As a country with high standards of living and recognized excellence in-hospital care, Sweden places a high value on well-trained nurses. This is why their nursing schools are appreciated internationally and ranked highly in international ranking tables. Additionally, the role of the assistant nurse is the most popular profession in Sweden and is heavily skewed to female nurses (91%). Typically, nursing programs award a Bachelor’s degree which takes three years to complete.

In order to study nursing, you will need to be able to speak Swedish and qualify for higher education admission based on the Swedish education board guidelines.

Here is a guide to the best nursing schools in Sweden.

Best Nursing Schools in Sweden

1. Karolinska Institutet

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor of Nursing, various postgraduate, multiple specialist training programs
  • Language of Instruction: Swedish

Karolinska Institutet (KI) is the best nursing school in Sweden and also the country’s largest center of medical academic research. It offers the widest range of medical courses and programs in the country, based in the Solna area of Stockholm. Founded in 1810, it is a highly sought-after university to study nursing in. Moreover, in addition to the Bachelor of Nursing degree, the institute also has a large number of specialist training programs for nurses, delving into particular aspects that practicing nurses may wish to specialize in.

The Bachelor of Nursing program is taught full-time for over 3 years and aims to help nurses “give people good care at all stages of life.” KI’s approach is both humanistic and ethical, aiming to integrate not just nursing knowledge, but also notions of medicine and social and behavioral sciences. Clinical practice is done in the Karolinska University Hospital.

You can also study the theoretical part of the Bachelor of Nursing remotely, but with some elements of in-person attendance on campus.

2. University of Gothenburg

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor of Nursing, various postgraduate and specialist training programs
  • Language of Instruction: Swedish

The third-oldest university in Sweden, the University of Gothenburg was established in 1891 and today counts around 37,000 students. It is one of the most popular universities in Sweden and one of the largest among all Nordic countries.

The full-time Bachelor of Nursing program is taught for over 3 years on campus in Gothenburg. It is supplemented, like at Karolinska Institutet, by specialist training programs and a suite of postgraduate opportunities as well.

At this top nursing school in Sweden, the nursing program prepares students for a “responsible and stimulating profession” where they will be called upon to use both scientific knowledge and a patient-centered approach. To this end, their education is based on a humanistic view of human beings and includes knowledge about human development, health, and well-being in connection with birth, ill health, suffering, and death.

You need to have a strong science and math background to be eligible for admission into this program and your high-school GPA counts for 66% in the admissions contest, while a series of entrance exams count for 34%.

3. Swedish Red Cross University College

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, specialist degrees, Master’s in Nursing
  • Language of Instruction: Swedish

Founded in 1867, the Swedish Red Cross University College was the first non-religious school for nursing education in Sweden. It now continues to teach nursing to c. 850 students in an intimate setting, offering a nursing program with a global profile and based on the principles of the International Red Cross movement.

At the Swedish Red Cross University College, you can follow a general nursing program or further your education as a specialized nurse. There are programs focusing on intensive care or infectious diseases, for example. Moreover, students can obtain professional degrees as specialist nurses or postgraduate master’s in nursing, too.

4. Malardalen University

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
  • Language of Instruction: Swedish

Malardalen University, established in 1977, is one of the best nursing schools in Sweden. It is the world’s first environmentally certified school according to the international standard ISO 14001. This inclination towards environmentalism permeates into all the taught degrees, where students are encouraged to actively consider their impact on the environment and how they can make a difference in this respect.

The nursing program is taught on the Eskilstuna campus, as a full-time 3-year degree. It supports the development of knowledge around people’s needs for care and support at various stages within their lives. Students cover basic information about how our bodies function and pathology, diagnostics, and treatment. 30% of the education is work-based, i.e. clinical training through working in hospitals, public practices, and private clinics. Students can choose to conduct clinical training in areas nearby the university or travel further afield, and they can also do part of their education abroad.

This program is offered predominantly in Swedish, with some courses in English.

5. Karlstad University

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, various postgraduate
  • Language of Instruction: Swedish

Established in 1977, Karlstad University is based in the eponymous city and was originally started as an auxiliary campus for the University of Gothenburg, but subsequently became an independent institution.

The nursing program at this nursing school in Sweden is run for 3 years, full time, and in Swedish, with the possibility to enroll in Autumn or Spring semesters. It delivers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and a nursing license to those successful in the final exams. With part theory, part clinical practice components, it is a program designed to prepare the nurses of tomorrow, who understand the requirements of people throughout the various phases of their lives. Clinical practice is, as with many other programs, a big part of the curriculum, and offers students the opportunity to work in the county the university is located in, for inpatient and outpatient care organizations.

During the nursing program, students have the opportunity to study abroad through various exchange programs and partnerships in the Nordic countries as well as the EU.

Karlstad University offers multiple specialist nursing programs and postgraduate degrees for those interested in continuing their studies.


I hope that this article on the best nursing schools in Sweden was helpful. If you are interested in knowing more about studying abroad, check out the Programs in Europe for International Students!

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