If you’re considering a working holiday, and you are already a Registered Nurse, then Australia could provide you with a number of exciting opportunities.

As one of Australia’s major cities, nurses are highly in demand in Melbourne. There is work in a range of specialities, across both private and public sector healthcare organisations.

What is it like to work as a nurse in Melbourne?

Compared to the UK, you’ll notice a number of similarities to working practices, particularly when it comes to policy and procedures; however the working conditions for nurses are of a particularly high standard in Melbourne. Patient-nurse ratios are around 4:1, enabling you to concentrate on providing a high quality of care and attention.

By signing up to a nursing agency in Melbourne, you are sure to find a range of varied and interesting roles to suit your qualifications and experience, whether you are looking to work in a hospital or in a care setting. Many overseas nurses find themselves based in the large teaching facilities in the city; however there are plenty of opportunities, which arise in the smaller facilities as well as aged care units.

How do I get a visa?

If you are planning on coming to Melbourne on a working holiday, then you’ll need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa.  This is suitable if you are aged between 18-30 (the upper age limit rises to 35 in 2017) and is an ideal way to supplement your income whilst you travel around the country. The visa allows you to travel around Australia whilst finding work.

Your visa will not automatically entitle you to obtain work as a nurse in Australia – you will need to register separately for this – see below.

Registering as a nurse in Australia

Just as you would with the NMC in the UK, you’ll need to register with the AHPRA, the Australian equivalent, in Melbourne. The process can take a number of weeks to complete, so it’s advisable to complete your application before you travel, as you won’t be able to enter employment as a nurse without this.

If you completed your training in the UK, you may be eligible for direct entry onto the register.  If there are any issues with your registration, you may need to undertake some additional training in order to be accepted onto the register.

An important element of the criteria is the ability to be proficient in the English language. If English is not your first language, it may be necessary to complete a test in order to prove your proficiency.

To find out more about working as a nurse in Australia or to find nursing jobs in Melbourne, contact one of the Australian Nursing Agency team today at recruitment@australiannursingagency.com.