I have been reading a few threads from this site regarding nursing in Australia and the proper steps required for immigrant nurses to practice in Australia. However, the more I read, the more I became confused. Can anyone provide me with the requirements and proper steps in order to meet those requirements for practicing in Australia?
I am an American nurse with a BSN and (currently) 8 months of experience in an ER. I plan on moving somewhere new in the Summer of 2014, so by that time I would have 2 years of experience. I am starting this whole process early to be safe and make sure I get everything done in time. This could also allow me the opportunity to make the move earlier than I have originally planned.
I am wanting to move to a coastal area with nice beaches and an entertaining downtown lifestyle. Melbourne and Sydney seem like places I would enjoy but I know the cost of living is expensive there. What are some other cities I could consider?
Also, what is the pay like for nurses in Australia? And what are hours/week for a typical RN position?
Feb 9, '13
The current RN1 base wage for nsw health employees is $27.35 ph, you can search on the nsw health website for the award which states the full wages & penalties etc. there are shift loa dings, weekend penalties, public holiday penalties and overtime.
If you get a ill mine position, you work 40 hours per week, but can work offered overtime. If you choose to work with an agency or on a pool, then it's up to you
I live in Sydney and survive quite happily on an admin wage, however I am looking forward to the extra money that will cone when I start as an RN in August. Having said that, I have noticed that the cos of things is starting to rise again.
Feb 10, '13
Are you looking for information on the application process? If so, let me know. I returned from Sydney on Saturday after flying over to do the identification verification. I was told to start checking their website tomorrow for my registration number.
Feb 11, '13
I'm really just looking for any information that'd help me become a nurse in Australia.
Feb 11, '13
Go to the AHPRA website and submit your application for registration in Australia. Be prepared to wait months and months for your registration to come through. My advice is to constantly call/email them for updates. It's a relatively new organization so they still seem to be working out some kinks to making it run smoothly.
I recommend joining work with an agency as they seem to take pretty much anyone with a pulse- lol! The agency work will let you go to hospitals all over the city and see which places you like and dislike and allow you to apply for full time positions that come up.
ED nursing might be hard to start with because its so different to the US and in a fast paced environment like ED they'll be looking for someone who is used to Aus drug names/administration (no pharmacist to make up IV meds) plus a nurse competent in airway management (no resp therapists in Aus). I'd suggest ward nursing first then transitioning to ED when an opportunity arises and you've gained some Aus experience. But feel free to apply anywhere you want I'm just making suggestions! Lol.
Lastly in terms of areas to apply; melbourne (anywhere in Victoria) is out. They are in a major nursing crisis, job cuts, wards closing, it's a real mess. QLD public sector is now facing similar problems. The private system seems to be the only area hiring. QLD, NSW, WA have the most "beach" kind of areas. Sydney is very expensive cost of living.
Don't know if my response helped much but any other questions feel free to ask.
Feb 11, '13
I sent in my application to the NSW branch back in October 2012, and 4 weeks later, I received my approval. I went into the office this past Thursday to perform my identity check, and today I'm showing up in the Registers of Practitioners.
As far as the application process, make sure you read and have EXACTLY what they ask for. I did a ton of research before applying, so they never had to ask for anything else from me. I sent everything where it could be tracked, and then called the following day after they received it to confirm. Also, make sure to read the sections on certifying documents and what forms of identification are acceptable. I had to show my Notary Public the website stating that the copies had to be certified because she wanted to argue that Notaries only certify signatures. Might be handy to have a printout of that page with you when you go to certify.
Make sure you have high school and college transcripts as well as letters from your schools saying that you were "taught and assessed in English". From what I read and was told, that was a biggie as far as proving you were efficient in the English language. I don't remember the application specifically stating that you had to have this, but I remember reading about them asking for it at a later time.
Also, you will have to make a personal appearance at the branch you apply to, so be prepared for that. You have a year from the date of your letter of approval. At that time, they will do an identity check on you verifying your passport, local address, and visa status.
Feb 11, '13
So when applying for my nursing license I have to go in person to the NSW office? I'm a bit confused because other boards suggested starting with the license because it takes longer and then getting the visa.
How have other people done this? Flown over and back while applying before you actually move? That seems quite pricey and from me 25 hours worth of flights!
I am trying to move to Sydney this year. I'd love to hear other people's experience with this.
Feb 11, '13
Once you apply for your Australian nursing license, you will initially be approved in principle pending an in person identity check. They send you a letter stating this. The letter states that you have one year from the date of approval to present to the branch office with the required documents. The reason they do this is because all we are providing are certified copies. Once our identities are verified, they perform a background check and issue your full registration.I haven't read about other people going over just to pick up their license. I wanted to get it taken care of before my little one is born, and I live in New Zealand now.
Feb 15, '13
Hi Bama Rn -
Congrats on your registration and move to New Zealand!
I am so envious! Would so love to live in NZ! My boyfriend is from Auckland, but lives in Melbourne so that is where I will be moving from Michigan.
Like many others here, I am also about to start "walking the Green Mile" toward Australian registration! I am an ADN-RN with 6 years OR Theatre experience at a large Level 1 Trauma university hospital in the midwest. I'm a bit worried I won't be approved with only an ADN, though.
Are you a BSN or ADN RN?
Also, we do NOT have to take the English-language exam, correct?
Feb 15, '13
Hi and thank you Tilde!NZ is lovely! I'm enjoying it here, but it's quite a bit different from Alabama...lolI'm an ADN, and no, I did not have to take the English test. Just make sure your college and high school do letters stating you were taught and assessed in English.
Good luck with everything!!
Feb 15, '13
Thank you, Bama RN! Could reply via google mail only! Thanks!!
Sep 25, '13
This is delayed but I want to help anyone else wondering the same question.
1. Apply on APHRA website - this is the nursing board. Download the form and fill it out. You don't need to fly to Australia to do this. Download, fill out, and mail the umpteen documents (ceritified!)
2. Wait about 4-8 weeks for them to tell you if you're approved or not.
3. Once approved, you can apply for jobs.
Hope that helps! It seemed vague in the beginning when I was applying too. But that is all you need to do. That being said, the application process alone is a nightmare just to gather all the documents and certify them... Best of luck!
Jan 3, '14
Hey,I also want to move to Sydney Australia. I'm an american OR nurse. Did you find any good info on moving and finding a job and a place to live?
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