Need advice about moving to Australia!

  1. Hello everyone,

    My girlfriend and I will be graduating next year from our BSCN program in Canada and would like to move to Australia permanantly upon passing our RN examination. She has travelled to Australia in the past and felt Melbourne would be an ideal place to stay, however, that could change.

    In our area we have annual job fairs, however, we missed the past one and have to wait till next February for the next. Until that time, I must research to find out all my questions Here's where I'm hoping to have all of your input.

    I've been to numerous websites that are seeking Nurses in Australia, but the information if very limited. Is there a specific website that would ideal to start off with to get a basic information about Nursing in Australia?
    More so, I'm hoping to find information in regards to salary, signing bonus, incentives etc...

    Hopefully someone could begin to shed some light on my endeavors.

    Thanks alot!
  2. Visit X-treme profile page

    About X-treme

    Joined: Mar '02; Posts: 105


  3. by   talaxandra
    Hi Steve - welcome to allnurses Australia! Have you checked out the sticky of this forum? It has quite lot of information about living in working in Australia that might halp to kick things off.
    Although wages and conditions vary from state to state (and territory), they are the same at all public hospitals within each state. Since the introduction of the nurse: patient ratio, signing bonus (which were small to start with) seem to have vanished from the ads in my hospital - not sure what it's like elsewhere.
    There are good hospitals everywhere, and it doesn't sound like you guys are ready to specialise, so it might be easier to look at location (ie state) first and then specific hospitals. Just a thought
    PS It's been said before on this forum, and cannot be stressed enough - stay away from remote/rural nursing. Don't get me wrong, it's awesome work and really good money, but you need to have a chunk of experience under your belt.
    Last edit by talaxandra on Mar 26, '05 : Reason: typo
  4. by   X-treme
    Thank you for your input!

    I'm trying to locate an agency that would help ease our transition. The links provided in the 'sticky' thread are helpful, but are limited to certain information offered.

    I've emailed various agencies in Australia, but none have yet to email me back. Is there any reputable agencies out there?

    Thank you
  5. by   talaxandra
    I don't know off the top of my head, but I'll ask how some of my colleagues (who trained overseas) got here and will get back to you
  6. by   X-treme
    Thank you so much!
  7. by   bukko
    Quote from X-treme
    I've emailed various agencies in Australia, but none have yet to email me back. Is there any reputable agencies out there?

    Thank you
    I'm an RN from the U.S. who's trying what you're wanting to do. I've enquired at several agencies, but they've been flaky. I registered with one, Eden Health, and had a good e-mail exchange going with one of their recruiters. Like most Australians, she was very personable. Then abruptly (from my perspective at least) she sent a message saying she was going on maternity leave and assigning my file to a co-worker. I heard from that woman once, but she never replied to my further e-mails.

    So I registered at a second agency, Acclaim. The recruiter I was working with was also helpful, via e-mail and on the telephone. She arranged a phone interview for me with the directors of a cardiothoracic unit at a large teaching hospital in Canberra. They offered me a job, but the more I learn about Australia's capital city, the more I like Melbourne. So I asked the recruiter to line up a chat with at least one hospital there. (My wife and I are flying Down Under for a scouting trip next month.) She seemed kind of sniffy about doing that, and so far no results.

    I don't know whether the poblem is them or me. I've been a nurse for 13 years, the past three as an RN, with a clean and broadly-experienced nursing record. I don't think it's because I'm a bad employment prospect. I'm not sure whether these nurse recruiters have enough contacts at hospitals to shop potential employees around. At this point, I'm frustrated with agencies and planning to get hired based on my own efforts.

    For what it's worth, the enquiries I've made to hospitals directly have not been fruitful either. I've sent in my application for a nursing licence to New South Wales board, and have been busy supplying them with the extra paperwork they keep requesting. Perhaps when I have an actual registration to legally practise nursing I will be taken more seriously.
  8. by   eirthjona

    From all I have heard it is better to applie to the hospitals, agencies do temp jobs the hospitals do the full time work.
  9. by   X-treme
    I also have an additional question about the pay for nurses.

    From what I've been told by various people, the minimum wage for any job is roughly $14.00? Is that correct?

    As for nurses, I read on an Australian Government website describing the pay for nurses, and it appears that they start off at roughly $20/hour. That hourly wage was for a 'normal' floor nurse. Whereas a specialized nurse would have higher wages to start. As the years increase, so does pay. However, on another website (non-government), nurses were said to start at $30/hr and obtain as high as $50/hr.

    I'm just baffled because many individuals have told me that individuals who work in Australia tend to get payed quite a bit more than other countries, but it doesn't appear so for nursing jobs.

    I do not want to sound judgemental about this issue, but I hope to seek some clarification regarding the topic. I may have the whole ordeal mixed up.

  10. by   talaxandra
    Minimum wage is currently $12.30 - the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is in the middle of a campaign to increase this to $13/hour.
    Conditions and salary vary from state to state. In Victoria there are different pay tiers for different divisions (div one is an RN, two is approx an LPN, three is mid). Pay increments are yearly, on the anniversary of employment.
    A first year div one earns 18.31/hr base rate; an RN with ten years experience earns $25.80/hr; a clincal nurse specialist (which doesn't mean the same thing here as in the US) earns $26.24 an hour. Added to that are penalty rates:
    PM - $17.40 (per shift), ND & permanent ND (more than 6 weeks) - $43.80 & $50.50 respectively (per week), and weekly allowances (from $30.20 to 56.50) for post grad qualifications.
    I'm a CNS - I'm often in charge (which puts me up a pay grade), I work a lot of nights, a lot of weekends, and have a Masters' degree. My base rate is $997.20/week, with an extra 25 - 50% extra in penalties and allowances, which is above average.
    Each private sector hospital or group has it's own agreement, but there's not that much difference.
    ICU and other highly-specialised staff are financially recognised, but the nurses who earn $50/hr work for agencies, who can charge what they like. Agencies supply hospitals with per-shift staff, rather than longer periods; obviously, they tend to go with the agencies that charge less
    Hope that helps clear things up a bit

    PS I haven't forgotten about checking out the state of play with my colleagues, but haven't managed just yet. Sorry.
  11. by   talaxandra
    Steve, I've spoken to a couple of nurses from overseas.
    The first went through O'Grady Peyton International (, although their website looks like they only source staff for the US.
    The other highly recommends BBT (Bereford Blake Thomas -, who have a branch in Toronto.
    They also had some links you might find helpful:
    "The Australian Government Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous affairs publish useful information on beginning a life in Australia. Each state or territory has an in-depth guide which can be downloaded from the website. Please follow the link"
    And for an up to date list of migrant occupations in demand in Australia
    Hope this helps, will update you when I speak to other staff from overseas