Countries that recognize US accelerated BSN

  1. I have a dilemma: for five years I've been a critical care cardiac nurse in the US. I've had wanderlust since I was a kid and I love learning other peoples' cultures/beliefs. It's in this capacity that I want to work outside of the US as a nurse. The problem is my accelerated nursing degree.

    I met with contacts at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi last month and despite my awesome CV, years of experience, and stellar professionalism, I was told that because my degree was less than 2 years in duration Health Authority Abu Dhabi would not grant me licensure; even though I received the same amount of didactic and clinical hours as a traditional BSN. The educational requirements are the same for all health authorities in the Middle East as I was told the same thing when I tried applying to King Faisal in Riyadh, KSA.

    My question to everyone is: are there any countries in which my 12-month BSN (fully accredited by CCNE) would be accepted? I've contacted the boards in Singapore and Australia/NZ and am waiting to hear back. I've traveled the world and would LOVE to bring my cardiac knowledge and skills to a broader audience...if only nursing boards would recognize them. Thank you.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   adventure_rn
    Have you contacted any travel nurse agencies that arrange international assignments? They're bound to know all of the legal ins-and-outs of temporary licensure in other countries, and it may be faster than waiting to hear back from the boards in specific countries. I'd imagine that the entire process of working abroad as a nurse is generally much smoother going through an agency, since they have experience in the process and can troubleshoot if you encounter any issues.

    If your goal is to travel, then taking international travel nursing assignments may be a good way to go. Some countries like Australia are pretty lax with temporary work visas for skilled professionals; others are really strict. You may have a hard time convincing a foreign hospital to sponsor your work visa if you don't have plans to stay there indefinitely (just like a US hospital wouldn't want to hire you if they knew you planned to leave after a year).

    Another work-around would be to do contract nursing (i.e. travel or agency nursing) a few months at a time, then travel and/or volunteer internationally a few months at a time. For instance, Doctors without Borders and Mercy Ship have acute care nursing opportunities (though I don't know if you'd run into licensure issues there....)
  4. by   uaefan
    Yes, I have contacted several international nursing agencies (Helen Ziegler, Pearls, CCM International, and Professional Connections among a few others). They all tell me the same thing - from Ireland to Australia/NZ: accelerated BSNs do not fulfill the educational requirements needed to secure employment.

    This is not a fleeting endeavor. I've wanted to live and work overseas for a very, very looooong time. And I would certainly commit long-term if I were offered a job. I was just wondering if anyone with an accelerated degree had luck in finding work outside of the US.

    Thank you for mentioning Mercy Ships; I'd never even heard of them, but I'll look into it more closely.
  5. by   JustBeachyNurse
    Accelerated nursing education is unique to the US and not acceptable in most other countries.
  6. by   US RN in Oz
    That may have been a good thing, unless you love learning about beliefs that are OK with slave labor and punishing women. The UAE is pretty awful. I did an accelerated 2nd degree course in America and was able to get licensure in Australia about a year ago. No problems.
  7. by   conchobar
    -ClarkeBar, hearing that you got your BSN thru an accelerated program and and were able to get to Australia is extremely encouraging!
    I am curious to know how much nursing experience you had before you applied Australian licensure? Did landing a hospital or agency help you thru the immigration process?
  8. by   US RN in Oz
    Quote from conchobar
    -ClarkeBar, hearing that you got your BSN thru an accelerated program and and were able to get to Australia is extremely encouraging!
    I am curious to know how much nursing experience you had before you applied Australian licensure? Did landing a hospital or agency help you thru the immigration process?
    Conchobar,

    I had 15 months experience before applying. My partner's employer helped with the immigration process. She's not a nurse and she is super specialized.

    There is no longer a massive shortage of nurses in Australia so, hospitals and/or Australian agencies are currently not interested in the hassles associated with sponsoring visas. Once upon a time, hospitals used to have their own international recruitment programs. Not any more.

    There are numerous different types of visas. I believe most of the working holiday visas can be extended once here. West international peeps I know here took care of everything on their own accord. I do know of one American nurse over here that went through an international agency. I do not no l know the details, but I will try to find out. I would imagine recruiters that can do this are few and far between.

    Are you also an EMT? Are you still credentialed as an EMT. That profession had really progressed in Australia recently. Nursing here is not too great.
    Last edit by US RN in Oz on Nov 18, '16 : Reason: Addition
  9. by   monsherry
    I wonder if this is different if you are also in the process in pursuing a masters degree. I have also done the 15 month accelerated program but currently pursuing my Masters in Public Health. I have recently interviewed with Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi and they have requested numerous documents for me to complete to process an offer. I'm hoping I'm just not waiting for a rejection

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