If you’re familiar with our site at all, you know that we offer some of the best travel nurse assignments in the U.S. In fact, many of our blogs even showcase a specific state or location to give you a little insight into what an assignment there like. However, did you know that travel nurses can go international? In fact, for those wanderlust travelers looking to explore the world, a travel nurse assignment abroad is a great way to do just that! Some might prefer exploring Europe or heading to South America. However, there’s a place on the opposite hemisphere that had been a hotbed for travel nurses looking for a new adventure! Travel nursing in Australia will give you the chance to explore the land down under as you begin the next step of your travel nurse journey. Below we’ll provide a guide to travel nursing in Australia and go over some of the most important things to consider.
Travel Nursing in Australia
What to Do I Need?
Well, first you will need to obtain your passport. It sounds simple enough, but the process of getting your passport typically takes 6 to 8 weeks. Don’t become one of those horror stories where the travel nurse accepts a position but procrastinates on getting his or her passport. If you don’t have your passport in time, you might have just blown your shot at travel nursing in Australia.
Secondly, you’ll need to get registered through the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA). This board certifies the nurses and the process can be completed by having the nursing school that you got your degree from, send your information to the AHPRA. The process itself can certainly be tedious, but if you’re committed to filling out all the necessary paperwork, you should be on a plane in no time! One of the nice things about Australia is that there’s no board of nursing exam. This means that there’s one less exam that you’ll need to study for. As long as you’re registered by the AHPRA, you’re good to go!
One last thing you’ll need to consider is a visa. Since you’ll most likely be stating in Australia for an extended period of time, you’ll need a visa so you can legally live and work there. In Australia, the type of visa you need usually depends on your age. If you are under thirty, you can get a work-holiday visa that will last up to 12 months. However, you cannot be employed by the same employer for longer than six months. This shouldn’t be an issue since most travel nurse assignments do not last nearly that long. If you are over thirty, you will want to apply for a hospital-sponsored visa. The application is a little more complicated, but it will allow you to work at the hospital that sponsored you for up to four years!
Other Things to Consider
Even if you’re experienced in travel nursing on different assignments, an assignment abroad is a different story. You’ll really want to consider what you’re packing. You’ll be taking a very long international flight, so need to limit yourself to the essentials. You also most likely won’t be visiting home very often. If you forget something, chances are you won’t be seeing it for quite some time.
One of the biggest things that keep travel nurses from making the international leap is leaving behind everything they have at home. While it is a scary step, there are plenty of ways that you can stay connected at home while travel nursing in Australia. Facetime and other video chat apps are a great way to stay connected to home. You’ll be able to chat with friends and family and see their smiling faces with the push of a button! Many travel nurses will also try to save to money to come home for major holidays. There’s nothing like surprising your family before you celebrate the holidays.
No matter what age we are, making new friends is hard. It’s one thing to find yourself in a different state but putting roots down in another country is a whole different ball game. Luckily, many health facilities will have mentorship programs designed to help new nurses feel welcome. It’s also a good idea to find a hobby. Whether it’s joining a book club, recreational sports team, or any other activity, you can make new friends while enjoying a hobby!
What has your experience travel nursing abroad been like? Feel free to comment your stories below!