Please help!! US Citizens using Aus BSNs to work in the US

  1. Hi,
    First, thank you for taking the time to read my thread. I have some questions that really need answering and if you could answer all/ any of them I would be so so greatful.
    This is my situation- I graduated in 2003 with a BA in English and then did a stint in the Peace Corps (US volunteer program). There, I realized I wanted to get into nursing and now I'm back in the US taking prereqs to go to school. But, my boyfriend is Aussie and got me looking into programs there. There are some graduate entry programs (QUT, U. Melbourne) and I'm thinking about applying to those (plus they dont' have the crazy number of prereqs that US programs have) but before I make the move and the financial & time committment I have to figure out if it will be a problem for me to work in the US with a BSN from Aus. I'm a US citizen (dual- Japan). Also, I would like to have the option of doing an MSN eventually and I'm worried that I wouldn't be as attractive a candidate if I don't have a degree from the US. I know Aus degrees are recognized around the world but you and I know that the US is a self-absorbed type of place.
    Does anyone know an American who has been in the same situation?? Does anyone know how difficult/ easy it would be to work in the US or do a masters in the US after getting a degree in Aus as a US citizen? Would it be easy getting a job in Aus after completing my program in Aus as an American? How to Aussie nursing degree programs compare with those in the US?
    I really want to be with my boyfriend and the Aussie prgrams look good but I'm really worried about these issues. Please help! Thank you!!
  2. Visit Murasaki81 profile page

    About Murasaki81

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 15


  3. by   Norstar
    Hi there,

    I'm kind of in the same situation as you except I'm an Australian living in Canada about to return home to finish my nursing degree. I'm definitely not the "be all and end all" of information but from what I have researched so far is that although Australian degrees are highly regarded they fall short of of some of the US and Canadian requirements in the paeds and maternity courses. I'm sure each state in the US has different requirements but generally speaking that is what I have found so far. Not to say you can't complete your degree in Australia and make up the extra courses at the end or even during. That is my plan anyway since I'm in too deep now to re-evaluate. Had I had my time over again I would probably do the same thing. You might even find a program that gives you elective options and you could cover the extra requirements in those, although I know alot of universities are now reducing those more and more with nursing programs becoming more rigid.

    Not sure if that helps but good luck with it all!!
  4. by   Grace Oz
    I know this doesn't quite give you the answers you're after, but.... What I can tell you is; Australian nurses are highly regarded and much sought after overseas. I have a friend who had no problem working in the US, and she has an Australian degree.
    Good luck!
  5. by   Murasaki81
    Thank you so much for your replies. I really appreciate it.
  6. by   suzanne4
    The issue is whether or not the program contains all of the required subjects for the US. Requirements can vary slightly between states but all require clinical and theory hours in each of the required areas. And that is for Canada as well as the US.
  7. by   kidznurse
    When I worked in the States I did a CGFNS exam prior to going then sat the New York NCLEX after 6months working there. lew through . No issues with my NZ quals .it was in 1990 though so don't know if things have changed.
  8. by   suzanne4
    Things have changed significantly. CGFNS is no longer required for most states, and it is almost impossible to work with just the CGFNS unless it is in a nursing home. Most hospitals will no longer take a nurse that has only passed the CGFNS exam. Also almost impossible to get petitioned by a hospital without having the NCLEX completed for those that need a visa.

    Take a look at the Primer at the top of the International Forum to see all of the changes.
    Last edit by suzanne4 on Feb 21, '07
  9. by   ANnot4me
    I am a US nurse and live/work in NZ. I have also worked in Australia. I would suggest you train in the US and take the NCLEX. A US degree and registration is recognized in Australia, NZ and the UK without exam. If you go to school outside the US, you will have to sit the NCLEX exam without the benefit of an education that focused on teaching you how to think for the contents of the exam.
  10. by   kidznurse
    Maybe its different now but I found the NCLEX a breeze
  11. by   Murasaki81
    Hi Chigap,
    The reason I want to do my schooling in Australia is to be with boyfriend.... and I have to decide whether our relationship and the degree program would be enough reason to make the move to Aus (hence the stress). Are the programs and systems in Australia that different that I wouldn't be able to study on my own for the NCLEX? I just want to be able to work in the US as a safety option. I want to have all options open to me since I've learned that life is full of surprises and twists. Also, I already have a B.A. so I'm looking into graduate entry BSN programs or recently I've run into graduate entry Masters of Science (2yr) programs that basically resemble the BSN programs. Have you heard of these and do you have any recommendations on schools? Thanks!!
  12. by   ANnot4me
    You will get a great education in OZ and will be able to study for the NCLEX yourself. I did not find the NCLEX that difficult either, but for some it is very difficult.

    Remember, you will have to pay non-resident tuition in Australia and it is quite expensive (unless you wait until you have been there about a year). Personally, I love living in NZ and really enjoyed Australia. If you plan on living here, then it would make more sense for you to train here.

    Best of luck.....
  13. by   susieok
    if you are in love... go for it, be with the aussie bloke and do your nursing degree in australia. you can always make up the extra hours in paeds and maternity/obstetrics at the end of your degree... or perhaps do an elective in paeds in final year and tee up the prac then as well. maternity will have to be made up after, but who cares! you'll be living in australia, living with your man, having fun and enjoying another culture! you're only young, do it now while you can. you can always rtn to the states incase things don't work out, so why not give it a go. i'm an aussie, and i'm currently studying my NCLEX exam, so it can be done.
  14. by   Murasaki81
    Thank you very much for your words of encouragement! I am currently waiting to hear back from the QUT graduate entry BSN and if I do get in, I think I'll make the move. I wish you the best of luck on the NCLEX!