USA RN to Melbourne!!! - page 2

by neeke816 23,732 Views | 62 Comments

Hello fellow nurses!!! I'm a USA RN with 1 yr med/surg experience. I already got Australia RN license and passed ANMAC's skill assessment for immigration!!! I'm planning to move to a big city in Australia in this August,... Read More


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    Again, thank you very much for all your great responses!!!

    nursegirl 62- I got my BSN from USA and have lived in USA for 5 yrs, but I'm not an American, but a Korean, so I think I would not encounter such a racial misunderstanding. I might not be free from some racial problems, but at least people would not see me as an American with my Korean passport. I really appreciate your down to earth advices, I will keep them in my mind, though.
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    excellent, dont let anyone outside of those in the "need to know" that you rec'd your degree in USA
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    In counter-point to nurse62 I'd like to point out that, though there's certainly an expectation in my ICU, at least, of getting post-grad qualifications, I'm not aware of any pressure on the wards to do so. Continuing education is, of course, valued, and formal education supported (I've had paid study leave for two Masters and the PhD I'm part way through, and they're not even directly in nursing), but not mandatory.

    As a white citizen of non-migrant parents I haven't had much personal experience of racism, though I've seen an unpleasant degree of it aimed by patients at some of my non-white colleagues. That said, a friend travelling in Asia said she and her husband experienced more racism there than they ever had here (he's white, she's from Burma). For the majority of my work mates what we care most about is how well you work in a team, how well you apply yourself, and if you take your share of the load
    carolmaccas66 likes this.
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    nursegirl62.. im shocked to hear that, ive heard the complete opposite about overseas rns nursing australia but i guess i will have to find out for myself. When i went to sydney.. people were very friendly and welcoming to me, so i hope that is the condition in the hospitals.. im just coming to learn.. gain new experiences.. and travel.. i have thought alot about it.. and im excited for this opportunity.. the aussies are notoriously known for the hospitality.. and welcomeness.. i cant wait to live and work there!
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    of course teamwork is a given and being professional at all times as well. I didnt mean to sound ungrateful for the experience I've had here, just dont want to make it sound like it's a walk in the park. Would really hate for someone newly out of school to come here and struggle thinking it will be easy. Most likely for a 457 work visa you will have to do a speciality; in general a nurse on a ward may not be enough to meet visa critieria. Americans have a really bad name in here and so be prepared to take some critism ,rejection , and possiably verbal abuse based solely upon being American. I can't really say anything about other countries as my experience in others has been limited to humanatiarn nursing. In the end your nursing career is what you want it to be and what you put into it. I cant explain it but inspite of many of the negative aspects of my time here, those same negatives have made me a better nurse and person overall and nothing anyone ever says brings me to tears after 28 years of nursing that is a plus. lol
    hkimi and carolmaccas66 like this.
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    A couple of things to keep in mind too. When on a 457 work visa you MUST work full time and you work at your employers discretion and will have a contract outlining your hours and such. Also FYI make sure you understand "your rights" or lack of them here. My car was stolen outside of the hospital I work. Police informed me that because I wasn’t an Australian or on a permanent resident visa I was not entitled to assistance in locating it or using their services. US embassy is a not much help either in trivial matters such as stolen cars.
    hkimi likes this.
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    Quote from nursegirl62
    I have been in Melbourne in one of the ICUs of the large hospitals mentioned here for over 2 years. I won't paint a rosy picture for you of my experience.
    Melbourne it's is VERY expensive to live, one of the most expensive cities in the world. Also, as an American be prepared to hear some very racists comments about others. You will be subjected to many here who consider American nursing schools and the RNs coming from them as inferior. Americans in general are NOT liked here in Australia, if in doubt spend some time reading comments online that are posted in the large Melbourne newspapers. Took me several attempts to secure a flat, and was denied 2 times solely because I was American!
    Give it some serious thought if moving half way around the world is what you want to do. Most of the large public hospitals will have an expectation of you getting a post grad certificate, however nearly impossible while on a work visa, and obtaining permanent residency is not as easily done as you would think. Also if and when you return to the USA, or work experience and expensive post grad diploma in Australia will be considered useless and won't even be taken into consideration.

    Dont want to sound like a wet blanket, but really give it serious thought and look at the pros and cons.
    Sad to hear of your experience!!

    Some of the difference in attitude COULD be because of the difference in training and expectation of role between Aus and USA. As you have gathered it is different here with Australian nurses expected to deliver holistic care - which means we do EVERYTHING and that everything gets broader and broader the further you get from the major cities - in many rural hospitals you can be endorsed to do ISTAT pathology, give immunisations, deliver first line medical treatment, take X-rays, and nail the floor boards back into the floor!!

    Usually our ICU's are run at a MUCH higher nurse patient ratio than in America with 1:1 except on meal breaks. Some facilities use a patient nurse ratio system such as "Trendcare" to determine the staffing ratios. Some are locked into traditional staffing models and some, like mine, are stuck with minimal staffing because we cannot recruit so far away from our major centres (despite the fact that we have some of the BEST camping areas anywhere)

    We generally do encourage post graduate training and Queensland has a suite of what it calls "Transition programs", some of which are now online and are worth half of a graduate certificate in ICU nursing. The transition programs are available to anyone working for Q-health. Generally you will find it easier to get work outside the capital cities - just do not walk into ANY job that says "rural and remote" because it is just too fraught!!

    As for racism - yes there is some here and we are working on reducing it - our wonderful and patient indigenous people have been subjected to some dreadful racism that sadly still happens, often by people with NO idea of how racist they sound. Having said that be careful about the Australian sense of humour. It can sound prejudiced but is often just "prodding for a reaction" We will sling off at other people - ESPECIALLY kiwis and Brits but expect the same response from whoever we are talking to. An example: "Eet ees eesy to talk Keewee you jist don't move your upper lip!" reply from Kiwis "Weell that is beetter than talking through your nose and running all your words together!" This "slanging off at each other" can confuse Americans in particular who hear it as rudeness because, and excuse me with this, but it is really is not part of your culture from what I gather.
    Last edit by Mcadamia on Jun 21, '11
    carolmaccas66, esie, talaxandra, and 1 other like this.
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    I came from "rural nursing" in the USA and actually myself have had to intubate, insert chest drain, and deliver babies all in the same day. In 28 years I've seen just about any staffing model , software known. I've worked ICU in states with 2 intubated patients and yes have worked without a RT to manage vents. The technical bit of nursing really wasn’t much of a leap for me. In all fairness when I would come across something I wasn’t familiar with here, if I asked someone would surely assist or advise. It's the aftermath that always come as a shock...usually always in reference to me being a "dumb American" , even from a workmate a considered a friend.
    I do realize though that what Australians consider friendly banter and references to other races, religion or ethnicity is VERY different for me. For years in the USA the slightest bit of that kind of chat would get you in a huge lot of trouble with HR, various rights groups and of course lawsuits would follow.
    To any American RN coming here to work I would say , just come with your eyes wide open, your mouth shut and wear your big girl panties!
    hkimi, redrn007, elprup, and 1 other like this.
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    My, you seem to have trouble with many different people here..........mmmmmmm It also seems everything that you may do here, like post grad and experience will be considered 'useless' in the big ol usa.

    Wise words....from someone who has travelled to your country and lived there for 2 years and have travelled alongside Americans....... Australians just love cutting down tall poppies, and loathe people who constantly say their country is 'better' in every respect possible after a period of 24 hours and possibly shorter.

    I have never before heard of any racism or criticisms towards an American nurse and I have met quite a few over the years. ......

    and as for the police not doing anything because you are not a citizen or permanent resident I would argue if this is true, maybe had a lot more important things to do at that time....according to my senior constable husband...who said he never has time to ask people if they are PR or citizens as to whether they will assist them or not....they do their job, prioritise just like any police officer in the usa would do. citizen or not.

    I am also proud of our 'banter' and believe that is what makes us Australians unique, take it or leave it, and there has been enough American influence over here, about legal action being sought for everything you do or touch, what you want to take legal action against our uniqueness as well?
    Last edit by ceridwyn on Jun 21, '11
    carolmaccas66 and Mcadamia like this.
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    Have I offended you? I only expressed my experiences here, which were asked for by another nurse coming from the USA. I don't ever recall implying or stating the the USA is better than anywhere.
    As for the car , yep happened right at the St. Kilda Police station and no doubt the Victoria Police have much more important things to do than look for stolen cars. But to find out that I'm not entitled to calling on the police for help well that was a news for me and never was listed on my work visa.


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