Advanced Practice Nursing in Finland

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*Finland will allow transferral of RN licensure from various parts of the EU (FNA)
Not able to find information regarding transferral of advanced practice degrees

Finnish Nurses Association
Terveydenhuollon Oikeusturvakeskus (National Authority for Medico-Legal Affairs)


The role of the Advanced Practice Nurse has developed over the years in Finland.  The initial discussions of advancing nursing practice in Finland started in the 1980’s (FNA, 2018).  Over time the advanced practice nursing role grew to two chief roles, that of the Advanced Nurse and Public Health Nurse, both of which were prepared with graduated level schooling (Delamaire & Lafortune, 2010).

Starting in 2001, the first Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) started practicing at the Helsinki University Hospital (FNA, 2018, p.29).  Since then the CNS role has grown significantly.  Meanwhile need to improve access for health care services for an aging population has promoted the advancement of the Nurse Practitioner role (NP / APN Network, 2017).

Meanwhile, Delamaire and Lafortune (2010), reported that Finland was of the top nations with the highest number of nurses per 1000 people in the country at 15.5; thus indicating a surplus of nurses.  Meanwhile, they indicated that Finland held a mildly below average ratio of doctors per capita (2.7 to 1000 people; European average was 2.8) (Delamaire & Lafortune, 2010).  As a result, Finland presents itself as good place to further develop the Advanced Practice Nursing role, with a higher ratio of nurses and a lower number of doctors per capita, similar to that of the United States and United Kingdom (Delamaire & Lafortune, 2010).

Specialties and Education

APNs have been working in various roles including rural healthcare, general practice, and acute care (Delamaire & Lafortune, 2010, FNA, 2018).  As described above, the roles of CNS and Nurse Practitioner are prevalent, but in addition to these registered nurses in Finland have the choice of specializing in various categories nearing graduation of nursing school in acute care, geriatric care, mental health, multi-cultural, pediatrics, palliative care and youth and adolescent care (Robinson & Griffiths, 2007, NP / APN Network, 2017).  Additionally, an individual can choose to be a nurse midwife with an additional year of schooling (Robinson & Griffiths, 2007).

Education for Advanced Practice Nurses in Finland produced it’s first graduates in 2006 (DeGeest et al., 2008; Fagerström & Glasberg, 2011).  Education for the registered nurse is comparable to various other EU nations, usually requires a bachelor degree typically taking 3.5 years, and 4 years for the public health nurse (Robinson & Griffiths, 2007; FNA, 2018).  The advanced degrees are available afterward to those who desire further advancement in scope of practice at the graduate level (Delamaire & Lafortune, 2010).  Registration for healthcare individuals within Finland is maintained by the National Authority for Medico-Legal Affairs (Terveydenhuollon Oikeusturvakeskus).

According to the Finnish Nurses Association (2018) the most developed roles of AP Ns in Finland are the Clinical Nurse Specialist and Nurse Practitioner.  Both roles are described as, “At the advanced level, independent clinical nursing and health promotion as well as the related ethical decision-making, teaching and instruction, consultation, evidence-based practices, management, cooperation, research, and development” (p.32).  In addition to this the roles are more clearly differentiated below:

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
    • The role has been in existence since 2001 in Finland (FNA, 2018, p.29).
    • CNSs are employed in various parts of the hospital systems in Finland, more predominantly at the university hospitals (FNA, 2018, p.29).
    • The role has four spheres: patient care, nursing organization, and scholarship.  Any of the CNS roles require a master’s level degree (NP / APN Network, 2017).
    • “Broad-based work aimed to ensure and develop the quality of nursing, foster the implementation of evidence-based nursing and support the organization’s strategic work.” (FNA, 2018, p.32)
  • Nurse Practitioner
    • The FNA (2018) identifies the Nurse Practitioner role as one that more specifically is, “Broad-based and comprehensive nursing, independent examination of patients and assessments of their need for care as well as starting treatment based on symptoms and monitoring both acute and chronic health conditions.” (p.32)
    • The role requires a master’s degree and primarily performed by APNs working in primary care.  Individuals can additionally pursue an academic post graduate degree (doctorate) (FNA, 2018, p.32).
    • The role is not nationally regulated, and as a result it varies according to organizational oversight.

Other roles identified NP / APN Network (2017) are:

  • Specialized Nurses in Clinical Practice
    • Roles largely reflect specialization in a specific area of concentration.  This requires 30-60 ETCS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) and provides advanced professional roles in the selected specialization (NP / APN Network, 2017).
    • The expanded roles are not regulated, and rather institution specific (NP / APN Network, 2017).
  • Nurse Prescriber
    • A role designated for limited prescribing of medications.  This is performed with physician oversight and requires 45 ECTS post graduate training in order to be able to have this permission (FNA, 2018, p.33).
    • According to the NP / APN Network (2017), most APNs in Finland do not have prescribing authority.

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References and Influential Articles:
De Geest, S., Moons, P., Callens, B., Gut., C., Lindpainter, L., & Sprig, R. (2008).  Introducting advanced practice nurses/nurse practitioners in health care systems: A framework for reflection and analysis.  Swiss Med Weekly, 138(43-44),621-628.

Delamaire, M. & Lafortune, G. (2010). Nurses in advanced roles: A description and evaluation of experiences in 12 developed countries.  OECD Health Working Papers, 54, OECD Publishing.

Fagerström, L. & Glasberg, A.L. (2011).  The first evaluation of the advanced practice nurse role in Finland – The perspective of nurse leaders.  Journal of Nursing Management, 19, 925-932.  doi:10.1111/j.1365-2834.2011.01280.x

Finnish Nurses Association [FNA] (2018). New roles for nurses – Quality to future social welfare and health care services.  Retrieved May 17, 2022 from:

HAI Europe (2012). The next chapter in promotion of healthcare professionals: Nurse prescribers [fact sheet]. Retrieved from:

Jokiniemi K. (2014). Clinical Nurse Specialist Role in Finnish Health Care. Dissertations in Health Science. U niversity of Eastern Finland. Available in:‐952‐61‐1579‐ 5/urn_isbn_978‐952‐61‐1579‐5.pdf

NP / APN Network (2017). Country specific practice profiles. Retrieved May 16, 2022 from:

Robinson, S. & Griffiths, P. (2007).  Nursing education and regulation: International profiles and perspectives [online publication].  Retrieved from:

Tynkkynen, L.K. (n.d.). Limited right for nurses to prescribe medication.  Health Policy Monitor.  Retrieved from:



Advanced Practice Nursing in France


APN Role Exists in Country Today:
In development

In development

Nationally Certified:

Recognize Foreign Licensure:

Treatment Authority:

Prescribing Authority:

Practice Autonomously:

French Advanced Practice Nursing Network (REPASI)
School of Public Health, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sante Publique, Paris [EHESP]
Université de Versailles, St-Quentin-en-Yvelines [UVSQY]


Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) in France has recently begun with the recent introduction in 2010 of graduate level education in the country (Bonnel, 2014).  The greatest motivator of developing the role of advanced practice nursing in France is to increase the access of the public to specialists, by increasing the number of specialists available and at a more affordable rate for an impending physician shortage (Bonnel, 2013; SNPI, 2013).  The goal of the APN role in France is to provide an “intermediary” professional to meet the medical needs within the country (Joel, 2013).  Based on the current education that is promoting this role, individuals are educated to (UVSQY, 2013):

  • Provide evaluation of patients with complex diseases
  • Diagnosis of health conditions
  • Provide disease specific treatments
  • Supervise collaboration with other health professionals
  • Develop and apply research to improve health care and outcomes
  • Develop educational methods to meet the needs of health care

While the country has been developing this role for several years, the greatest difficulties in establishing an APN role in France is that of agreement of what that role is to be and how the role will be solidified in the country (Joel, 2013).  At this time however, there is no protected title and educational programs are not consistent with their teachings according to a standard (Joel, 2013).  Since the role is in development, it is uncertain to what type of advance practice nursing each professional will work at resembling the nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or case management role (Bonnel, 2014).

Meanwhile, current momentum based on graduate level education has developed a group of Advanced Practice Educated nurses who are developing the foundation of their role in France.  According to Bonnel (2014), the French advanced practice nurses have initiated a nursing organization, the French Advanced Practice Nursing Network (REPASI) in collaboration with the current French nursing organization (Anfiide, 2014, February 24).

Education and Certification

Education for Advanced Practice Nurses in France has been minimally at the master level since 2010 at the School of Public Health, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sante Publique, Paris (Bonnel, 2014; Bellini & Cusson, 2012).   This program offers both master and doctoral degrees (Bellini & Cusson, 2012).  Since the beginning of graduate nursing education in France, a second program has also developed by the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines (SNPI, 2013).


Education for several specialties are offered for Advanced Practice Nurses in France (Bonnel, 2014; EHESP, 2013; SNPI, 2013):

  • Oncology
  • Gerontology
  • Psychiatric and Mental Health
  • Pain and Palliative Care
  • Chronic Illness

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Anfiide (2014, February 24).  Press release on the creation of the French Advanced Practice Nursing Network.  Retrieved from: file:///Users/administrator/Documents/Nurse%20Practitioner/Articles/International%20Nurse%20Practitioners/France/press_release_repasi_france.pdf

Bellini, S. & Cusson, R.M. (2012).  The doctor of nursing practice for entry into advanced practice.  Medscape.  Retrieved from:

Bonnel, G. (2013).  Evolvement of French advanced practice nurses.  Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (online publication).  doi: 10.1002/2327-6924.12061

Bonnel, G. (2014, June).  An American NP’s involvement in the French APN movement: Galadriel Bonnel.  AANP Members Abroad.  Retrieved from:

Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sante Publique [EHESP] (2013).  Masters in clinical nursing sciences [Google translated version].  Retrieved from:

Joel, L.A. (2013).  Advanced Practice Nursing: Essential of Role Development.  F.A. Davis.  Retrieved from:

Syndicat National des Professionnels Infirmiers [SNPI] (2013, October 13).  Master in clinical nursing: Foreign experience [Google translated version].  Retrieved from:

Université de Versailles, St-Quentin-en-Yvelines [UVSQY] (2013).  Clinical sciences master in nursing.  Retrieved from:

[First Published: 2013, October 29; Updated: 2014 June 29]

Advanced Practice Nursing in Japan


APN Role Exists in Country Today:

Nurse Midwife
Public Health Nurse
Certified Nurse
Certified Nurse Specialist

Nationally Certified:

Recognize Foreign Licensure:

Treatment Authority:

Prescribing Authority:

Practice Autonomously:

Japanese Nursing Association


Advanced Practice Nursing in Japan has been historically a reflection of a higher ratio of doctors and a low ratio of nurses per capita (Delamaire & Lafortune, 2008).

There are varying roles of advancement for nurses beyond that of the registered nurse and include: Nurse Midwife, Public Health Nurse, Certified Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse, and Certified Nurse Administrator.  The Nurse Midwife and Public Health Nurse roles, primarily resemble extensions of nursing practice, giving nurses a specialization in the subject.

In Japan, the roles that most closely resemble Advanced Practice Nursing are that of Certified Nurses and Certified Nurse Specialists.  The role of certified nurses reflects that of nurses who are educators, consultants for nursing care, and excellent care providers (JNA, n.d.).

The role of However, the APNs in Japan primarily resemble the role of clinical nurse specialists, as nurses can gain specific specialist knowledge on a subject (Japanese Nurses Association [JNA], n.d.).  According to the JNA, the role of the Certified Nurse Specialist (CNS) is to, “contribute to the development of healthcare and welfare as well as to improve nursing science by forwarding CNSs with specific advanced nursing knowledge and skills into society to provide high-level nursing care efficiently for individuals, families and groups having complex and intractable nursing problems.”

As a result, the role of the CNS in Japan reflects the following (JNA, n.d.):

  • Excellent nursing practice
  • Coordination with patients, families, and concerned individuals for healthcare
  • Consultation with nurses and physicians
  • Ethics coordination
  • Education of personnel, and
  • Clinical research

Currently there is no comparable role to that of a Nurse Practitioner (NPs) in Japan, but efforts have been underway to determine if such a role would be appropriate for the advancement of nursing practice in Japan and a pilot program to introduce Nurse Practitioners is underway (Bugle Newspapers, 2013; Kondo, 2013).  While physicians appear to be welcoming of the potential new role of an advanced nurse counterpart, the greatest barrier to such a role development is that of perceived lack of evidence that NPs should be able to practice autonomously (Kondo, 2013).

Education and Certification

There is national certification for registered nurses, public health nurses, and midwives in Japan, by which individuals can take the exam after completion of an appropriate school (Japanese Nursing Association, n.d.).  Education requirements vary according to the specialty, but individuals will be required to have an additional year of training to become a midwife or public health nurse (JNA, n.d.).  As Japan has both 3-year nursing certificate and 4-year bachelor degree options to become a registered nurse, some programs offer a dual nursing and midwife or public health nurse bachelor option as a 4-year program.

To become a CNS, an individual is required to be educated at the master level (JNA, n.d.).  National certification is available through the JNA (n.d.) for the CNS’s, which is available to individuals after they have completed an accredited masters program and achieved a specified level of experience.


The various specialties of Advanced Practice Nurses currently certified in Japan are the following (JNA, n.d.):

  • Cancer nursing
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Gerentological Nursing
  • Child Health Nursing
  • Women’s Health Nursing
  • Chronic Care Nursing
  • Critical Care Nursing
  • Infection Control Nursing
  • Family Health Nursing
  • Home Care Nursing

The various specialties Certified Nurses are (JNA, n.d.):

  • Emergency Nursing
  • Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing
  • Intensive Care
  • Palliative Care
  • Cancer Chemotherapy Nursing
  • Cancer Pain Management Nursing
  • Visiting Nursing
  • Infection Control
  • Diabetes Nursing
  • Infertility Nursing
  • Neonatal Intensive Care
  • Dialysis Nursing
  • Perioperative Nursing
  • Breast Cancer Nursing
  • Dysphagia Nursing
  • Pediatric Emergency Nursing
  • Demential Nursing
  • Stroke Rehabilitation Nursing
  • Radiation Therapy Nursing
  • Chronic Respiratory Nursing
  • Chronic Heart Failure Nursing

Have information to add to this page?

Bugle Newspapers (2013, October 1).  Japanese Nursing Association Visits St. Francis.  Retrieved from:

Delamaire, M. & Lafortune, G. (2010). Nurses in advanced roles: A description and evaluation of experiences in 12 developed countries.  OECD Health Working Papers, 54, OECD Publishing.

Japanese Nurses Association (n.d.).  Nursing in Japan.  Retrieved October 1, 2013 from:

Kondo, A. (2013).  Advanced practice nurses in Japan: Education and Related Issues.  Journal of Nursing Care, S5(4),1-6.  doi:10.4172/2167-1168.S5-004