I am a Canadian nursing student (graduating May 2013) interested in working and living in Australia. It has been my goal for several years now to work/live in Australia and I have a few questions. My ideal location to live in Australia would be QLD.
First some background info on myself:
I am a 21 year old nursing student enrolled in a top Canadian University in an accelerated BScN program. The educational prerequisites for the accelerated program was a previous university degree with specific science courses (physiology, statistics, biochemistry, etc). The accelerated program is 2 years and I will be graduating in May 2013 with a Bachelors of Science in nursing, as fully qualified RN (after I take my qualifying exam). I have also have a previously earned bachelor's of science degree in biological science.
My plan has been to work in Canada for 2 years as an RN before working in Australia. However, is it necessary that I have previous work experience in Canada, or would I still be able to be qualified in Australia to work as an RN without it?
Another question is, since I am Canadian, I am able to apply for a 1 year work visa. Would it be easiest to, upon graduation, seek accreditation from the AHPRA then apply for the 1 year working visa? Then I could find an employer to hire (and sponsor me) for a longer term (possibly permanent) visa. I feel that this may be the best option, as I will be able to meet employers face to face and therefore have a better shot at obtaining a job. Would this be an acceptable route to living/working in Australia as a nurse?
Also, there are many companies that assist in (for a fee) relocating foreign nurses to Australia and organizing their visa and work placements. Are these companies a waste of money, or is it manageable to work through acquiring international visas and nursing accreditation on one's own?
Last question: Since my degree is an accelerated one, will this have any bearing on acquiring accreditation in Australia?
Sorry for the wall of text, but if anyone has any insight into how to begin the process of immigrating from Canada to Australia as a nurse please let me know! I visited Australia a couple of years ago, and ever since I have been dreaming of coming back.
Thank you so much.