Jump to content

Australian nurse wanting to work in Canada/USA

Hi all, I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right section. Please point me in the right direction if I'm not.

Okay, so I'm currently in my final year of completing my bachelor degree (RN I), but I've also been an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse, (which I believe is referred to as Licensed Practical Nurse in America), for almost four years. I'm strongly considering working in Canada or USA post graduation. From what I understand, it's very difficult and I don't stand a chance (seeing that I would be a newly qualified RN). But I have been practicing as an LPN for four years and I'll be doing an elective subject in pediatrics next semester. My final placement will also be in a pediatric ward.

My question is, do I stand a chance having no (paid) experience as an RN? Does anyone have any advice for me? Any would be appreciated. If working as an rn doesn't work out, can I work as an LPN in Canada/USA? How to go about it?

Thanks guys!!

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 32 years experience.

Each country has their own requirements but generally as a LPN you will find it difficult as LPN Doesn't meet US work/immigrant requirements and for Canada there is no shortage of LPN. Suggest a good read in this and the Nurse Registration forum re difficulties Australian nurses have registering in the US

Thank you!

I will read into that. Do you know if I need X amount of years as a registered nurse after graduating before I can be eligible to work in the US?

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 32 years experience.

Usually for the US no however having experience makes you more marketable when trying to find employer willing to go work or immigrant route

Okay. Thank you so much for your reply í ½í¸Š

There will be some educational gaps to address. It seems like Oz nurses trying to go to the US frequently fall short of being approved by US boards of nursing without taking additional coursework. Typically not enough poediatrics, psych and ob/gyn covered in an Australian BSN.

I hope I am incorrect about this. Let us know how it progresses.

Nursing in American hospitals is much more intense. Changes are up to the minute, nurses are expected to be more autonomous, and the patients are more demanding.

Edited by US RN in Oz

What are your timelines? Even for LPN it is likely to take a year or more to get a license, because you have to go through the NNAS process and then the licensing body might require you to do additional coursework. Lots of RN's have been found equivalent to LPN's but that doesn't necessarily mean you will be. Just depends on how well your syllabus fits within NNAS's box. Long story short, if this is something you were hoping to do soon, revise plans as it is an expensive, unpredictable and lengthy process.

Hi US RN in Oz, I am a NZ BSN student, American citizen, hoping to become a US RN in the future. Since you seem to know a bit about what Oz nurses go through to becoming RNs in the US, do you happen to know how they made up the pediatrics, psych, and obstretrics courses. From my research it appears very hard to enter a US program for only a select number of classes. Any knowledge on this subject is greatly appreciated! Also hope you are enjoying Ozzie :)


Has 1 years experience.

Hello! I am in the exact same position as you... been an iv endorsed enrolled nurse for 4 years and in my final year of my bachelor to become an RN. From Melbourne also. Would love to know how you went and if you have any advice...

Hi Aussienurse123, nothing to report yet because I'm still doing my BN in New Zealand. I am hoping I will have enough pediatric and obstetric clinical hours by the end of my degree (168 and 30) to qualify for Oregon, Washington, or Colorado and do some post grad papers for peds and obstetrics theory here if needed. The annoying part of it all is I have to wait til I have a real transcript to submit in order to find out if my education is sufficient. I still plan to live in NZ but if I need to move back home (US) I would like to work as a nurse.

Edited by espaghet