Nursing is a promising degree with a bright future in your career. Studying nursing assures you of international education standards that will prepare you for a global career, sharpening your nursing skills.

Swedish universities offer different nursing programs for undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. programs. What even makes it more attractive is the free study opportunity for Swedish citizens and EU/EEA citizens. Students living in these countries won’t have to pay the tuition fees. Moreover, you do not have to worry about language barriers because most people know the English language.

However, you still have to make sure that you meet the necessary language requirements in both Swedish and English. Have you decided to study nursing in Sweden? If you want to learn more about the detailed process of how to study nursing in Sweden, the costs, and the requirements, continue reading below.

In the article, we listed down the basic steps to start your nursing education in Sweden. Make sure to read more!

Steps on How to Apply for a Nursing Program in Sweden

Step 1. Know What It Takes to Be a Nurse in Sweden

To become a nurse in Sweden, you have to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing and obtain a license to work. If you already have a degree in nursing, you can choose to work in Sweden in three ways. First, you can apply for a license to practice at the National Board of Health and Welfare of Sweden. They will assess your education qualifications, ask you to take a language proficiency test, take a course in Swedish laws and regulations, and have clinical training before you pay and send your application.

The other two options you can try to become a nurse are additional training from qualified nursing institutions or obtaining a Swedish bachelor’s degree in nursing. International students can expect to find numerous degrees in nursing from undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees.

If you wish to study nursing in Sweden and obtain a bachelor’s degree, you can try the University of Gothenburg. The program is a three-year nursing degree taken full-time, corresponding to 180 credits. Some master’s degrees are offered at Linköping University, such as Master’s Thesis in Science in Nursing for 60 credits. Both of the mentioned degrees above are taken in Swedish, so it is best to learn the language to pass the courses successfully.

Step 2. Learn about Some Swedish Nursing Schools

When researching nursing schools, always consider the school’s student profile, especially the students who passed and successfully became a nurse. The school’s performance and the percentage of passers play a crucial role in choosing the best nursing school. The numbers speak for themselves. Knowing these results will at least give you the comfort of knowing you are in good hands. You want to make sure you are laying down your future with the right school with promising results.

It is also important to note the school’s location, and maybe you want to study in the city or the countryside as this will matter in choosing a school. It is widely common that living in the city is more costly than in the countryside. Moreover, the cost of tuition depends if you are studying nursing in Sweden at a university or college. Depending on your lifestyle and financial capacity, you can weigh out factors that best work for you.

Researching a nursing school is not that hard. Even though the website is in Swedish, with the help of a translator, you can easily navigate through the university website, course program, and requirements. When researching a nursing school, do not forget to go through its course program and requirements. Most courses are in English or Swedish and require education qualifications to enter the program. Knowing if you can meet these entry requirements will help you in your research.

Step 3. Fulfill the Language Requirements

It is quite understandable that international students should know the native language of any country they are living in. Not only is it helpful for day-to-day conversations, but it is usually a prerequisite before you are accepted into the program. Most universities offer a nursing degree in Swedish. For you to fully grasp and pass with flying colors, you have to learn Swedish or English.

At Karlstad University, you need to obtain a language proficiency test such as TOEFL (minimum score for paper-based test: 530, computer-based test: 173, internet-based test: 72) or IELTS (minimum score 5.5). Since the program is in Swedish, you also need an additional Swedish language proficiency requirement which can be given by TISUS (Test in Swedish for University Studies) or other equivalent institutions.

Step 4. Prepare Financially to Study Nursing in Sweden

Studying abroad requires a lot of preparation and sufficient finances. You have to take into account three years of study and other daily expenses such as food, transportation, rent, study materials, and other personal costs.

At Karlstad University, Swedish citizens and EU/EEA citizens will not be charged with tuition fees. Only citizens outside Switzerland and EU/EEA are charged with SEK 2,500 SEK per credit, about USD 300. This applies to all universities in Sweden. If you are a Swedish citizen or EU/EEA citizen, you do not have to pay any fees to study nursing in Sweden. For more information, you can check University for university requirements and costs.

Step 5. Prepare to Apply

To be eligible for the program, you have to meet all entry requirements of the nursing school. It is best to prepare these in advance and make extra copies of your documents just in case. For example, to be eligible for the bachelor’s degree program at the University of Gothenburg, you should have a completed upper secondary or high school education, English language proficiency equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6, and Swedish proficiency equivalent of Swedish upper secondary course Svenska 3/Svenska som andraspråk 3. Most universities may also require a certain minimum grade in the upper secondary subjects.

Step 5. Submit Your Application to Nursing Schools

When you have completed all entry requirements, you can start sending out your application form and hope for some good news. The application is pretty much the same with all institutions.

For example, the University of Gothenburg only involves seven steps in the application procedure. First, search for a nursing program applicable on their site. Next, check that you meet all the entry requirements. Afterward, you can submit your application by applying through the Swedish National Admissions Portal.

For the fourth step, wait for an email confirmation that your application has been received and is being reviewed. Then, you will be notified of the selection results whether you passed their selection criteria or not. If you pass their selection process, you can now proceed to step six to pay for your tuition if you are required to.

The last step is registration. After receiving an acceptance letter, you must register to study nursing in Sweden. Lastly, the school sends out more information regarding your department, schedule, an introduction, and many more.

Step 7. Get your Student Visa Application Ready

The last and the most crucial step of studying nursing in Sweden is applying for a student visa. This requires a lot of documents to prepare and enough proof to show the embassy that you are capable of living and studying in Sweden. A student visa is also known as a residence permit. A residence permit is given to non-EU/EEA citizens staying more than 90 days for studies.

To apply for a residence permit, you have to make sure that the program you applied for is full-time. You have a written confirmation or acceptance offer, paid the first installment of tuition fees, health insurance, and a valid passport. In addition, you must submit the required documents such as payment receipt of residence permit application form, passport copy, letter of acceptance, proof of health insurance, proof of financial capacity.

You can apply through the immigration website on the Swedish Migration Agency website or at the local Swedish embassy in your country.

FAQs: Enrolling in a Nursing Program in Sweden

How Long Does It Take to Finish a Nursing Program in Sweden?

The duration of a Nursing undergraduate program in Sweden is three (3) years and it includes 180 ECTS credits. The curriculum for a Swedish Nursing program consists of the foundation of nursing, research studies, degree projects, and more courses. After these years, you can start processing your license and work inside the country.

What are the Requirements Needed to Study Nursing in Sweden for International Students?

The requirements needed to study nursing in Sweden may vary depending on your degree. But, in general, international students must prepare their academic and language proficiency tests results. Incoming undergraduate students should have completed high school with at least a 60% mark and completed mathematics courses equivalent to Sweden’s level of math. On the other hand, graduate students should have completed a bachelor’s degree in the same field of study.

International students should also provide a copy of their English proficiency test results, and they should have a score of 5.5 for the IELTS and 90 for the TOEFL. If the programs are in the Swedish language, you should also pass a Swedish proficiency tests like the Test in Swedish for University Studies (TISUS).

Other documents such as transcript of records, passport, letter of recommendation are also needed. The requirements in admissions may differ from each Swedish university, so make sure to complete and do your research.


We hope that this article on how to study nursing in Sweden was helpful. If you are interested in knowing more information like this, check out the Available Programs in Europe for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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