US Nurses Wishing to Work Overseas

  1. I am starting this thread as a sticky at the request of one of our members, for a place for those that wish to emigrate from the US to work as an RN.

    Please feel free to post your concerns and questions about working overseas here.
  2. Visit suzanne4 profile page

    About suzanne4

    Joined: Dec '03; Posts: 37,339; Likes: 5,521


  3. by   emtmcc
    I too am interested in working overseas as an RN in a couple years, and looking into options. I do wish to get paid and cannot be a volunteer -- and wish to work overseas for a minimum of one year. I know the foreign service hires RNs to work in US embassies. I'm interested in any info anyone can offer as to the opportunities out there.
  4. by   suzanne4
    A US Embassy can hire US nurses, but not too often. Foreign countries do not hire the nurse to work in the US Embassy, the US Embassy is actually US territory in that country.

    US Military base positions are available overseas for nurses, as a civilian employee.

    If being employed by the foreign country, you will need a license in that country, as well as proof of fluency in their language, and a visa that will permit you to work there as an RN>
  5. by   BRETAGNE
    Hi I am extremely interested in working Western Europe. I am studying French, and I also have considered applying to the nursing board in Ireland. If any one has gone through the process recently please give me some info. Thanks
  6. by   suzanne4
    You will need to apply to that country where you wish to be licensed and go their process. For the UK, it is the NMC. Take a look at the UK forum for steps to follow for that.

    If you are studying french, then France has a completey different set of exams that need to be done, as well as French language exams, same as for a nurse that wished to work in the US.

    Process will take you about 12 to 18 months.

    But also depends on how long that your nursing program was. If an Associate degree, it will not qualify for licensure in the UK, it must be at least a three year program.
  7. by   jansailsea
    Quote from BRETAGNE
    Hi I am extremely interested in working Western Europe. I am studying French, and I also have considered applying to the nursing board in Ireland. If any one has gone through the process recently please give me some info. Thanks
    I'm an older & married new grad LPN working in Bradenton FL hospital & have a single Russian RN friend who's worked in this country 11 or more years. We're tentatively planning a trip to Paris early part of May on a deal $499/$599 air & accomods'. I saw posted by Gate1 Travel on the Frommer's travel site.
    Hubbie won't go on this trip, bad knee...he knows I'd live in Provence-Cote d'Azur or Paris given the opportunity.
    Studying French CDs in the car etc.
    HCA (Sen. & Dr. Bill Frist family corporation), whom I work for, has hospitals in UK & Switzerland (everyone says live on France's border as Switzerland too pricey). Check out for the sites.
    Half the battle is putting yourself in a position to get to where you want to go, the other half is preparation: for me- finishing to RN; becoming fluent in language of destination; making forays to destination to familiarize oneself & make sure glases are not rose tinited & views romanticized!
    Good luck!
  8. by   jansailsea
    Suzanne: Would you be familiar with a requirement of a BSRN is wanting to work in Middle East? Or is that just rumour?
  9. by   suzanne4
    It isn't rumor, you need the four year degree to meet immigration requirements for a visa to work there. Same thing with most other foreign countries, even some of the provinces of Canada, such as Ontario.

    Having a license in a country does not qualify you necesarily for a visa that will permit you to work. Same thing for the UK, the two year degree will not meet their requirements.
  10. by   99_99africa
    I know of many South African nurses who have gone to work abroad eg: Saudi they donot have the four course but two year RN diploma.
  11. by   suzanne4
    Work permits will always vary with different countries, and it is always best to have the four year degree, as most will only accept that.

    Plus, requirements can change on a moments notice, and they have been lately in most parts of the world. It is always better to be safe, rather than sorry later on.
  12. by   Stacky
    I too am interested in working abroad, specifically Western Europe (husband really wants Germany). I have some competancy in Spanish and the Czech language. I have my BSN and am not having much luck searching on-line, most is for UK nurses. Any info about the military as civilian route? If anyone has any links/info regarding good agencies or employment I would appreciate it, anything helps! Thanks.
  13. by   suzanne4
    You are not going to find much posted, you will need to be fluent in the language of the country where you wish to work, take a language exam for that, as well as pass their nursing exam. The only way around that is working for the US Military base as a civilian. There are bases in Spain.

    Otherwise, you are also looking about 18 months total for the immigration process to give you a visa that permits you to work. If you were a citizen of the EU, most of this other stuff gets waived. That is why you say so many postings for UK nurses.

    You essentially have to complete the same things that a foreign nurse does that wishes to work in the US.

    You can try posting this on the Military Forum, someone there may have some contact numbers for you.
  14. by   Stacky
    Thanks Suzanne4, very helpful info. I'll get over to the Military forum. Thanks again.