American nurse that wants to nurse abroad

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    I miss Europe!!! I lived in germany for about 5 years and I would love to nurse abroad. I speak some german, turkish and spanish and of course, american style english. So far, I have learned that the US will take foreign nurses fairly easily compared to US nurses going abroad. Why is it so difficult for US nurses to nurse internationally? I would like to either join up with Doctors without Borders and/or move to the UK. So HOW do I do this?
    ~Josh

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  2. 7 Comments...

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    Sorry, but not sure where you are getting your information from, but the US is not taking nurses fairly easily and in case you have not heard; there is a retrogression that has been in place since October, 2006, so nurses are only trickling in.

    The EU as well as the UK also have hiring freezes in place, so unless you have experience in a specialty that they are short of, such as PICU or NICU, it is going to be difficult to get a license as well as a visa that will permit you to work. Jobs go first to holders of EU passports.

    Not sure what type of degree that you hold as well in nursing, but you need to be aware that you need to have at least the BSN to meet the requirements for immigration which is again separate from licensure. You also need to pass a language exam if you are wishing to work in a country where English is not the official language.

    The UK is undergoing many lay-offs at this time of their own nurses, so it is going to be hard to get licensed and a visa to work there.

    Would suggest that you spend some time reading on the forum here and understand what is going on right now in the world of nursing. Since you think that it is so easy to come to the US, you have much reading to do, and when there is no retrogression in place, average length of time for testing and processing is about two years, nothing instant at all.
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    I'm going to disagree with Suzanne4 and say that, in my area, we readily accept new nurses. I think the hiring freezes really depend on where you are. Most of my overseas friends would love to come to the US to work, but they've never actually applied (most don't speak English anyway). I've been looking into working in the UK, and there are a few things that are a bit screwy, such as the ratio of work visa acceptances vs. the number of open positions in the Overseas Nurses Programme. I've heard it is difficult to be financially secure in the UK on a single nurses' salary. I think you may want to purse a nurse practitioner degree if you want to become more valuable overseas and with doctors.
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    Quote from KimmiC
    I'm going to disagree with Suzanne4 and say that, in my area, we readily accept new nurses. I think the hiring freezes really depend on where you are. Most of my overseas friends would love to come to the US to work, but they've never actually applied (most don't speak English anyway). I've been looking into working in the UK, and there are a few things that are a bit screwy, such as the ratio of work visa acceptances vs. the number of open positions in the Overseas Nurses Programme. I've heard it is difficult to be financially secure in the UK on a single nurses' salary. I think you may want to purse a nurse practitioner degree if you want to become more valuable overseas and with doctors.
    Sorry you are not happy with the UK way of things but we have many nurses struggling to find work with some even been laid off. Plus each country has its own requirements and the NMC wnts to ensure that you can adapt to nursing in the UK and the OPN course is a way for an understanding on how things work in the UK. It depends on where you livve to whether you can financially be secure. I lived in the north of the UK and for several years owned my own house and was single, yes it can be hard but can be done. There are also EU directives which state how we can employ which is UK citizen then EU before the rest of the world. Being a NP does not mean you can get into the UK as NP. There are a few exceptions to requirements for a work visa but you do need to e highly experienced in an area classed in the shortage occupation list and the UK employer has to prove that they are unable to fill from UK/EU.

    Also the US has had retrogression sine Oct 06 with many nurses waiting years to get a visa allowing them to move to the US
    bella201 likes this.
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    Oh, I'm not saying that I wouldn't work in the UK- I'd jump at the chance! I understand all the reasons for the ONP, and I fully support the program.
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    Quote from KimmiC
    I've been looking into working in the UK, and there are a few things that are a bit screwy, such as the ratio of work visa acceptances vs. the number of open positions in the Overseas Nurses Programme. I've heard it is difficult to be financially secure in the UK on a single nurses' salary. I think you may want to purse a nurse practitioner degree if you want to become more valuable overseas and with doctors.
    There are a couple of things in this part of your post that I want to address but first could I give you a bit of background from me so you know where I am coming from. I work as a manager within the UK and part of my role is to recruit nurses, also I am responsible for managing a team of nurse practitioners.

    The first thing is about a Visa, you are unlikely to get a VISA unless you have a hospital to sponser you, and as a nurse who is not UK or EU citizen you are not going to get a hospital to sponser you. This is because we have very strict regulations that tell us who we can appoint, part of this is that we HAVE to legally recruit from UK first then EU citizens. Only if we are unable to find a suitable candidate would we be allowed to look to the rest of the world. I find it diffiuclt to believe that I could not find a Nurse Practitioner from those candidates. Therefore the chance (at the moment) of an international nurse being employed is tiny.

    Financial security on a single nurses salary depends on where you work, if you live and work in London it will be expensive and you may well struggle on a nurses salary. I live in a small rural village and work in a nearby hospital, house prices and cost of living here is much less than in London.

    I cannot speak for other countries but even with a NP degree, you would still only be considered in the UK once we had excluded UK and EU nurses first. I have recently recruited a NP, and I had applications from 2 nurse practitioners and 1 PA in the US, I didn't even consider thier applications because of the VISA and immigtation issues. I appointed an expereinced UK nurse who I will train to be a nurse practitioner
    bella201 likes this.
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    Quote from KimmiC
    I'm going to disagree with Suzanne4 and say that, in my area, we readily accept new nurses. I think the hiring freezes really depend on where you are. Most of my overseas friends would love to come to the US to work, but they've never actually applied (most don't speak English anyway). I've been looking into working in the UK, and there are a few things that are a bit screwy, such as the ratio of work visa acceptances vs. the number of open positions in the Overseas Nurses Programme. I've heard it is difficult to be financially secure in the UK on a single nurses' salary. I think you may want to purse a nurse practitioner degree if you want to become more valuable overseas and with doctors.
    And in what area do you work? You never stated the country.
    And if a EU country, the jobs first go to those from your country, and then from the EU, the US citizen does not have priority. Just because they are there and foreign does not mean that they are from non-EU countries and that is the point that we are trying to make here.

    Things are very different now than they were just a year or two ago, and there are many hiring freezes as well now for someone that is just wishing to start the process for working in another country.

    Sure, if one has years of experience in the NICU or the PICU, they are going to have much less of an issue getting hired and a work visa. But the NP role in one country does not automatically give one the same status in another country. Additional licensing requirements are needed.

    And for the US nurse, they also need to pass the language exam for the country in the EU, as well as the licensure exam. That requirement is not waived since we are not part of the EU. So we have different requirements as well that need to be met.

    And that is the point that we are trying to make here as well as the need for the BSN to get thru immigration.
    bella201 and XB9S like this.
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    Hello! For those of you with experience working in the UK, do you find that NPs can readily find jobs as well?

    I'm rather fresh out of school, with a FNP licensure (MSN) and a MPH in epidemiology from Emory University in Atlanta. My MSN program had an emergency medicine focus, and thus my work experience as a NP has been in the ER.

    Moving forward, I think I might really enjoy working in a walk in clinic of sorts, or perhaps again in an emergency room setting. Do you think there's a place for me in the UK? It's always been a goal of mine to live there.

    Thanks,

    Davey


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