• Specializes in ED, med-surg, peri op. Has 6 years experience.

Thinking about making the move once there is a travel bubble in place. Is Australia any better? Is the pay as good as people say? What’s the work load like? Are Shifts 8 hr or longer? Ect

Any in site from Nurses that have made the move, or even just Australian nurse would be appreciated.


42 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Cardiovascular and thoracic,. Has 36 years experience.

I’m American, but have lived in New Zealand for 12 years (now a New Zealand citizen), bar a few months I worked in a major metropolitan hospital in Melbourne. I worked on a general medical ward. Ratios in place, so no more than 4 patients, but nothing says those 4 patients won’t be full care - feeding, bathing, incontinent. The pay was good, but I really didn’t like the job and found the ward to be a revolving door. (10 nurses gone in 6 months before I arrived. Didn’t know that before I took the job.) No doubt other wards were better. After returning to New Zealand, I happened to work with a nurse who had been on a cardiac ward in the same hospital, at the same time I was there. She loved it and I think she even made more money! The shocking thing was that I had much more cardiac experience than she did, which was documented in my CV, but was never offered a position there. (I did go through an agency, and they were aware of my history and experience. I think I would have been better of to find a job on my own, in retrospect.) I have to say, I did love having access to a big city - trains and trams and busses can get you almost anywhere around Melbourne.

The position I had was full time; I worked 8 hour shifts on day and afternoon shifts, 10 hour nights. The rostering where I was was pretty bad - not unusual to be rostered an afternoon shift followed by a day shift more than a few times on a roster! I asked in writing and verbally, to not have that - which was ignored. I had a very long commute to and from work, which meant I would be lucky to get 4 hours of sleep. Finally just started calling off when I had an evening followed by a day shift.

All that being said, I worked with a nurse (in 2009) who was going to Tasmania to work in a nursing home for 6 months, to make some money and pay off bills. I looked at the rates they were going to pay and was gobsmacked - $60/hr on weekends! Another friend would take leave from her job in New Zealand to work short contracts in Australia - 4 weeks. Her base rate was over $42/hr AUD (in 2013), plus her housing was supplied (and I can’t remember but I think they paid for her flights.) She used to work a short contract, come back and use the money to renovate another room in their house. So, yes, the money is good, and if you can find the right job, its definitely worthwhile.


451 Posts

Specializes in ED, med-surg, peri op. Has 6 years experience.

Thanks for your reply!

I also have looked into the contracts, the money seems great. But also the work appeals to me. But if I was to make a permanent move I would go to Sydney.

Looking at local real estate it doesn’t seem impossible to live in the city, be it in a studio but doable. looking at jobs they all seems to say salary 65-90k depending on experience. Do they have a step system like we have in nz? Or is solely up to the hospital what they pay? 


91 Posts

NSW  - if you are public you will be paid against the award

Private hospitals negotiate their own award - you can find a list of them here

Looking at it they all pay in the similar ballpark :)