Sosiaali- ja terveysalan perustutkinto | Sosiaali- ja terveysala

Practical Nurse | Vocational Qualification in Social and Health Care

Start your studies in English and proceed to Vocational Qualification in Social and Health Care in Finnish.


Type of qualification:

Vocational upper secondary qualification

Apply period:

04.09.2023 - 22.09.2023

Scope of studies:

180 (osp)

Start date:



2 - 3 years

Mode of studying:

Contact teaching, in English




Joensuu Peltola

Contact teaching days:

The qualification includes full-time studying as well as practical training periods. The classes are held during daytime (Monday-Friday).


Vocational Qualification in Social and Health Care with the competence area of care and rehabilitation for the elderly produces competence to work for example in home care, care homes for the elderly, day centres, inpatient wards in health centres and dementia units.

The first part of the training will be in English added with intensive Finnish studies.

The training also includes studies supporting learning skills, study techniques and social skills. During the studies, the language will gradually change to Finnish as your Finnish language skills develop. Eventually you will complete your vocational qualification in Finnish and graduate as a practical nurse, lähihoitaja in Finnish.

Vocational Qualification in Social and Health care is a regulated professional under both the Act and Decree on Health Care Professionals and the Act on Social Care Professionals.

Practical nurse training will be carried out at our modern, well-equipped premises in Riveria, Joensuu. An important part of the training will be on-the-job learning periods in the health care companies and public organizations in the area.

Program composition of Practical Nurse

The scope of the studies is 180 competence points (cp) is composed of vocational units (145cp) and common units (35cp).

Vocational units
Promoting growth and participation (25 cp.)
Promoting wellbeing and functional capacity (30 cp.)
Working in home care (40 cp.)
Promoting the participation of older people (35 cp.)
Optional vocational modules (15 cp)

Common units
Communication and interaction skills (11 cp)
Competence in mathematics and natural sciences (6 cp)
Society and working life skills (9 cp)
Optional common modules (9 cp)

A personal study development plan is made for each student based on his/ her previous experience and studies.

See National Qualification Requirements below (in Finnish):

Tutkinnon perusteet

Who can apply?

- You are at least 18 years of age
- High school certificate or the general school-leaving certificate
- Certificate of the international English test Duolingo (see below)
- Good IT-skills
- Good physical and mental condition to study and work as practical nurse
- Enough funds for living expenses on the applicant’s account to be presented for the immigration office for the resident permit. More information on Finnish Immigration Service.

Please note that you can only apply to one of our English programs.

Student selection

Applicaton procedure

1. Take Duolingo English test
Every applicant needs to have a  Duolingo English test score (85 points minimum) submitted during applying. Take the test before applying unless you already have an international Duolingo English certificate. We don't accept any other tests, diplomas or qualifications as proof of language skill.

The Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken in under an hour. The test is taken via a computer with a camera and includes a proficiency score, video interview and writing sample. Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session.

On DUOLINGO TEST choose Riveria school and save the certificate to attach to your application (not by email). You must pay the test certificate yourself.

2. Record a max. 2-minute video where you answer the following questions:
- What are your expectations for the training?
- Why would you like to study in this training?
- What kind of challenges you might have in studying and living abroad?
- What kind of job and where do you dream of after the studies?

Add the video link on your application form. Videos submitted otherwise will not be accepted. More detailed instructions for the video will be found on the application form.

3. Attach Certificates of your previous education and employment as well as Duolingo English test certificate to the application.

Fill out the application form accurately. Upload all required documents before saving the form. Clicking the save button sends the form after which editing the application is no longer possible. Incomplete applications will be cancelled.

Student selection

The applicants to be interviewed will be selected based on the application, Duolingo English test and the motivation video. The interviews will be organized online via Teams. Invitation to the interview will be sent by email.

The students will be selected on the basis of the interview.


Application period: September 4th to 22nd, 2023
Interviewees selection: October 9th to 13th, 2023
Interviews (online): October 24th to 27th, 2023
Student selection: by November 10th, 2023
Start of the training: January 17th, 2024

We do not respond to inquiries about ongoing application processes.

An admission letter will be sent to the selected new students. The admission letter includes information about the required health documents and instructions on how to apply for a residence permit.

See also: Studying in Riveria.

Basic education and costs

Minimum of 85 points in Duolingo English test

High school certificate or the general school-leaving certificate

The Vocational Qualification in Social and Health Care includes medical health requirements to ensure that the applicant is capable of studying and on-the-job learning in terms of his or her state of health or functional capacity.

The student’s state of health and functional capacity may not compromise the safety of the clients, employees or other students.

When applying you will be asked to report potential obstacles related to your state of health or functional capacity.

Restrictions and obstacles on student admission may be:
- current untreated psychosis or severe depressive disorder, or other illness impairing mental health and ability to function in a practical educational setting
- musculo-skeletal disorders, injuries or other conditions limiting physical health and capacity to function, which prevent a person from performing practical training tasks and assignments
- a disabling skin condition, such as chronic rash that prevents a person from performing training tasks and assignments
- problematic substance abuse or addiction

The aim of the SORA regulations is to improve the safety of education and working life.

Additional information at Applicant's health and functional capacity (available in Finnish only).

The student incurs costs for material fees, housing and travel expenses.
Riveria has no scholarships or other financial aid options available.

After graduation

This qualification will give you a good basis for continuing studies at a university level.

Qualification holders work in home care, care homes for the elderly, day centres, inpatient wards in health centres and dementia units.