Where are our graduates now?

Floro Cubelo, Registered Nurse (City District Hospitals), Nurse Lecturer in one of the Polytechnic University of Applied Sciences, Bachelor of Health Care (Degree Programme in Nursing), School of Health and Social Sciences

After graduating from the Bachelor of Health Care programme in one of the University of Applied Sciences, I was able to practice my profession as a Registered Nurse in different parts of Finland in the fields of first aid, infection care, research and rehabilitation and acute care for four years and the counting. Working in Finnish language is demanding but it has enriched my nursing experience most especially when you have the phone for emergency duties as a charge nurse.

While working as a Registered Nurse, I have noticed that there are only few (Filipino) Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) working in the places I have been leading to a broader curiosity to conduct an evidence-based research on the challenges of these nurses. University of Eastern Finland, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition with the cooperation of the Department of Nursing Science has helped me materialised this research.

While studying, I did my public health internship programme as a nurse teacher. Before graduating with my MPH Degree, I was contacted by an international coordinator whether I can do a full-time teaching position in the international degree programme in nursing by the start of autumn 2019. I went to the normal recruitment process of the polytechnic university and luckily got accepted with the lecturer position. Now, I get the chance to teach evidence-based nursing, basics of nursing, gerontological nursing, client-centred approach in social and health services, counselling in health promotion, multicultural work in social and healthcare services and simulations in both basics of nursing practice and medical nursing practice. Supervising students in their clinical practice was also an opportunity given by the university. It feels very fulfilling to share back and pass on the knowledge to the next generation of future nurses at this very young age.

Once I stepped to the soil of Finland, I have promised myself to become a nurse lecturer in any Polytechnic University of Applied Sciences in the country and share back the richness of education in one of the highly respected education systems in the world. While most of the foreigners quit and leave the country, I have never relinquished the battle towards my dreams. Although the path was like an alkitrán from the very beginning, I have exhausted my fullest potential to solve the mysteries of the puzzle that is to empower the younger generation and internationally educated nurses living in Finland. This has been a challenging path for me to take because no one has dared to bring it to a national discussion. With the help of the strong evidence-based practices, it is time to raise our voice. I want to re-echo this not for competition but to find a solution that has been stranded in the middle of nowhere for the past decades.

One day, wherever I go or decide to choose to stay in Finland, I am satisfied and fulfilled with the path I have taken in the country. With the current teaching position I have as a young person, I am ready to grow and seize opportunities the nursing education field has to offer.

Anndra Margareth Dumo, Doctoral student, assistant researcher at the Department of Nursing Science & Family Practitioner at the Siun Sote - Northern Karelia Social Services and Health Services Authority

Investing education in Finland opens non-stop opportunities!

After graduating from Master’s Degree in Health Promotion in Nursing Science at the University of Eastern Finland, I was accepted as one of the international doctoral students in the Department of Nursing Science, UEF and this gives me the opportunity to work in a multi-disciplinary research team and international collaborative research. The Siun Sote - Northern Karelia Social Services and Health Services Authority has also offered me a training to work as one of their family practitioners to care for people with special needs and disabilities. The Biomedicine Department has given me the chance to enhance and upgrade my skills by giving me laboratory training which I need in my doctoral studies. The Clinical Nutrition Department has offered me to work with them in Quinoa Project as a nurse researcher. The Nursing Science Department give me a chance to work with them in INEXCA Project which focused on cancer care research and the opportunity to do student tutoring and many more. I am also a member of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG) which is dedicated to fostering the scientific and professional growth of nurses in human genetics and genomics worldwide.

Mina Azimirad, Doctoral student and assistant researcher at the Department of Nursing Science

I came a really long way to grab the opportunity of studying the Master’s degree of Health Promotion in Nursing Science at University of Eastern Finland. I was perusing my dream and never quite exactly knew what to expect. The friendly atmosphere of the department took me by surprise from the very first day. Studying in an environment that fades away your stress and gives you the self-confident that you need to become better. The awesome lecturers and professors of the university, especially the department of Nursing Science, were kindly patient to all of my mistakes along the way, which by the way now seem ridiculously simple to me. I would say, my studying experience here prepared me for the future that I was always hoping for. Now, I am lucky enough to be a PhD candidate and assistant researcher at the department and I hope future holds more good surprises for me.

But no matter what happens in future, I still had one of the most wonderful experiences of my life by studying here. High quality education system of UEF which pushes you forward to use the sources and dare to give your own opinions on them, compare them together, be critical and give suggestions. It truly gives courage and motivation and improves critical thinking, being innovative and having good writing skills. I also was sent on an exchange student program to Ireland for one semester. I graduated from Master's degree in 2015 and immediately got accepted for PhD in the same year. Along the way, new opportunities showed up such as being an assistant researcher at UEF. Now not only I enjoy working on a subject that I truly care about for my PhD under the supervision of my respected supervisor, I also get to be involved with new projects and researches which are going on at the department.

Rajeswari Sankaranarayanan, Doctoral student at the Institute of Dentistry, University of Eastern Finland

I am a dentist from India with some experience in a clinical setting. I earned my MPH from the University of Eastern Finland between 2012 and 2014 along with an internship with the Cochrane Occupational Safety and Health Review Group (OSH), Finland. Since graduating from the Master 's programme, I have been working as a junior researcher at the Department of Dentistry and I am currently a PhD student in the Department of Dentistry at the University of Eastern Finland. I chose this Master ’s programme because it integrates a broad set of public health disciplines with the option to concentrate on areas based on my own interests. The programme at the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition has enriched my learning experiences because of its cutting-edge research and the opportunities to apply what I have learnt. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme has helped me to pursue further research in my specialty (dentistry).

Ruth Stephen, Doctoral student at the Department of Neurology, University of Eastern Finland​

The MPH at UEF has offered a decisive path to a meaningful and impactful career. I remember being a novice in epidemiology, scientific writing and statistical software. The Master ’s programme equipped me with these skills and has been a stepping stone in the world of research. A subject-specific and well-designed curriculum and outstanding teaching expertise made intensive and quality learning a great experience for me. Excellent supervision during my Master ’s thesis project encouraged me to question, think, and reason, critically and scientifically. The programme also facilitated my research-based internship. The dynamic, inspiring and supportive atmosphere in the Department,along with active interaction and sharing of ideas have been instrumental in enhancing my confidence as a PhD student. The training I received as a public health professional through this programme has guided my smooth transition to a career in dementia research. 

Rachel Robinson, Evaluation Assistant, ECHA (European Chemicals Agency)

I completed my MPH at the University of Eastern Finland in June 2015. I carried out my Master `s thesis with the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (TTL) under the guidance of the Cochrane Work Review Group, a connection that I gained through my professors at UEF. My thesis was then published in the Cochrane Library. After graduation, I continued to work for the Cochrane Review Group as a research assistant, writing systematic reviews. In September 2015, I moved to Helsinki to start as a trainee for ECHA. I was later hired as an interim evaluation assistant in substance evaluation. My time at UEF gave me a good understanding of global public health challenges, provided me with a highly valuable scientific writing skill set, and prepared me for working in an international EU agency thanks to the multicultural learning environment.

Dr. Victor Nyange Bakhoya, Sexual and Reproductive Health Coordinator, United Nations Population Fund, Tanzania

I graduated from the University of Eastern Finland in November 2011. The knowledge and experience from my studies have helped my advance in my career as a medical doctor and public health officer serving in different countries as a humanitarian aid worker. Since graduation, I have worked in the following positions:

1. Inter-Agency Sexual and Reproductive Health Coordinator- United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Burundi Refugee Situation, Kigoma Region, Tanzania
2. Health Operations Coordinator – Rapid Response Teams (IOM, South Sudan)
3. Health and Nutrition Programme Manager (World Relief/Global Relief Alliance, Sudan, West Darfur, Republic of the Sudan)
4. Health and Nutrition Coordinator (Islamic Relief Worldwide, Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya)
5. Health and Clinical Services Coordinator (Kenya Red Cross Society, IFO 1 and 2 Dadaab Refugee Camps, Kenya)
6. Hospital Director/Medical Officer GIZ/UNHCR (IFO Hospital, Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya)

Alex Aregbesola, PhD student, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, UEF

I completed my Master ’s Degree Programme in Public Health at the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition in May 2012. I enrolled on this programme in September 2010 with a high expectation to acquire the knowledge and skills required to conduct health-related research, especially in the area of chronic diseases. I was particularly fascinated with the vast human and material resources available during my MPH programme. As I have always wanted parallel careers as a scientist and physician, the MPH programme provided an extremely useful platform for me to start a career as an independent researcher, and it has help me to produce some scientific publications and to enrol in a PhD degree programme that will be completed 2016.

Sushil Basnet, Programme Officer, Research Triangle Institute International

Being selected as a public health student at University of Eastern Finland and living in Finland was a wide-ranging experience. Student-friendly learning activities; a comprehensive curriculum; student-oriented facilities in the library, the learning centre, the campus restaurant and in class-rooms; access to millions of research papers and publications; a student friendly-environment; the university being located near to the city centre and student housing and the wide variety of social activities offered by the Student Union were some of the key highlights of my stay at the Kuopio Campus of the University of Eastern Finland.

I realised the actual accomplishment I had made after returned to my home country, Nepal, and started working. A few months after my return, Nepal was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, causing thousands of deaths and massive loss of property. I worked with organisations that were involved in activities both during and after the earthquake. One of the courses I took during my degree programme, Public Health in Humanitarian Crises, helped me to perform response activities. Currently I am working as a program officer in the Health for Life Project (H4L) managed by Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International, which aims to support the Nepalese government 's capacity to plan, manage and deliver high-quality and equitable family planning, maternal, newborn and child health services through strengthening the public health system. The knowledge and skills I gained from courses like; Research Methodology, Disaster Management, International Health, Epidemiology, Health, Culture and Society, Public Health Management, and Health Policy, have enriched my understanding and encouraged me to perform my current professional duties that will help develop my future career. I encourage other students to join the international Master `s programme in Public Health at the University of Eastern Finland.