Nursing Education in Greenland


  • Suzanne Møller University of Greenland (Ilisimatusarfik), Nuuk


Nursing education, Greenland, remote nursing


This report is part of a special collection from members of the University of the Arctic Thematic Network on Northern Nursing Education. The collection explores models of decentralized and distributed university-level nursing education across the Circumpolar North. This report provides a brief overview of the nursing program at the University of Greenland, or Ilisimatusarfik. Greenland has had jurisdiction over its own health care system since 1990. The university began offering bachelor’s degrees in nursing in 1994. Since then, the nursing education program has developed into an institute with diploma programs, research, and PhD programs. Before the start of the program, only a small percentage of nurses were born in Greenland. Now, half of the nurses are speaking Greenlandic, and have their home and family in Greenland, and this has had a huge impact on the Greenland health care system. Meanwhile, recent research undertaken by colleagues in Greenland has explored the nature of nursing practice in rural and remote communities. In an ethnographic study involving nurses practising in remote Greenland, Hounsgaard et al. (2013) found that “the nature of nursing practice in rural and remote Greenland is characterized by a high degree of variability and complexity, with a requirement for a wide range of knowledge and skills. Nurses need to be better prepared with regard to acute medical care, preventive care, social work, humanistic approaches and information technology to implement the ideology of health strategies.” (See  Hounsgaard, L., Jensen, A., Wilche, J., & Dolmer, I. (2013). The nature of nursing practice in rural and remote areas of Greenland. International  Journal of Circumpolar Health, 72.

Author Biography

Suzanne Møller, University of Greenland (Ilisimatusarfik), Nuuk

Head, Institute of Nursing and Health Science






Nursing Education in the Circumpolar North