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Aust J Adv Nurs. 2002 Sep-Nov;20(1):20-6.

Nursing and health care in Sweden.

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Mater Children's Hospital, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.


Sweden, one of the Nordic countries, has a long history of social justice and equality of access to health care. Nursing plays an important role in this and nursing education is of a high standard. The aim of this paper is to describe Sweden's health system and nursing within it, thereby giving Australian nurses information which may generate an interest in, and provide background for, collaborative work. It is part of a series initiated by the first author who visited Sweden, Iceland and England in 2000 under the auspices of a Churchill Fellowship, and who has returned to Sweden and England to continue work begun during the Fellowship. Sweden's health service is characterised by an ethic of egalitarianism and high standards; primary health care plays a large role and tertiary health care is easily accessible. Nursing in Sweden is of a high standard, with devolvement of responsibility and decision-making to those working in the wards and units. Nursing education has been influenced by the historical development of nursing in Europe and today, Swedish nurses enjoy a high standard of university education with government support readily available to make specialist education accessible. Because of the similarities in both the cultures, and nursing, in Australia and Sweden, Australian nurses would find Sweden a wonderful country in which to implement cross-cultural, collaborative work. This paper provides.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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