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Place of study

Practical Nurse

Work and career opportunities

A Practical Nurse with the competence area of Care and Rehabilitation for Elderly People enhances the client's functional capacity in everyday life and promotes the social inclusion of the elderly and demented. Willingness to help and showing respect and interest in the well-being of others is important.

Good interaction skills, responsibility, creativity and the ability to solve problems as well as make decisions are important characteristics for a practical nurse. Good cooperation skills are also required since practical nurses work in a team. A practical nurse is able to work in professional interaction and in multiprofessional and multicultural operating environments.

Typical workplaces for practical nurses specialised in elderly care are in home care, nursing homes, assisted living buildings, day centres, health centre wards, hospitals, dementia wards as well as geriatric and psychogeriatric wards. Their job may be found in the public, private or third sector.

A practical nurse with a Vocational Qualification in Social and Health Care is a regulated professional.

After graduating, you are eligible to apply to universities or universities of applied sciences for further studies.

Students and workers within the social welfare and health care sector need to have valid vaccinations according to the Communicable Diseases Act 1227/2016. Students may obtain vaccination certificates at their local health care center or from the students’ health care center at YA vocational college. If the student doesn’t have a valid certificate, it may pose an obstacle to participating in on-the-job learning periods within the social welfare and health care sector. 

Structure of studies

The practical nurse studies are arranged in close cooperation with local companies and organisations within the social welfare and health care sector. The education includes studies in various learning environments and is developed based on needs in working life. The qualification consists of different modules in which the requirements of vocational skills are defined.

The basic vocational qualification (in total 180 competence points) in the field of health and welfare consists of vocational studies (145 competence points) and common studies (35 competence points). 

The common studies include: 

  • Skills in communication and interaction
  • Skills in mathematics and natural sciences
  • Skills in societal and working life competences.

The studies also include optional studies totalling 15 competence points.The student graduates when all modules of the studies have been finished and approved.

More information:

Your road to vocational qualification

This vocational education is especially well suited for you who are a permanently resident of Finland and whose native language is another than Swedish or Finnish. You will, however need to understand and speak some Swedish and/or Finnish to be able to work in Finland. Swedish is the main language at the Vocational College of Ostrobothnia (YA),  and our aim is to considerably improve your Swedish communication skills during your studies.

Your studies start with a discussion with your responsible teacher where your previous studies and practical experience are mapped and then assessed as to how they correspond to the qualification’s requirements. If you already have relevant skills, they can be assessed and approved as such, or proven by a vocational test. The skills you still need to obtain you will study in various learning environments. Together we will define a personal development plan for your studies that includes and defines the compulsory and optional modules needed for your qualification.

Throughout your studies and vocational tests, you will receive guidance and support.



A supplement to your exam can be obtained for international use: the Europass Certificate Supplement. The supplement includes information about the contents of the studies, vocational competence and qualifications. The Europass supplement is available in Finnish, Swedish and English.


The studies and the different modules are implemented in close cooperation with working and business life, with other vocational education providers and authorities, as well as within the scope of our international operations.


This education cannot be applied for via the Joint Application!


We do not accept applications nor related documentation outside an application period.

We will not open up for questions until a new application period starts.

Criteria for acceptance

Criteria for acceptance:

  • You have finished your basic education.
  • Your English language skills are on a good level. (Please be prepared to present a certificate of English language skills or of an exam carried out in English).
  • A good level of Swedish and/or Finnish language skills is considered an advantage
  • Motivated to study
  • After your application and before possible acceptance, you will be called for an interview and a language test.
  • Language level in English: Reading comprehension: B1.1 | Written skills.: B1.1 | Listening comprehension: B1.1 | Oral skills.: B1.1
  • Mental or physical health issues that may prevent the student from taking part in and executing the practical parts of the studies can also pose an obstacle to being accepted. (“Sora”legislation). Read more regarding the health issues in question here (in Finnish).

Those who are admitted to the education receives a certificate of admission, which is needed for the residence permit application. The practical nurse studies are carried out on campus in Vaasa for about 2.5-3 years until graduation. 

Note that admitted students need to be able to present a residence permit for studies before the studies start.

More information about how to apply for a residence permit for studies can be found in this link to Migri's guide for students.

40 € / term

Contact information


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