Thursday, June 14, 2012

Erik says I owe you this one

When you last saw our heroes, they were crumpled in the middle of the living room floor, weeping over the idiocy of Norwegian bureaucrats. Rest assured, gentle readers, your heroes have risen to battle once again. Because it's either that or. . . well, yeah. Not many other options.

Erik told me I owe you all an update, so you don't think we have been completely beaten down by The Man. We have made some promising connections, and are allowing ourselves to be the slightest bit hopeful. Turns out Erik's boss is a rather well-connected guy. Turns out he kind of values Erik's work and wants to keep him around. Turns out Erik won't be staying around much longer if his wife has to work as an underemployed, underpaid nursing assistant. A few emails were exchanged, and a few days later a nursing researcher and former head of the nursing department from a local college came walking through our front door. Literally. (The door was wide open, because it was such a beautiful evening). Turns out she lives about 200m away.

We gave her a large two-ring binder (yes, they only have 2 rings in Norway, not 3) that chronologically  detailed the application, judgement, appeal, request for information, information supplied, judgement, appeal, summary of appeal, special appeal and final judgement of the past 20 months. She has apparently butted heads with SAFH in the past, and has dealt with other foreign-educated nurses seeking approval of their nursing education. As we sat around our dining room table, giving her a few details of my education and work experience, as well as the final judgment from the appeal board, she kept repeating "Unbelievable. . . Horrifying."

As the final appeal verdict stated, I essentially need to enroll in a nursing school again. But the nursing schools have the flexibility to approve courses from other educational institutions (something that SAFH claims they can do, but never actually do).

So, that's where we stand. A glimmer of hope.


  1. More than a glimmer of hope, knowing how important connections are over here, Emily :-)

    1. We just don't allow ourselves more than a glimmer right now Ken! We've been disappointed too many times before!

  2. Hello Emily!
    I'm midwife from Estonia. I graduated this year, but unfortunately Estonia doesn't need as many midwifes(We had 20 graduates and only 4 of us got job). So i can't do my after graduation trainig in Estonia ( since graduation i have worked as CRNA-but this is not what i want and what i dream about, i loved practicing in labour wards and prenatal centres). Do you know is it even possible that, some hospitals in Norway needs midwifes as much that they are willing to train. I understand i have to pass Bergenstest to work in healtcare?

  3. I do not have the impression that Norway is so desperate for midwives that they would train midwives from outside of their country. They are proving themselves to be very protective of jobs in the health care field against foreigners. I have no idea how a midwife degree from Estonia would hold up against a Norwegian degree. Check the Helse personnel Nemnd website and you can do a search for appeals from your country and look at other midwives who were educated outside of Norway.

  4. Hi Emily! This is very positive news. What a nice neighbor you have! I know many Norwegians who get very fed up with the sometimes extremely illogical bureaucracy they must deal with---isn't it a relief that it's not just us immigrants? :-) I hope she's able to make some headway into finding a solution to the credentialing problem you're facing. I agree with Ken that connections are everything in Norway. It really is all about who you know, which is sad for people like me who are craptastic at networking. ;-) Go luck! Keep us posted!