All I could say is never lose hope. I was on the same boat as you are now.
I first applied for registration with New Zealand Nursing Council. Had my eligibility to undergo their CAP (Competency Assessment Programme) on July of 2010. I was very excited thinking I was able to hurdle the biggest obstacle. Finding a CAP school would be a cinch (or so, I thought). All of the CAP schools were fully booked and had long wait-lists. I even hired an immigration agent to help me find a school ASAP. Cost me another US $500. If finding a school was a problem, what more with finding a job after getting your license?
So, on December 2010, I decided to submit my documents to AHPRA Vic. Cost me another $450 excluding the postage and all the other documentary requirements. I was still hoping that I can get in New Zealand. But Australia will be my fallback. My mindset at that time was whichever comes first (NZ or Aus) I will grab the opportunity.
Got my AHPRA Letter of Eligibility on July 2011. I immediately sent applications to all the BP schools. In the meantime, still no positive news from NZ. Requested for extension from NZNC to undergo the CAP. Got an approval for a 6 month extension. But still no CAP slot. First week of August 2011, got an offer from ETEA. They were a lot more expensive than most of the schools, but I just decided to grab their offer.
I didn't regret my decision to apply with AHPRA and grab the offer from ETEA. I considered all the cost and effort to be well worth it. Although my lectures were in Melbourne, I was assigned to a hospital in the Central Coast of NSW (that's near Sydney). The hospital is owned by a big network which operates 44 hospitals and clinics all over the country. After my clinical placement, I was offered a job in the hospital.
It's only been a week since I started working here. I love my job. I love the staff and the patients. The area, although about an hour away by train from Sydney, is very quaint, picturesque.
And, my employer is generous and flexible. I will get between 30 to 45 days paid annual leave after 12 months. In the meantime, they will allow me to come home this June for a 2 week unpaid leave. But at the same time, they will allow me to work extra shifts on weekends and holidays to make up for the 2 weeks I won't get paid when I come home on june. They even give free massage services for all their staff once a month. And since they have 43 other facilities all over Aus, they will allow me to transfer wherever I want after the 9 months mandatory period.
So, don't lose hope. I understand what you went through. The roller coaster of emotions we go through is part of the journey. But where there is a will, there definitely will always be a way. Just keep on praying to God for guidance. Cheers!!:)