Leaving on a Jet Plane…


From time to time we go back and check out past questions asked by our forum members. In April Starrie asked if anyone had feedback from working overseas. She wanted to work overseas but wasn’t set on any particular destination.


“Hi–I want to work overseas and was wondering if anyone had any feedback about their own travels? At this stage I’m not sold on any one destination, although not sure if I’m keen to work in the UAE. Any tips, recommended agencies, do, don’ts MUCH appreciated! Thanks.”

A few of you put your two cents worth in.

Some of the best advice was:
– To register with overseas nursing agencies to make the job-hunt process simpler.
– To contacting nursing agencies overseas and start the paperwork before you even leave home, so when your turn up the process is a lot easier.
– To ask agencies for advice of visa requirements.

Nursing abroad.net says working overseas can be a very rewarding and valuable experience, offering challenges and a new outlook on health care. Many nurses find that the experience enhances their development and increases their confidence both in a personal and a professional capacity.
Opportunities for nurses to work overseas are varied, ranging from working with development organisations in remote, rural conditions, to working in developed countries in highly technical environments.

There will be many positive reasons for wanting to nurse overseas, including the challenges of working and living in another country with a different culture.
Nurses from the UK who are looking to work in other developed countries may be attracted by higher salaries and a better standard of living or a warmer climate.

It is important to understand how the health sector in a country is organised. There may be very different working practices for nurses, even in developed countries. Learning the language of the country will be important as it will be difficult to practice safely and completely without a good command of the host language. It will also make the work more interesting and enjoyable.

What other advice do you have on working overseas? What countries have you worked in? Can you share some of your experiences?

Maybe even write us a guest blog about your experiences nursing in foreign lands. Contact us at admin@nurseuncut.com.au with your stories!

Image credit: Kossy @ Finedays.

Sources: Nursing Abroad and Overseas Nurse

This post was brought to you by the NSW Nurses’ Association.


  1. When I was ‘ young and silly ‘, I looked closely at Saudi.

    ( this was about 10 – 15 years ago….. did I say young? Delete young, just make it silly )

    A brief summary is:

    All the Agencies / Employment companies focus on the ” Tax Free ” angle.

    Most companies will also focus on the ‘ grand travel adventure ‘.

    The truth is, you will work at least 44 hours per week ( the standard working week – not 38 or 40 )

    There is no overtime. There is no extra shifts ( usually )

    Thus, you are usually on a fixed income of whatever YOU agreed to at the time you signed up.

    So, if you signed up for a package of $75,000. a year ( with either free accommodation, or whatever ), then that’s it. No $100,000. with overtime shifts. You can’t factor that into what you’re going to make.

    I can tell you, that working in a busy big city Public Hospital ( or Private for that matter ), as a casual, doing 100 hours a fortnight ( or more ), and working a full year straight…… will give you much more than the $75,000. ‘ tax free ‘ you will get working in Saudi Arabia.

    I have grossed between $100,000. – $150,000. a year when I’ve been casual / agency, and really putting in the hours !!!

    Plus, I have not been subject to the RESTRICTIONS on ordinary life that you will find in Saudi.

    Eg. NO ALCOHOL ( Arrrrrrh !! ) Women must abide with the traditional dress codes. Women should be seen to do ‘ this and that ‘. Then, there is the punishment for breaches of that country’s laws……. ( you don’t even want to think about what they can do to you…. and it HAS BEEN DONE to Australian nurses in the past !!! )

    So, is it worth the ‘ grand adventure ‘ ??? I think not.

    I personally would ONLY do it for a fixed contract of $150,000. tax free ( which I have heard CAN BE negotiated….. but you need to be engaged as a DoN, or something quite senior – not just an RN.


  2. That’s an interesting comment you make about the fixed income thing.

    Right now I supplement my basic income by overtime and being on call. The thing that is putting me off about working anywhere overseas is the conditions, including restricted pay.

    I’m not going overseas for the pay however, more the experience and culture exchange.


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