Can a nurse really travel most places?

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    Hi, as some as you may know, I'm no where near becoming a nurse yet, I'm still in Grade 10 :P But, I was told awhile a go by my dad's friend who's a nurse is, a nurse is needed pretty much everywhere, I was wondering, if in the future (Assuming I know the language and such) would I be able to travel for a few months or even a year or something to places like Japan or Italy? I know after two years I can become a nurse on a cruise ship for a few months, which is something I'll probably look into a bit more. I know you can travel across country pretty easily, but I don't know about such a big leap.

    Anyway, I was just curious as to if this was a possibility, assuming not much changes in regards to laws and such.
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  3. 7 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Issues tend to be meeting the country's nursing requirements as well as immigration requirements. Then you would have to decide if a few months is enough time after all the expense that you pay out meeting requirements. Believe me not always cheap to meet requirements.
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    In general, how much would say cost would be? I mean, I plan on working in Canada for a few years before I do something like this, so I'd have some money put away by then, I hope at least.
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    Its a not true, that nursing is a portable degree,.. PLEASE DO..accounting, engineering, even teaching degrees are more recognised internationally than nursing.

    An engineering degree from the english is first language countries, is accepted everywhere.

    Health however, is approached differently in different countries.

    The nursing, scope of practice has changed and therefore was, but no longer a degree you can travel the world, you may find yourself stuck for work in your home country.

    There is not a shortage of nurses anymore, countries are not allowing the ''easier flow'of visa's , so you will not have work rights in as many countries. Only those that have agreement for working holliday visa's with your own country.
    Last edit by ceridwyn on Jan 5, '13
    Fiona59 and JustBeachyNurse like this.
  7. 0
    That makes sense, I do see what you're saying. I mean I know that it wouldn't exactly be an easy process, but it should still be a possibility? If only a small one at that.

    I know that country's wouldn't give me an easier flow, I was just wondering if it'd be possible to move around as a nurse, I read that there are certain agencies for traveling nurses? I don't know how authentic that is though...
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    Quote from Thomas_Spence
    That makes sense, I do see what you're saying. I mean I know that it wouldn't exactly be an easy process, but it should still be a possibility? If only a small one at that.

    I know that country's wouldn't give me an easier flow, I was just wondering if it'd be possible to move around as a nurse, I read that there are certain agencies for traveling nurses? I don't know how authentic that is though...
    Yes, traveling nurse agencies DO exist, but, many to most aren't in any need of new employees. I heard somewhere, that most travel agencies have about a dozen applicants for every opening they have.

    but, nothing is "impossible", since you ask if it "possible", sure, anything is possible...likely? not so much, but possible? sure.
    but, you have a right to know, your chances of becoming a traveling nurse, are kinda slim, and those agencies can take cream of the crop, and will want experienced nurses, not new grads. Nowadays, it is pretty competitive to get on with a travelling agency.

    There are many threads in this area, "International Nursing", which maybe you should read and consider. Reading these might give you an idea of how difficult it can be, for a nurse in one nation, to become a nurse in another nation. Even immigration, all career concerns aside, just plain ol being accepted to move to a new nation----is often a very difficult task to accomplish for many countries.

    GOOD LUCK! But yes, while deciding what career to choose, do gather some information on the job market for THAT career,
    and if you are interested in international travel, do some actual research on various jobs "portability"...there are far more "portable" jobs than nursing.
    loriangel14 and Fiona59 like this.
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    OP, do you have any idea of difficult it can be to move provinces here in Canada? It took me nearly four months to sort out a move from AB to BC! Not to mention a ton of cash. That year I faced paying THREE permit fees due to BC and AB having different registration dates.

    I don't even know of any nurses who maintain current licences in more than one province due to the cost.
    loriangel14 likes this.
  10. 0
    Hi there,

    You'd have to look at each country individually (which you can do on this site) and see what people are saying about particular job markets. It's hard to say generally as healthcare is changing so rapidly, and you have several years of training ahead of you.

    Japan is not an easy option as you have to be close to fluent to pass their exam, and it's not an easy language to pick up. Moreover, I think it would be a tough place to nurse. I worked there for a few years as an English teacher, and what they expect of nurses is very different than what a Western nurse expects to be doing. And, I'd be very surprised if they'd ever seen a male nurse before -- and the Japanese are not all that open to new things.

    HOWEVER, if you get a university degree in anything, including nursing, there is a program called JET which is a good job for one just out of school.

    There are lots of ways to travel the world, as someone mentioned. I certainly know more accountants who've had good jobs overseas than nurses. And, while it's one thing to consider, you have to remember that nursing has a lot of challenges, and the degree doesn't easily lend itself to other jobs. You should want to be a nurse, and be excited that it might allow you to travel, rather than put 4+ years of your life into being something that may or may not allow you to have a lifestyle you want, only to find out it wasn't as flexible as you thought and you don't like the job.

    That's my two cents, anyhow.


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