How do I get Nursing Jobs Abroad?

M.C. Huguelet

If you are a qualified nurse who craves the adventures and challenges of living in a foreign country, you may wish to look for nursing jobs abroad. Securing foreign employment can often be complicated, but with research, persistence, and luck, you may be able to land an international nursing job. To begin, learn as much as you can about nursing jobs abroad. Next, decide which country or countries you are most interested in working in, and research their employment requirements and culture. Finally, maximize your chances of getting an international nursing job by remaining flexible.

Nurses working abroad may experience culture shock.
Nurses working abroad may experience culture shock.

The idea of working and living in another country may sound glamorous, but keep in mind that you may face unfamiliar working procedures, homesickness, and culture shock. In addition, you may find it difficult to obtain and maintain permission to live and work in a foreign country. Therefore, you should begin your quest by learning as much as you can about nursing jobs abroad. If you know someone who has worked as an international nurse, consider asking her to tell you about her experiences. Browse the Internet for international nursing information, and if you are still in nursing school, try speaking to an adviser in the careers office.

Travelers going abroad should learn the language of their new country.
Travelers going abroad should learn the language of their new country.

Next, decide which country or countries you are most interested in working in, and research their employment requirements and culture. Find out whether your current nursing degree and experience level qualify you to work in your nation of choice. Learn exactly what is needed to secure a work permit and visa in that country, and make sure you meet all application deadlines and keep copies of all submitted paperwork. In addition, research your chosen nation’s work culture and social customs, and look into practical concerns like setting up a bank account and finding housing. If the native language is different from your own, consider enrolling in a course or hiring a tutor to begin learning that language.

Finally, maintaining a positive, flexible attitude is key to securing nursing jobs abroad. Many highly developed countries have a large nurse population, particularly in their major cities, and thus rarely hire international candidates. Therefore, you may have the most success looking for nursing positions in developing countries or in rural regions of developed countries. In addition, you may wish to consider a volunteer nursing position in a nonprofit health care organization. While such organizations typically do not offer pay, some provide housing, meals, travel stipends, and partial student loan relief.

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