An introduction to Markus Suominen, Finland’s 8th Queen Silvia Nursing Award winner



As a joint nursing & advanced level paramedic student at Turku University of Applied Sciences (www.tuas.fi), Markus Suominen is currently taking extra hospital training to prepare for a career within the Emergency Services field. He is set to graduate in Spring 2023, a semester earlier than expected.


Markus’ dream is to be an emergency medicine (EM) nurse due to the fast-paced environment and day-to-day surprises. Ten years from now, he hopes to be in a leadership or supervisory role within emergency care. Markus’ ambition is to have a long-established career of innovative research & development within the nursing profession.


The Winning Idea

In Markus’ first caregiving job, he noticed that the nurses were unhappy with many working conditions and triggers. The nurses only brought up the most serious issues to management, leaving many challenges unaddressed. This created an unhealthy “deal with it” mentality that many healthcare workers can relate to in their own workplace.


Markus’ idea was create a workplace reporting portal. Nurses can report grievances through an online portal. These grievances are sent directly to management. From there, the complaint is also displayed anonymously on the website connected to the exact unit/hospital where the complaint was filed. This allows for more transparency surrounding the “health” of workplace environment. Any licensed nurse can log onto the website and view grievances related to specific units, thus facilitating more transparency about potential issues when applying for jobs.


When management resolves issues, the portal will reflect a drop in complaints over time, and therefore, the unit looks better to prospective nurses. The online data will show any improving or worsening trends. This acts as a tool of accountability for nurses to report grievances, management to fix issues, and units to attract nursing talent. The workplace portal will be similar to the website Glassdoor, which offers data on workplaces to job seekers.


Mother knows best!

Markus’ mother, who has been a nurse for 30 years, told him that his character would fit the field. She thought he would be an amazing nurse and although Markus was hesitant at first, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he was meant for the career as well.


At Turku UAS, more than 2000 applicants applied for his current nurse/paramedic program and yet only 24 candidates were selected. Markus was one of them.


Nursing in Finland

Markus shared that Finland is undergoing a major restructuring of healthcare, social welfare and rescue services. By 2023, the responsibility for these services will be transferred from municipalities to wellbeing services counties. There will be a total of 21 self-governing wellbeing services counties, with decision-making power exercised by a county council. (Learn more by visiting this link.)


The Queen Silvia Nursing Award

Markus found the Queen Silvia Nursing Award through a social media advertisement and realized that his workplace portal idea could be an implementable and unique submission. He had already brainstormed the workplace portal idea and realized that the QSNA could propel him to bring it to life. He is very proud to represent nursing in Finland as a QNSA scholar and to be a part of the future of nursing. And he recommends that anyone who is considering applying to the QNSA to absolutely do so.


Advice for New Nurses

Markus has three words for any incoming nursing students and new graduate nurses: “Read, read, read.” He encourages nurses to be interested in more than just what they learn in school, because school can never teach everything they need to know about the world. He hopes all new nurses keep an inquisitive mind and turn to the literature.