You’ve chosen to stretch your wings, take the leap, and look for a nursing career in another country. A nursing degree, along with a global scarcity of nurses, opens up a plethora of chances for nurses to work in another country. Your motive might be to travel and experience new things, to better your lifestyle by earning more money, or to broaden your knowledge and skills. While many nurses found working overseas to be a rewarding and enlightening experience, others regretted their decision when reality fell short of their expectations.
To avoid disappointment, you must conduct extensive research to locate the ideal fit for you based on your language and cultural background, character and personality, and motivation for working in another country. The following are some of the drawbacks that have been mentioned in online research and debates. You will possibly need a visa to work in another country. For example, you will need nursing visa Australia to work as a nurse in Australia.
1. The registration and hiring procedure
Each country has its own set of criteria. Your qualification and registration in your native country may be automatically accepted in specific cases. Other countries may demand a test or perhaps extra courses before allowing you to take the exam. Sometimes the test can be taken in your native country (for example, the Nursing and Midwifery Council in the United Kingdom) so that you are certain of registration before traveling overseas. There is frequently a breakdown in communication between companies and recruiting firms, resulting in the recruiter’s expectations not being satisfied.
For example, you may be hired as a registered nurse but work at a lesser level and earn less money until you are fully registered in the host country. You may not also get hired in your field of expertise as promised by the recruiter. You should ask questions until you have total clarification, conduct your own internet research, and call the registration authorities of the country you want to visit, as well as the possible employer, to check all of the information you have been provided.
2. The work environment is completely different.
Nurses who have been hired to work in their area of expertise may discover that no positions are available in that profession and wind up working in a completely different sector of nursing. Job and task assignment may be below your competence level, causing work dissatisfaction. Because they are contractually tied and in odd circumstances, it can be difficult for them to speak up. Consider it a fresh learning opportunity. There will be many differences in nursing and health-care practices, rules, and legislation that you must adjust to. Some may contradict what you were taught to be the proper way to conduct things.
If you are going to work in a third-world country, you may believe that the lack of equipment and supplies, as well as the low staffing levels, will make it difficult for you to deliver effective nursing care. Many nurses working overseas describe workplace prejudice and even racism. This might include being denied opportunity to take classes or grow in your career. The most common form of below-the-line discrimination is felt at the unit level: being assigned duties below their level of skill, being ignored, being treated with suspicion, and even outright abuse. Such prejudice appears to be less prevalent when the foreign nurse works in a country that shares her language and culture.
3. Language barriers are frequent.
If you work in a nation where the native language is the same as yours, the transition will be much easier, but there will still be terminology and expressions that you are unfamiliar with. If you go to a nation where the language is totally different, it will be difficult to communicate with your patients and provide great nursing care. Not understanding the language will also make interacting with government agencies, obtaining a tax or social security number, and obtaining a driver’s license more difficult. Even going shopping or eating at a restaurant might be difficult. If this is the case, governments and organizations frequently demand the nurse to attend language lessons, which are normally required to secure a work visa.
As previously stated, you may earn less than stated in the contract until you are registered as a nurse in the country in question. This might be costly, especially if you learn that you need to take more courses before taking the test or if you don’t pass the first time. While a salary may seem attractive in comparison to what you are now making, you should also evaluate the cost of living in the city or town to which you are relocating.
It might be far greater than expected. What is the typical cost of an apartment, transport, and food? Make a list of everything you’ll need to buy and utilize the Internet to research prices and create a budget that can be compared to the wage you were promised. Even if free lodging is provided, ask as to whether it is close to your place of employment, since high transport charges might become an unexpected expense.
5. Personal life
Changes in location, career changes, and loss of support systems all rank high on the list of key stresses. At the same time, you will have to acclimate to a different culture, maybe even a different language, new cuisine, and a lower standard of living. Nurses working in foreign countries frequently experience feelings of alienation, isolation, and loneliness, which can result in a loss of confidence and self-esteem. When culture shock sets in after the first three months, you may experience sentiments of rage and contempt toward the cultural traditions that looked exciting at first. Finding individuals from your own country to assist and support you, such as family or friends of friends, might help decrease emotional stress. Ideally, this basic support structure should be in place before you leave your native country. You can widen your support network once you’ve migrated.
6. Do your research
The disadvantages outlined above are not intended to discourage you from working overseas, but rather to prepare you and serve as a guideline. Ask about everything, from the registration process, regulations and policies, nursing practices and procedures, location, expenses, and cultural traditions. Learn the language and prepare for the exam using your recruiter’s directions or information from the Internet. Consider enrolling in a life skills course to boost your coping techniques. According to one research on nurses working overseas, “no amount of training could have prepared me for what awaited.” Expect unexpected challenges and be prepared to confront them straight on.