School of Health and Social Studies

Sara Tuisku

Lehtori, Senior Lecturer
Kielikeskus, Language Centre
Korkeakoulupalvelut, University Services