I will try to write a transcript of the report, but in the meantime here is my translation of the article that is printed below the news report.
The little family came to Lillehammer and Norway and it was the child-friendliness, ski life and nature that brought them here.
Erik got his dream job as a bioloist while Emily, as an American midwife, was not good enough for Norway. Therefore she is working as a health care assistant.
“It’s not a bad job, and I know there are many people who would want it. I’m glad that I have a job, but this is not what I wanted to do. It is a little depressing, “ said Stange to NRK.
Has delivered several hundred babies
Her dream was to work as a midwife. She has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the Norwegian-American St. Olaf college, and in addition she has a master’s degree as a midwife and 12 years of job experience.
Emily has also taught both nursing and medical students.
In addition to the formal education, which was approved by NOKUT () she has taught nursing and midwife subjects. She is also a member of the international honor society Sigma Theta Tau because she graduated with top grades.
In six of her 12 years of experience as a midwife, she worked in a hospital and delivered several hundred babies. But, that’s not enough to work as a midwife in Norway.
She wishes she had researched even better before her family decided to move to Norway. “I spoke with midwives, nurses, friends and every said that ‘Norway needs midwives!’ They said that a master’s degree from the United States is actualy more education than what Norwegian midwives have,” she said.
Must begin her education from the beginning
In the course of the last two years Emily has been in contact with the Government authorization office for health care personnel to become authorized to work as a midwfe.
She appealed her case to the Government appeals board and a decision finally came before sommer: she must begin her nursing education from the beginning.
What did you think? “I didn’t think anything. I just cried,” she said.
In the decision from the appeals board they say that the American nursing education has too little theory and clinical practical training when compared to the Norwegian nursing education.
The director of the appeals board can’t comment on a specific case, but says they must take into account patient safety and that they handle all the cases the same.
“In this case our decision was completely in accordance with decisions we have made in similar cases. It does not stand out in any way,” says the director for the Government appeals board, Øyvind Bernatek.
According to statistics, Norway will be lacking 28,000 nurses and at least 200 midwives in the next 20 years. Elisabeth Hals, a midwife at the Lillehammer Hostpial, says the ned for temporary midwives is huge.
“Both with vacations and sick leaves. . . the need is big, “ she said to NRK.
Odd that she must do it all from the beginning
Emily Stange from the United States wonders if she should do more education (editors note: actually, I don’t wonder about this. I simply won’t do it.) She has contacted the College in Gjøvik where they educate nurses.
Study and research director Gunn Rognstad has seen the case and doesn’t understand why Emily doesn’t get authorized in Norway.
“The education she has from the US in case of academic level the same as a bachelor’s degree in Europe. It seems a little strange that she must begin everything from the beginning,” she said.
Rognstad has now sent a letter to the Appeals Board, in which she has asked how/what she can arrange for Emily.
For Emily and her family, their lives are put on hold. She has no desire to begin again with an education that she already has.
“If this doesn’t straighten itself out, and I have to begin my education from the beginning. . . we’ll move back to the US. I will not throw away 6 years of education and 12 years of work experience.”
NRK will follow the case further.
Erik and I are quite pleased with the report and looking forward to the follow-up news report today and whatever else might come from this. Several people have contacted either me directly or the reporter to voice their support and frustration, or to share their own stories. It's lovely to have the support, but what we need now is someone willing to step up and take it one step further.