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US nurse wanting to move overseas???

Immigration   (772 Views | 3 Replies)
by samw24 samw24 (New) New

112 Profile Views; 1 Post

Hey guys!!

So I am a new nurse, been working in a CT surgical ICU for only seven months, with a contract to work for my hospital for two years total. As soon as my contract ends, I really really want to do some travel nursing overseas or immigrate to another country and work as a RN there. I was thinking either Australia, or some places in Europe (England, Ireland, maybe Spain but my Spanish isn't the best, or possibly Italy). I have visited Spain, England, Italy, and I have friends in Ireland and Australia, but I do not know any people who work as nurses in those countries. My question is... where do I start with this process? Have any of yall been in similar situations? How is the pay for nurses in these countries, and are there some reasons I shouldn't work in one of the countries I listed?

I'm sorry if my questions are very broad, I just don't know where to start with this process, and I would like to gather as much information as I can as early as I can. 

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Silverdragon102 has 32 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC.

8 Followers; 1 Article; 39,167 Posts; 144,837 Profile Views

You really need to decide on where you want to live and then look at both requirements as a nurse as well as immigration or work permit requirements 

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kaitfinder has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in USA Emergency Nurse, now RN in the UK.

56 Posts; 1,304 Profile Views

Can't give you TOO much information about most of those places, however I can provide personal advice on workin in England and anecdotal advice about Australia.

You definitely will want to finish that 2 year contract you currently have before looking at working overseas. Most countries will hire you with 1year experience but you're still so brand new that I highly recommend 2 years before trying to switch to a different system of healthcare.

In England you do get paid about 30%~ish less than you will in the US. I was an RN in the US, worked in the ED and had 2 years of experience before I moved to the UK  for nursing. Nursing is a bit different here and focuses less on medicine and more on social care (however in acute care units like ED and ICU it seems roughly the same). Be prepared to work both days AND nights as you will be expected to work both and flip every few weeks. Also be prepared to work very hard for less money.

Don't know a whole lot about Australia but from nurses I know who have worked there or are from there, nursing scope of practice seems to be roughly the same as in America, and pay roughly the same as well. However Ihave been told that in order to get a work visa as a nurse it can cost literally thousands of dollars and sometimes up to 5 years to get licensed. Don't let that dissuade you from trying as as I've said this is just anecdotal, but it could take very long.

For comparison, it took me roughly 10 months from start (interviewing for a job, taking tests, paperwork, moving, etc.) to finish to get licensed as a nurse in the UK. I started roughly April and moved end of December, started work January 6, 2019, then had to take a licensing exam and passed Feb 17. Still a while of work but you can still work in the USA up until you get your approved work visa as you won't be moving until you get that visa. Also cost maybe $1.5k to move? My hospital paid for my visa application and Immigration Health Surcharge Fee (combined, roughly $1k I think?) and my OSCE test ($1.2k), as well as my flight to the UK (like $800) so if you can get a deal with a hospital ike that it's a fairly inexpensive (all things considered) process.

You're right to start researching now, but be aware that these things will take time and money to do. It will be great experience either way, and you have the fact that there is a nursing shortage pretty much the world over so a lot of countries will fast track visas for applicants who have occupations that are heavily needed by the country (i.e. nursing), so that's good.

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