Trainee programme offers Finnish pharmacists a chance to work in Sweden

Sandra Johansson

Oriola offers opportunities for Finnish pharmacists to work at Kronans Apotek in Sweden. Sandra Johansson is one of the Finnish pharmacists who grabbed the chance.

Johansson started as a national trainee for Kronans Apotek in June 2018. She is from Österbotten in Finland but now lives in Stockholm. She graduated as pharmacist in 2013, and has since worked at over 20 different pharmacies in Finland via Farenta staffing services. Kronans Apotek and Farenta are both part of Oriola corporation. Johansson also studied economics one year in Holland, and finished her master’s degree in early 2018.

In January 2018, just when she was back from Holland, Johansson came in contact with Kronans Apotek at a recruitment event that Oriola and Farenta had in Espoo. At the event, she heard about the training programme that offers an opportunity to work in Sweden. She decided to apply, and got chosen to the programme.

“Since I started at Kronans Apotek, I have traveled all over the country from Gällivare in the north to Ystad in the south. I work two weeks in each pharmacy and two days a month we have training days in Stockholm. We are a group of nine people who attend the trainee programme for 15 months. The idea is that we will be pharmacy managers in the autumn,” explains Johansson.

Opportunities for getting manager experience

Being a trainee is a good way for Finnish pharmacists to learn more in Sweden, and it gives a good foundation for taking a manager role later.

“For example, as a pharmacist in Finland, you need to have a master’s degree to become a pharmacy manager. If you have management ambitions, it is easier in Sweden,” says Johansson.

The systems are quite the same in both countries, so if you have studied and worked in Finland, you have a good foundation to adapt to Sweden. Finnish pharmacists can work both shorter and longer periods of time at Kronans Apotek in Sweden. An authorisation to work in Sweden is sought from National Board of Health and Welfare, which usually takes 2-3 months. Introduction and education in laws and regulations and self-care counselling can be done in parallel, and a trainee will be introduced to one of Kronans Apotek’s pharmacies in approximately 2-3 weeks.

“I can absolutely recommend this. Obviously, you need to speak Swedish to work at a pharmacy, so you should not be afraid to speak the language. The trainee programme has been both fun and challenging. I have seen a lot and met different people, which is the most fun part,” concludes Johansson.