Are you looking to work overseas and have a background in nursing, midwifery or aged care? If you’re already a registered nurse, you’ll know that a career in nursing means no two days are ever the same. Each day involves the development of new skills and new challenges to overcome. Nursing is an exciting and diverse career that leads to employment in a variety of environments, and what better environment to practise nursing than Australia?
In this article we look at why choosing a career as a nurse in Australia is the smart choice right now, and how Lonsdale Institute can help make it happen.
Nursing is the most trusted profession in Australia
Currently, there are over 300,000 nurses in Australia. Like any job, it has its challenges, but as most Australian nurses will tell you, it’s a rewarding experience. Australia celebrates International Nurses Day and nursing is considered an important occupation. Nurses are highly respected in Australian society.
In Australia, nursing is a highly trusted profession, with the Gallup poll ranking nursing as Australia’s most trusted profession 15 years in a row. Australian nurses are considered the professionals who uphold the highest ethical standards of all professions, including police, teachers and doctors.
Australia needs nurses
Australia needs more nurses. According to SBS, “ongoing staffing challenges mean foreign workers will continue to be an essential part of the Australian health system”. The Australian Government’s 2014 Australia’s Future Health Workforce report noted that Australia will need at least an extra 123,000 nurses around the country by 2030. For this reason alone, international nurses have many opportunities in Australia.
Now is a great time for visa workers in nursing to seek employment in Australia, with nursing appearing on Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) published by Australian states. What matters is that you find an accredited provider with a clear pathway into the nursing industry in Australia, such as Lonsdale Institute.
Australia has an aging population
Despite increased migration, Australia still has an aging population. On average, Australians are getting older, and with new nurse-to-patient ratios in effect in most states, there’s increased pressure on hospitals to increase their nursing staff.
While some new nurses will come through education programs for Australians to increase the number of local nurses, these programs will take time. Right now, the skill shortage means Australian hospitals are looking to overseas nurses to help increase their nursing staff.
The average age of nurses in Australia is quite high
According to Annie Butler of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, the average age of a nurse or midwife in Australia is 47. That means many will be looking to retire over the next 10 to 15 years. Those jobs will need to be filled, and with both an aging workforce and population, there’s a lot of opportunity on the horizon for nurses.
You’ll get to see unique parts of the country
With many opportunities for international registered nurses in regional areas, there’s an abundance of opportunity to see the natural wonder and beauty of the Australian outback. Australia is one of the most unique landmasses in the world, with a diverse range of flora and fauna that you can’t find anywhere else. If you like the great outdoors, a career in nursing in Australia could provide you with the opportunity to explore the region.
Australian nurses are well paid
Australia has one of the best pay rates in the world for nurses. Depending in what state you work in, registered nurses in Australia earn around AU$60,000 per year. As your experience progresses, your salary will grow, too. Clinical nurses in Australia earn around $85,000 annually, and this figure continues to increase with senior positions such as Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Unit Manager. To work as a nurse in Australia, you must register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, meet the registration standards, and complete a skills assessment test.
Why do international nurses need to take the IRON program?
Each country has its own legislation and regulatory processes applicable to healthcare. Although you may be a fully accredited nurse in your home country, differences between healthcare systems necessitate study programs to facilitate the transition of skills from country to country. In Australia, the Initial Registration of Overseas Registered Nurses (IRON) is a mandatory bridging course for nurses from some countries, which allows international nurses to apply for registration with the registered Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
Become a nurse in Australia with Lonsdale Institute
Convinced you want to try nursing in Australia? Lonsdale Institute delivers our IRON program (Initial Registration of Overseas Nurses) in conjunction with Alpine Health, who provide health services to Myrtleford, Bright and Mt Beauty, all in the northeast of Victoria.
Completion of the IRON program provides a pathway for international nurses to apply for AHPRA registration as a Level 1 nurse. This program is designed to help bridge the gap for international nurses, focusing on the development of Australian based knowledge and application in nursing and healthcare. Delivery is focused on a combination of theory and knowledge with practical application.
In order to help you succeed, Lonsdale Institute can help provide accomodation during the period of the course, which runs for 12 weeks, with 40 hours of study and education per week.
If you’re interested in a career as a registered nurse in Australia, check out our bridging course and begin your nursing career in Australia today today.