A vocational qualification provides good capabilities for working life. Vocational studies in Finland lead to this type of qualification. STEP Education offers practical nurse education and training in Finnish.
Practical nurse education and training
Practical nurse training teaches you comprehensive skills and a profession with good employment opportunities. Practical nurses care for disabled persons of all ages and work with the elderly wherever they are being cared for. As a practical nurse, you will be working close to people.
Practical nurses should have good interaction skills, a strong sense of responsibility, creativity and the ability to solve problems as well as make decisions. Good co-operation skills are also required since practical nurses work in a team. A practical nurse is able to work effectively in professional interaction situations and in multiprofessional and multicultural operating environments.
Practical nurses work in a broad range of jobs in the fields of social services, health care and education. They adhere to shared values and professional ethics. In their work, practical nurses have a responsibility primarily to the customer or patient, but also to society as a whole.
The basic vocational qualification (total of 180 competence points) in the field of health and welfare consists of vocational studies (145 competence points) and general studies (35 competence points).
• Promoting growth and participation, 25 competence points
• Promoting well-being and functional capacity, 30 competence points
STEP Education provides three competence areas and you need to choose one of them:
1) Competence area of Care for the Disabled, 75 competence points,
2) Competence area of Nursing and Care, 75 competence points or
3) Competence area of Care and Rehabilitation for Elderly People, 75 competence points
General studies (35 competence points):
• 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 completed and approved.
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The practical nurse studies are arranged in close co-operation 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 the needs of working life. The qualification consists of different modules in which the requirements of vocational skills are defined. The studies include several periods of practical training in various workplaces.
Students and workers within the social welfare and health care sector need to have valid vaccinations according to the Communicable Diseases Act 1227/2016. 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.
Your personal competence development plan
Your studies start with a discussion with your supervising teacher, who clarifies your previous studies and practical experience and assesses their correlation 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. Any skills you still need to obtain will be acquired 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.
Practical nurses are both health care and social care professionals with a protected occupational title.
Qualifying as a practical nurse opens up many doors in the labour market. The social welfare and health care sector provide a wide variety of jobs for which practical nurses have the required upper secondary level qualification. The qualification of practical nurse also provides the general eligibility for higher education.
Practical nurses work in hospitals, health care centres, home care, nursing and residential homes, assisted housing and in all types of care units.
Most practical nurses work for the public sector and are employed by municipalities. Growing numbers of practical nurses are working for private service providers. Some practical nurses are self-employed professionals or entrepreneurs.
The application for the practical nurse studies is submitted directly to STEP Education.
Criteria for acceptance
• You have finished your basic education
• Your Finnish language skills are at the B 1.2. level.
Mental or physical health issues that may prevent the student from taking part in and executing the practical aspects of the studies can also pose an obstacle to being accepted. STEP Education as a training provider has a responsibility to promote occupational safety during as well as after the training. In this work, STEP Education operations are guided by the national SORA regulations.
The SORA regulations promote:
• the safety of the students themselves and of the school and work community
• patient and client safety
• transport safety
• the safety of minors.
The health or functional capacity of the applicant must not be an obstacle to admission. However, in the qualifications referred to in the SORA regulations, the applicant must meet the conditions set out in the regulations regarding health and functional capacity and previous cancellations of the right to study.
When assessing suitability, STEP Education wants to ensure that its operating models are accessible, equal and fair, responsible, preventive and collaborative. The regulations and operating models apply to vocational education and training.
At STEP Education, data concerning health status may only be processed by persons who make decisions on admission and prepare for the withdrawal and restoration of the right to study.
Further information on SORA legislation can be found at the Finnish National Agency for Education https://www.oph.fi/sites/default/files/documents/oph-5-2018_sora_maarays_muutoksineen.pdf
About STEP Education in Pieksämäki
STEP Education in Pieksämäki is located in the middle of the lake region in Southern Savo and has good transport connections. The City of Pieksämäki has approximately 17,400 inhabitants. STEP Education in Pieksämäki is a private educational campus, specialising in social and health care education as well as in the humanisties. The college has long traditions, e.g., in youth and children’s work as well in the area of social services. The Pieksämäki campus has access to High-Fidelity Patient Simulation, also known as simulation training.
STEP Education Pieksämäki employs approx. 50 people. The number of students in long-term education is approx. 780 each year. The daily number of students on campus totals 50–80. In addition, several hundred people participate in short-term education, different courses and other events every year.
STEP Education shares its campus area and co-operates closely with Valona hyvinvointi (Valona welfare). Valona has 65 enhanced service housing places for elderly people and provides foster care for children. The campus area also houses an Addiction Development Unit run by the Church Resources Agency.
- Free accommodation
Our Pieksämäki campus has its own dormitory for students. Residency in the dormitory, including the use of electricity and water, is free of charge for international students. An application for residency in the campus dormitory can be submitted once a student has been accepted to the programme. The dormitory counsellors support and help students with everyday issues and organise leisure activities.
Any student living in the dormitory is provided breakfast, lunch and dinner, free of charge, every weekday (Mon–Fri) at the school from August until May.
- Approx. 15 min walk from the campus to the food shops and other services in Pieksämäki.
- Approx. 30 min walk (2.5 km) from the campus to the train station.
- Pieksämäki – Jyväskylä 87 km, Pieksämäki – Helsinki 306 km
- Meet and greet at the airport: We'll guide you from there!
- Well-organized first weeks including tutoring at school, introduction to our town and help finding free time hobbies
- Cozy, college environment where help is always available!
Welcome to our warm community!