BC Nurse moving to Austin Texas after graduation

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Hi there, 

I'm in my second year of nursing in BC, Canada and we just finished our last day of clinical yesterday.

So, I always knew that I wouldn't stay in BC... I have always hated the rain and so I knew that the second I graduated that I would immediately dial in a place to move to. I just wasn't sure where to. All I knew was that I wanted to go somewhere warm and sunny. 

Anyways, I went to Austin a few times in the last year and at the end of 2022 and totally fell in-love! I'm thinking it might be the place for me to move to after I graduate and do my NCLEX. 

It's a long ways away but I thought it might a good time to start thinking about where I wanted to end up at after I finish school. After all, I keep being told that it "flies by so fast" so I'm curious as to what the process might be like and how much work it is going to be. It might be a good time to start considering some options. 

Any guidance or advice would be great! 

  1. Does the NCLEX transfer between Canada and USA or do I have to take a certain one? 
  2. Are there any other certifications or test that we would have to do for Texas?
  3. What is the work visa process like? How much does it cost? Would you advise to start applying at the end of my Year 3 or 4 for a US work visa?
  4. Are hospitals in Texas open to new grads out of the country? What are the job opportunities going to look like for a Canadian New Grad?

Any other advice or insights would be great!

Specializes in Medical - Surgical/ General Surgery/ICU.

Does the NCLEX transfer between Canada and USA or do I have to take a certain one? Yes, transferable. Check to see if they allow RN license endorsement. 

Are there any other certifications or test that we would have to do for Texas?  Yes. International educated RNs can choose CGFNS CES, ERES, IERF to assess education per Texas BON website. 

What is the work visa process like? How much does it cost? Would you advise to start applying at the end of my Year 3 or 4 for a US work visa?Depends. Your employer can sponsor through other visas that are dual intent for immigration purposes or hire you for TN (Trade NAFTA) status (affordable, good for 3 years then re-apply indefinitely). If you are to undergo TN then you needed CGFNS - Visa Screen (educational screening certificate needed for occupational visa). 

Nursing is in demand in the US, you can search for potential employers before you graduate if they are sponsoring or aware of TN process.  But it is always convenient when you have graduated w transcript w conferred date (date of graduation) & already passed NCLEX. Try to start working as RN in BC as well while your paperworks are in process because it may take a while. 

Are hospitals in Texas open to new grads out of the country? What are the job opportunities going to look like for a Canadian New Grad? Depends on specialty. The RN orientation in the US is way longer compared to Canada. You can  either apply for New Grad RN Residency or Staff RN position.

Specializes in NICU.

The hospitals I have seen in Texas are awesome,super clean,even the visitors bathroom,everyone doing their job,mostly because they can get fired, as very few are unionized.

Some regional areas have a strong accent and it is easy to misunderstand the instructions,especially for the patient.

Homecare is a big thing,many agencies use foreign nurses.We had some lovely Rns caring for our loved ones.

The pace in ICU seemed better for nurses.

Good luck ,enjoy the rodeo.

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