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American RN moving to Australia

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by ErraticThinkerRN ErraticThinkerRN (Member) Member

ErraticThinkerRN has 10 years experience and specializes in Critical Care, Trauma, CCU/MICU/SICU.

953 Profile Views; 26 Posts

I'm hoping some of our Aussie nurses can help me out on this one. I am finishing up my PhD in Nursing later this year, and I will be moving to Sydney mid 2017 to live with my partner. I've been a nurse for ten years in critical care and trauma, with some management experience as well. I'm in the process of figuring out applying for registration, but had some more general questions about nursing in Australia, and more specifically, Sydney.

Does anyone have any insight into things like what to expect from the job hunt once I have licensure there? I will be applying for permanent residency at the same time, so I will be eligible for most employment I think except for government jobs reserved for citizens. Having a PhD will open up some doors for faculty or administration roles, but I feel as though I should work at the bedside for awhile at first to get a feel for nursing in Australia.

Having been back and forth between the States and Australia a fair amount over the last few years, I've met a few nurses in Sydney who all love what they do, and my overall perception seems to be that nursing there is very similar with some key differences. So, any insights or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

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10 Posts; 385 Profile Views

Welcome!

In Australia our nursing registration is nationalised, so once you're registered with AHPRA you can work anywhere in the country. You'll have to prove your English language skills, but your university transcripts (certified) should be okay. Look at ahpra.gov.au for more info on applying from overseas. Being from the US you shouldn't have any dramas with your qualifications.

I would recommend contacting the hospital directly as well as look at advertised vacancies. You can get work at state hospitals without PR, although you won't be preferenced. Mind you, with your qualifications and experience you'd probably be quite attractive to NSW Health. I work in Queensland so can't tell you any specifics about applying.

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ErraticThinkerRN has 10 years experience and specializes in Critical Care, Trauma, CCU/MICU/SICU.

26 Posts; 953 Profile Views

Welcome!

In Australia our nursing registration is nationalised, so once you're registered with AHPRA you can work anywhere in the country. You'll have to prove your English language skills, but your university transcripts (certified) should be okay. Look at ahpra.gov.au for more info on applying from overseas. Being from the US you shouldn't have any dramas with your qualifications.

I would recommend contacting the hospital directly as well as look at advertised vacancies. You can get work at state hospitals without PR, although you won't be preferenced. Mind you, with your qualifications and experience you'd probably be quite attractive to NSW Health. I work in Queensland so can't tell you any specifics about applying.

Thanks for your input! Some of my friends there in public health circles have suggested I try working with NSW Health, so it's nice to hear that it's an option.

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83 Posts; 2,559 Profile Views

Hi!

If you run into any AHPRA application questions, I may be of some assistance. I went through it about a year ago.

I am not familiar with NSW, but I have worked in 19 different hospitals in VIC as a Division 1 Grade 2 RN. You may have a different experience from myself in job hunting and duties, due to my scant number of years as a nurse.

So, what to anticipate...

Firstly, are you actually certified in critical care or trauma?

I've never met an NP down here. I think I recall maybe seeing a position advertised at one point. The AMA has been successfully stifling the advancement of nursing.

To work clinically, you may land an agency gig first. Good way to sample the hospitals and wards. If you do manage to land something full time at the bedside... my experience is most places have rotating schedules so, be prepared to work days, evenings, and overnights.

You most likely will have to revert back to a paper based system. Drives me bonkers at times, not for the extra effort needed to put into it, but for the lack of speed and efficiency that ends up negatively effecting patient safety and outcomes. They haven't quite entered the 21st century in this regard.

Expect unsafe patient to nurse ratios in the private system from time to time. I started with 8 one shift last week and ended up with eleven. Although it was a rehab hospital, only two were independent and the others required half hourly and hourly checks... no aides.

Expect to be faced with delemas on a daily basis. Typically about either doing the correct thing while delaying patient care or putting yourself in a liable situation if you take the other rout. They have a habit of throwing the nurses under the bus.

I've noticed a general under-valuation of nurses. Clinically, it's more task oriented with less assessment and critical thinking.

There's a great variation in shift differentials. The rate for working days is peanuts.

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83 Posts; 2,559 Profile Views

PR will take 6 month to a year. I'm not sure as to who could sponser this for you. I am very fortunate that my partner is highly specialized and that I was included in her visa application. Her employer organized it and funded it. I belive it was several thousand dollars.

Employers will hesitate offering long-term employment without PR. Fortunately, there are a lot of one-year gigs due maternity leaves.

Also, without PR, you will not be eligible for many social services, including medicare. You will need to purchase private insurance out of pocket.

AHPRA will take at least 4 months after completing your application portfolio.

Although I used to love working clinically and get much satisfaction out of it, if I was moving to Oz with a PhD, I'd be looking at various other options... admin, academics, sales, marketing, etc.

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