Nursing opportunities overseas

January 5, 2015

Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.

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If you want to help others, and would also like to have the opportunity to travel with your job, nursing could be perfect for you. There are several reasons why you might want to travel as a nurse – here, we discuss some of these options.

To live in another country

If you’re looking to put roots down elsewhere, there are plenty of options. The UK is a popular choice with Australian nursing students, as it offers a familiar language and links with home. The NHS is currently facing major nursing shortages, which opens up the doors for applications from overseas. According to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), ‘urgent action must be taken to address the shortfall in the nursing workforce’. To tackle this, almost half of the health services organisations in the UK have been looking overseas to fill vacancies, and this figure is increasing.

Observing a surgical procedure! To help those less fortunate

Lots of nurses would like to use their skills to help those in countries where there is less access to good healthcare than back home. Organisations like VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) provide opportunities for qualified nurses to better the quality of healthcare in countries with a high poverty level. Generally, nurses spend one or two years overseas, although shorter stints are available. You could work in countries such as Malawi, Nepal, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia or Tanzania, to name a few!

There are also a range of organisations which offer short-term placements for nurses who want to volunteer for weeks, rather than months or years at a time. A quick internet search will bring up plenty of options!

To see the world

Lots of nurses travel the world, working in many different locations, as a result of the demand for nurses across the globe. Popular countries to work in are: New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, the UK, Canada, Ireland, Dubai, Spain and many more. 

To earn more  

On average, nurses in the USA have the highest net income in the world. While Australia ranks second, there is a difference of over US$400 a month (! If you’re leaving in one of Australia’s cities, you might find that your salary doesn’t go as far as you’d like – if so, a temporary move to the US could be the answer.

Overall, Australia offers good training, remuneration, and career development opportunities. However, if you do want to travel, a degree from an Australian University will stand you in good stead for heading overseas – they are well respected internationally. There aren’t many jobs that are as in demand as nursing, giving you the best possible travel opportunities. Whether you want to take a short trip, or move overseas for a few years, why not take this awesome opportunity?