Australian nurse wanting to work in America

  1. Hello! I am an Aussie RN from Melbourne Australia. I am very interested in working as a nurse in America due to family reasons. Especially interested in Tennessee, Texas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Colorado or Arizona. I have completed a 3 year bachelor course in Australia and am concerned that I may not have the required obstetrics and pediatric hours required. Is there a course I complete in Melbourne or even in the USA to make up these hours? I would love to know where to begin the process of moving to the USA. i would like to add that i was an IV drug endorsed enrolled nurse for 5 years prior to an RN in case that helps. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you
    Last edit by Aussienurse123 on Feb 16
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   YeXinZhi
    Hi AussieRN123,

    The first step would be to apply for licensure by examination with the relevant state board of nursing.

    Each state has a different criteria and requirements but they all have commonalities as well, like the NCLEX requirement.

    The relevant nursing board will assess your education (as well as other licensure requirements) and will determine if you are eligible to write the NCLEX-RN. If your education is found to be deficient in obs or paeds, you will need to sort that out by attending classes either in the states or Australia (check the other posts here, some Aussie nurses have been able to complete that requirement in Australia). Some Aussie nurses have reported some state boards like Massachussets accepted their Australian degree but take note each application us considered in an individual basis.

    After writing and passing the NCLEX-RN, then you pay for the license fee and you become officially licensed. You only need to sit the NCLEX-RN once in your lifetime once you pass.

    You may also need to write the CGFNS exam and the IELTS exam if you plan on immigrating to the states. A Visa Screen certificate is required prior to granting an immigrant visa. A visa screen certificate requires both the CGFNS and the IELTS.

    Some states will require either an SSN or an ITIN so check which ones don't.

    My advice is:

    1. Pick another state that does not require the SSN or ITIN and will not require supplementary courses in obs and paeds. New York and Montana are two states that I know don't require this. You have to be flexible in terms of where you want to live and practice.
    2. Find out what Australian universities offer obs and paeds courses so you can make up for your deficiency. If you want the option of being able to move to anywhere you want then you will most definitely need these supplementaries. You have to apply for a separate license each time you move states and they all assess your education as well so you will be assured that they will ask for obs and paeds as well.
    3. Whatever you do, start your application ASAP. The licensure process can take several months.
    4. Share your experiences on allnurses so other Aussies nurses can learn from your journey.

    Hope this helps.
  4. by   OzNurse73
    Hi Aussienurse123
    I am in the same situation as you. I am an Australian RN/RM, with a Bachelor of Nursing, Postgraduate Diploma of Midwifery and a Masters degree in Bioethics, and 15 years clinical experience. I have applied for an RN License with the Texas Board of Nursing, over 12 months ago. I have had my education evaluated (through IERF) and my CES report came back with a deficiency in Paediatrics (Clinical Hours only). The Texas BON will allow me to sit the NCLEX once I complete these hours. I am now in the process of finding somewhere to accommodate my deficiency. I have contacted numerous Australian universities but no luck enrolling in a single undergraduate unit that includes a placement. My options in Australia seem to be completing a Grad Cert in Paediatric Nursing (12 months) at great expense. I am currently exploring options to complete these hours in the USA, in the form of a Refresher Course. I will keep you posted re my progress.
    My advice to you would be to begin the process as soon as possible. I chose Texas because no Social Security number needed to apply. The process is very lengthy and very complicated, be prepared to wait!
    Good luck
  5. by   Aussienurse123
    Hello oznurse73. Thank you for your comment
    I am also very interested in Texas myself... if you do find an option in America I would be so grateful if you past that onto me.. best of luck in your search and I look forward to hearing from you soon!!