USA RN to Melbourne!!!

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    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, such as Melbourne, Adelaid, and Sydney. So far, Melbourne is my favorite choice, I heard Melbourne is really a jewel of Australia!!! I'm planning to get a working holiday visa first, then get 885 visa for a greencard.

    I need any advices to find a job in Melbourne!!! I would appreciate any kind of comments or help!!! I will be happy as a goose as long as I can find a full time job in any kind of med/surg unit!!!

    Also, it would be great if I can get any advices about the life in Melbourne, such as finding a flat to live!!!

    Thanks!!!!
    elprup likes this.
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    Melbourne has the 2 dedicated trama centres for Victoria. the Alfred & the Royal Melbourne Hospital. I work @ RMH there are many other hospitals in Melbourne as well both public and private. Public hospital system is different to the states and I am a public system nurse through and through! I like having the resources of a doctor on site 24/7 and the unwell patients! When I moved Melbourne I emailed the international recruiter at the hospital and had a response within 2 days! You just need to google Melbourne hospitals, go to their web pages find the careers page and the contact details for the international recruiter!

    Once you have got a job you can find a flat or house share close to work or close to a train or tram line until you get a car.
    elprup likes this.
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    Hi Neeke,

    I am also an American nurse that is just about to begin the process of applying for a visa and for my nurses license in Australia. How long did it take you to get your Australian nurses license and what all do they ask for?
    And is it one nursing board for all of Australia now?
    Also, one last question, will you be applying for your skilled workers visa or are you being sponsered by a hospital? O.k., really one last question, did a company help you through this process or were you able to do it on your own?
    Sorry for all the questions, I've just started looking into the process and it looks a little overwhelming, would love to know if there is any help to get through this process.

    Much thanks,
    Kim in USA
    elprup likes this.
  7. 8
    a little about melbourne hospitals:
    the alfred is part of the public, three-campus alfred group of hospitals, and has a combined cardiothoracic and cardiology unit, as well as a the heart centre; the alfred's transplantation track record is so good it now also does paediatric transplantation for heart patients at the royal children's hospital. it's in prahran, which is well serviced by public transport, about fifteen minutes by tram/ten minutes by train to the cbd. nearby chapel street has some of melbourne's most interesting fashion stores, and, the prahran market has great produce, and there are heaps of fantastic cafes and restaurants.

    st vincent's is a public hospital established by the sisters of charity - non-denominational, its private sister hospital (st vincent's and mercy private) is catholic. both hospitals offer cardiac and cardiothoracic services, though on a smaller scale than the alfred. the rebuilt st vincent's is modern, spacious and attractive. it's in in fitzroy, an inner city suburn less than five minutes from the cbd, and has an ecclectic and vibrant atmosphere - nearby brunswick and smith streets have great, quirky shops, factory outlets and great restaurants.

    monash medical centre is a large, major public hospital that services the south east of melbourne; it is part of the southern health network, the largest of victoria's health care groups. it has a large and comprehensive cardiac unit. further out than the other hospitals you mentioned, mmc's main campus is in clayton. less wealthy than the other areas, housing is more affordable, and there are a number of good restaurants and shops, including outlets. less well serviced by public transport, clayton is easily accessible by car.

    cabrini is a private, not-for-profit group of six hospitals; cardiology services, including the cardiac care unit, operate out of the malvern campus and are primarily elective. malvern is a fairly expensive suburb, home to several private schools and well serviced by public transport. nearby shopping areas include malvern central (a mall) and the well-known shops of glenferrieroad.

    note that public hospitals in australia are somewhat different to their us equivalent - because of the way healthcare funding is structured, public hospitals are usually (though certainly not always) larger and more acute than their private equivalents. all victorian nurses are covered by awards, which dfetermine pay and conditions; these are consistent across the public hospitals (ie the same at the alfred and at monash), and within private groups (ie all grade 2 year 3 nurses at epworth have the same conditions, but these may be different to their cabrini equinalents); only public hospitals are required to staff to ratios.

    if you're thinking of going the private route and are interested in acuity, you might like to consider the epworth; also a privately-run group, the epworth has victoria's only private emergency department, and two cardiac units, one in richmond and a smaller unit at epworth eastern. richmond is a booming inner suburb, with great public transport, factory outlets along bridge road, indie music, and fabulous, cheap asian restaurants in victoria street as well as contemporary australian dining in swan street.

    differences in practice
    australia has a 38-hour work week; for full time staff that means you work either 5 8-hour day shifts or 4 10-hour night shifts, with an extra, paid day off every month. in general all staff work all shifts, so you might have a pm, two am's, a pm and another am then days off, with a maximum of ten shifts in a row.

    nurses are expected to take blood, and most places offer cannulation courses.

    there's no such thing as repiratory therapists here - nurses give nebs and titrate o2, manage traches (suctioning, nebs, tape changes, inner cannula changes), set up and run humidified o2 via a fisher & paykel, manage cpap for patients with osa, and apply and monitor bipap. the good news here is that, at least where i work, there are a variety of support staff to help you, especially in hours, including the staff of the respiratory ward, who set up bipap and can help you troubleshoot cpap and humidifiers.

    only licensed nurses may be paid to provide nursing care to patients in acute public hospitals, so there are no cnas - nurses perform all care from hygeine and pressure care to assessement, wound management and medication administration.

    i'm not aware of any public hopsitals that have pyxis, or that have 24-hour pharmacy. nurses make up the majority of infusions (eg antibiotics) on the ward, with ony rare medications pre-prepared (eg cyctotoxics).

    living in melbourne
    to get an idea of housing costs check out realestate.com.au, realestateview.com.au and/or domain.com.au, which both have rental and purchase properties. to get an idea about how easy both the hospitals and suburbs are to navigate, check out metlink's journey planner.

    for a little general information about melbourne see here and here.
    Last edit by talaxandra on Jun 19, '11
  8. 0
    Thank you guys for such a great information!!!

    K+MgSO4- thank you very much for your info!!! I will contact the international recruiter!!!

    usatooaus- I'm so sorry, but I actually applied to New Zealand RN license first, so I applied under Trans Tasman treaty when I applied to Australia RN license with NZ RN license. I can tell you that it took about 2 months to be a RN in New Zealand with my USA RN license if this can help you. I did everything by myself without any company or agency. It is really eash, just files of papers to prepare.

    yes, AHPRA is the new Australian one united nursing board. I hope this can help you. Good luck with your adventure!!!

    talaxandra- Thank you sooooo much for your detailed information!! I was surprised that Australian hosptial doesn't have respiratory therapist or CNAs!!! I guess I would learn a lot when I move to Australia!!!
  9. 1
    Quote from neeke816
    Thank you guys for such a great information!!!

    K+MgSO4- thank you very much for your info!!! I will contact the international recruiter!!!

    usatooaus- I'm so sorry, but I actually applied to New Zealand RN license first, so I applied under Trans Tasman treaty when I applied to Australia RN license with NZ RN license. I can tell you that it took about 2 months to be a RN in New Zealand with my USA RN license if this can help you. I did everything by myself without any company or agency. It is really eash, just files of papers to prepare.

    yes, AHPRA is the new Australian one united nursing board. I hope this can help you. Good luck with your adventure!!!

    talaxandra- Thank you sooooo much for your detailed information!! I was surprised that Australian hosptial doesn't have respiratory therapist or CNAs!!! I guess I would learn a lot when I move to Australia!!!
    No we do not have respiratory therapists and few CNA's although we do have some AINS (Assistants in Nursing) they are not allowed to assist with care of any acute patient although some hospitals hire them as "sitters" to sit with confused patients

    We DO have "Intensivists" which is a particular breed of medical officer which you may or may not have encountered in the States

    Simply put - where many others are SODS - Single Organ Doctors THESE people are GODS - General Organ Doctors. And yes they are often treated as such. To be fair though a good Intensivist is without equal when it comes to true holistic thinking
    elprup likes this.
  10. 0
    RMH ED and the Assessment unit put pyxis in a year ago in the refurb. the rest of the wards have drug rooms.

    With the ratios in the public health care system (1:4 on general wards) you have time to deliver hygiene and pressure area care to your patients. While there are no resp therapists there are physiotherapists who are involved with respiratory care but the nurse is expected to know how to suction trachy's, deliver nebs, humidify O2 etc.

    Hope you are going well with your applications.
  11. 0
    I am a US nurse trying to move to oz.. in the midst of AHPRA registration. I currently work on a 43 bed surgical floor.. lots of foleys.. drains.. etc. I currently take care of about 7-8 patients on a given night. Are the ratios better in Aus? Is the RN expected to do all the ambulation with the patient? There is no one below the RN to delegate to? I sometimes do patient care.. and hygiene so i am not completely foreign to the idea.. but wow you guys must have your hands full!
  12. 2
    Thus far ratios are only mandated in Victoria, so patient loads are often heavier in other states/terriroties and in Victorian private hospitals. The ratios vary depending on the type of unit (eg ICU vs general ward) and acuity of facility (eg tertiary hospital vs rehab).

    I work on a 32-34 bed specialty medical ward at a tertiary referral hospital. We have a 1:4 ratio on morning and afternoon shifts (plus in-charge and, on week days, NUM and a clinical educator) and five overnight, with the resource nurse taking a lighter patient load than everyone else (usually 2 to everyone else's 7). We have the highest number of patients per nuse on nights in the hospital - on the cardiac unit they usually run as 1:3-4, and most of the surgical wards run 1:5-6.

    I work predominantly with RN's but we do have four enrolled nurses - they're all medication endorsed, and all take a full patient load. We use a combination of primary and team nursing, so that the ward is divided into four geographical groups of eight patients, who are cared for by two nurses who divide resposibility for individual patients between themselves (usually four each), helping out with pressure, care, hygeine, drug checks etc, and covering each others breaks.

    The physios walk most of our rehab-bound stroke patients in the mornings, if that's what you meant about ambulation.
    elprup and kiwinarz like this.
  13. 1
    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.
    elprup likes this.


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