American or Swedish nursing education?

  1. 0 Hello, everyone! Long time reader, first time posting! :typing This is a bit long and winded, so please bear with me!

    Well, I am currently a pre-nursing student, and trying to navigate my way through my nursing education.

    Let me start from the beginning... I was born in Stockholm, Sweden to a Swedish father, and an American mother. Since I was born on Swedish soil, I am a Swedish citizen until the day I die. However, since I was also born to an American parent, I am also an American citizen by default. So, dual citizenship. Moving on... I was raised in America. English is my first language. I lived most of my years in the Southern California and Detroit areas, moving around quite a bit. After I graduated high school, I came back to Sweden to live with my older brother and his family. I am currently learning Swedish, and will be completely fluent soon.

    Lately, my family has been discussing with me what I want to do about my education. I have two options:

    A) Stay in Sweden, and recieve my education here. The education system here in Sweden is practically free for all of its citizens, which is a big upside to consider in this terrible economy. If I become a registered nurse in Sweden, I am free to practice anywhere in the EU (European Union) that I choose, but if I ever decide to go back to America, I am going to need to be completely re-certified, from what I have been told. (If you have heard otherwise, I'd love to hear from you!)

    B) Go back to America, and apply for school there. I would need to apply for every scholarship known to man, take out several loans, and probably work two jobs, in order to make this fesible (my parents are not going to be able to help me whatsoever with my education, because the economy has really hit them hard). I am willing to do this; I'm driven, can run on very little sleep (hence why I can be a nurse! tee hee ), and a very hard worker. If I become a registered nurse in America, and ever decide to go back to Sweden, I am more likely to be able to work without needing to be re-certified, just tested to be sure I am up to standard.

    Soo... *takes a breath*

    At this point, you are probably smacking your forehead thinking "Is this girl nuts? She has a completely free education at her fingertips, and is still considering putting herself into debt for the next ten years just to live in America!?"

    Well, this is my dilemma.. I do enjoy it here in Sweden. The people are wonderful, the scenery is breathtaking. But I really do feel like America is home to me. My entire family (save for my brother, his kids, and a few aunts and uncles here in Sweden) live in the United States. I have many friends and a boyfriend (a current nursing student ) there, and I think it really may just be where I belong.

    I am also trying to take my future into consideration. The average nurse in Sweden makes roughly 38,000 to 48,000 (American dollars) a year, at the highest. And that is before taxes, which for us is about 27%. But this also covers our health care, child care, and everything else. We don't need to worry about job benefits.

    So... This is where all you fine folks come in. I am in dire need of some outside opinions. I've read through what seems like thousands of threads, and you all are just incredible. Your stories are inspiring, and I really hope I can hear back from you with some insight into my situation. Thank you again!!
  2. Visit  c3p0 profile page

    About c3p0

    From 'Stockholm'; Joined Sep '09; Posts: 14; Likes: 21.

    11 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  traumaRUs profile page
    0
    I would go with your heart - it seems like you are saying that you are more comfortable in the US.
  4. Visit  **~pouty~** profile page
    0
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I would go with your heart - it seems like you are saying that you are more comfortable in the US.

    i definitely agree. go with your heart!
  5. Visit  c3p0 profile page
    0
    It's true, I do feel more comfortable in America. It's nothing against Sweden, I would definitely stay here if I could have my family and friends here. But I keep feeling this pressure from my family that I should stay in Sweden for my education, since it's free, and just suck it up if I end up going back to America, when it comes to starting all over again. "At least then you will have savings to PAY for the classes, and not put yourself into debt," I am being told. Which, yes, makes sense. But I don't want to go through nursing school twice!! After the horror stories I've heard, I'm hoping to get through it the ONE time! Haha

    I think my family just feels guilty that they can't afford to put me through school, or at least help me, which is why they are really encouraging me to stay.
  6. Visit  c3p0 profile page
    0
    And I'm sorry if I am coming off as ungrateful for the opportunity to have this free education. I just don't want to study and be stuck in a country that I don't have 100% commitment to living in, you know?
  7. Visit  c3p0 profile page
    0
    You know what, you guys are right. America really feels like home to me, and that's where I'm going to stay. If I ever change my mind, at least it will be easier to get back into nursing in Sweden!

    Plus I gotta get back to that boyfriend of mine, there's no way I could ask him to make that long distance relationship a more permanent fixture! Haha

    So now the adventure begins... Jobs, student loans, community college... I can't wait.

    Thank you all so much for your help, you've been wonderful, as always.
  8. Visit  tothepointeLVN profile page
    0
    I would study in Sweden then move to the US. You would only need to apply for and take the NCLEX since you already have a SSN it would not be as hard as most immigrants.

    If I wasn't happily married I would have gone back to NZ to get my nursing education in a heartbeat.
  9. Visit  c3p0 profile page
    0
    Quote from tothepointe
    I would study in Sweden then move to the US. You would only need to apply for and take the NCLEX since you already have a SSN it would not be as hard as most immigrants.

    If I wasn't happily married I would have gone back to NZ to get my nursing education in a heartbeat.

    I was told I only qualified to take the NCLEX with proof of scholarly activity here in the U.S.
  10. Visit  tothepointeLVN profile page
    0
    Well that can't be true otherwise every nurse that immigrated to the US would have to retrain here. I believe if you have a BSN from another country you can take the foreign certification exam and then the NCLEX. I'm not sure all the fine details but someone on the foreign nurses board would know.
  11. Visit  c3p0 profile page
    0
    Quote from tothepointe
    Well that can't be true otherwise every nurse that immigrated to the US would have to retrain here. I believe if you have a BSN from another country you can take the foreign certification exam and then the NCLEX. I'm not sure all the fine details but someone on the foreign nurses board would know.

    Alright, thank you!!
  12. Visit  rainydaydream profile page
    0
    I would train where you want to live. The posters above gave good reasons, but it also seems less than ethical to receive a free education in nursing with no intention of using it in that country...
  13. Visit  joyouter profile page
    0
    Quote from rainydaydream
    I would train where you want to live. The posters above gave good reasons, but it also seems less than ethical to receive a free education in nursing with no intention of using it in that country...
    Your choices are difficult especially as Sweden is so beautiful, particularly in summer. We have a home in Sweden but I work in North America. I have worked in Sweden, pending license. There are significant differences in nursing education between Sweden and the US, however the gaps are rapidly closing. University degrees for nursing exist at Stockholm university, Lund, Uppsala to name a few extremely reputable and research oriented universities all linked to the EU and to North America. Today, it is equally important to be pragmatic and develop multiple aspects and opportunities in career building.. Why turn down a Swedish university education and language building advantage? You don't know where you may choose to work in the future. Both countries offer supreme opportunities. Sweden has a wonderful quality of life, unique to that country. The US has benchmarked nursing in many unique and wonderful ways, for nursing education in other countries especially. Your degree can be evaluated in the US and any gaps addressed through nursing board exams / nursing schools. If finance is a concern, there is no reason to engage in debt accumulation, particularly in a time of global recession, when this can be strategically addressed through your unique opportunity as a Swedish citizen. A combination of both backgrounds holds significant strengths for a new nurse. Lycka till ( good luck to you),


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