is the grass greener...?

  1. Hi Guys

    Please dont think I'm blowing my own trumpet or anything - just want to relate my story as an example of how things can change if you really want them to...

    I've now been nursing 20 years. Wife, kids, mortgage, NHS job - which I loved, overworked, understaffed, underpaid, clueless management, just keeping head above the water fanancially, looking and applying for jobs but getting nowhere due to the NHS being what it is...any of this sound familiar to anyone?

    Two years ago we decided to act. We didn't want to spend the next 30 years doing the same thing. Was this as far as our life journey went? We looked around and eventually decided we were going to change everything and move to Canada (BC, to be precise). I contacted a health authority and got a job offer. I even had a choice of 12 hospitals to interview with. There are so many nurse vacancies here it's untrue - in all specialites at all levels.

    We didn't know anyone. Had no family or friends there. Never been there before. So we sold the house. Gave away or sold pretty much everything we couldn't take (it was cheaper to buy things when we arrived than to ship it halfway across the world). We left everyone and everything we knew behind and moved across the globe.

    We've been in Canada about 20 months now and life couldn't be better. We all love it (kids included) We have a 6 bedroom house in .25 of an acre for the same price as the small 3 bed semi we left behind. Hummingbirds visit my garden. From my living room window I can see fir tree lined snow capped mountains and Eagles soaring round and round. I make almost 3 (yes, 3) times the money I did in England doing the same job - an RN on a surgical unit. During the course of a shift I have 4 patients - day or night. Back the the UK I had 8 on days and 12 at night. The work is just as hard, but that's ok 'cos I'm finally being paid a decent wage for my skills.

    I've had Patients thank me for coming to their country and bringing my skills and knowledge with me. Back in the UK some patients were under the impression I was their slave.

    So, the moral of the story...you make your own luck in this world.

    Thanks for listening ,well, reading.
  2. Visit Higgs profile page

    About Higgs

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 110; Likes: 147
    RN
    Specialty: 20 year(s) of experience in Med/surg. ED. Palliative. Geront

    10 Comments

  3. by   Silverdragon102
    Thanks for this, We too have been fortunate and have a house and 18 acres of land and costs less than the house we sold in the UK a few years ago. Although not nursing yet we both agree this has been the best more we have made.
  4. by   XB9S
    Cheers guys, now I'm really depressed
  5. by   Silverdragon102
    Well you never know, we may get you to move
  6. by   XB9S
    I did really think seriously about it a few years ago but we have so many really good friends here and my little one adores spending time with her grandparents (who have been an absolute blessing to me as a working mother) We just have to many ties in the UK.

    Even when work is rubbish and I wish I could do anything other than nursing my life outside work makes it well worth staying in the UK.
  7. by   Higgs
    We were so worried and scared before we came over...what if this, what if that...but we felt that we could play the 'what if' game for ever. It was best to do it and see. It might not have worked out (and for a great many, it doesn't work and they go back) but at least we would know- and have a cool story.

    At work, back in the UK, there was an Auxiliary on the ward, approaching retirement, who said that when she was newly married back in the sixties, she and her hubby were going to move to Canada. They had the tickets and were ready to go. But a few days before leaving, she got cold feet and changed her mind. They didn't go. I asked her if she ever regretted not knowing how it would have been. She said yes. She said that she regretted it every single day since.

    We wanted to find out what would happen, not imagine how great it could have been and then be too old to get through the selection process and never find out.

    As for family, we talk on the phone regularly (probably more often than we did when we lived near them!). Webcams and skype are great. Since we moved, we've has so many visitors, we're actually looking forward to not having any!!
    Last edit by Higgs on May 1, '09 : Reason: typo
  8. by   mauiboy
    good for you, mate. if our PD's doesn't become current in two years...we'll seriously consider moving to canada instead.
  9. by   RGN1
    We too made the Canadian move - to Alberta, & we too don't regret it at all.

    The kids are happier & the nursing is interesting & more focussed on the patient than the cleaning! I'm also earning double my UK wages (Alberta RNs are among the best paid in Canada) with a cost of living a little cheaper than it was in London. Although the taxes are on the higher side I still take home in 2 weeks what my UK nursing friends took home per month.

    Our house is way nicer too (detached, 6 beds, double garage, office etc) & the mortgage was on the basis of my wage alone! Although being in the city we don't quite have SD's wonderful acres!!

    Of course the weather is more interesting too:-) but we're really pleased we chose to move.

    Also you can still see soccer, cricket & rugby on TV (or play any of them if you want) - it's much more cosmopolitan than the USA! However, we've also quite happily got into ice hockey, curling, baseball & Canadian Football! :-)

    Life is what you make it for sure & I'm another one who is pleased we took this chance.
  10. by   ann h
    It is so wonderful to hear the positive.
    We moved to Florida Sept 2007, the first few months were hard but have not looked back.

    We like you were fed up with the struggle
    As a family we are so happy (kids 15 and 17)

    We miss our family and friends but would we go back NO!
  11. by   Fiona59
    Quote from Higgs
    We were so worried and scared before we came over...what if this, what if that...but we felt that we could play the 'what if' game for ever. It was best to do it and see. It might not have worked out (and for a great many, it doesn't work and they go back) but at least we would know- and have a cool story.

    At work, back in the UK, there was an Auxiliary on the ward, approaching retirement, who said that when she was newly married back in the sixties, she and her hubby were going to move to Canada. They had the tickets and were ready to go. But a few days before leaving, she got cold feet and changed her mind. They didn't go. I asked her if she ever regretted not knowing how it would have been. She said yes. She said that she regretted it every single day since.... .

    As for family, we talk on the phone regularly (probably more often than we did when we lived near them!). Webcams and skype are great. Since we moved, we've has so many visitors, we're actually looking forward to not having any!!

    It's very different migrating now as opposed to the '60s. That's when my family made the move. Going "back home" wasn't as easy an option as it is now. Most that came in the 60's owed the Cdn. govt. their passage money, which had to repaid within a certain number of years.

    Phonecalls to the UK were expensive and a once a year treat for many. You even had to prebook your call with the phone company due to the limited number of lines available. Mail took forever (7 days if you were really lucky with the airmail). I barely know my family in the UK because it was very expensive to travel back then. I think my family had been in Canada for 8 years before anyone could afford a trip (plus the currency restrictions still existed when travelling). The same for most of my friends families, our generation just didn't have grandparents or aunties and uncles, we made new ones from our parents social circle.

    Going "home" was expensive and to be avoided at all costs. My parents knew several people who's marriages and families were destroyed by the move when one person (usually the wife) just couldn't adjust and left to return to the UK. Back then most visas were based on the husband's trade/profession. Many wives found their credentials were worthless here and if they could find jobs there was no childcare for them.

    I'm honestly glad that it is easier now. Life with affordable telecommunications and the internet, cheaper plane travel will keep you in your families in way that my generation and my parents never were able to.
  12. by   caraibrit
    Hi All,
    Well, I 've just missed a Canada Expo today (to be held at the Leeds Armouries museum). Paid my GDP15.00, but decided that my kids still need me (17 and 15). They're taking exams now and my eldest daughter is just beginning to start up her architectural practice. I have three interviews for community nursing and 1 for learning and development officer in immunisation, I felt I needed more experience before applying (qualified in 2007 but only have about a year's solid nursing experience due to not getting through interviews).

    Money is my problem. I cannot seem to acquire enough to pay all my bills and save enough for Canada. I felt I should start and save and maybe by the time my youngest is ready for college, I can look at things again. At the minute, I'm working for a nursing agency nursing a terminal patient with ca lung and brain mets for 12 hours a day - long day,
    Regards,
    Caraibrit x
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on May 10, '09 : Reason: pm to member

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