It should come as no surprise to learn that nurses, everywhere, are in extraordinarily high demand. Healthcare providers in every region are desperate to fill out their nursing rosters, with shortages expected to continue to bite over the rest of the decade.
There’s a positive side to all this doom and gloom, however, in that nurses looking to broaden their horizons have no shortage of destinations for where they can choose to live and work. Better still, in trying to build up their own rosters, healthcare providers are increasingly offering lucrative relocation packages to support nurses making the bold step of upping sticks and moving abroad.
If you’re a nurse interested in exploring new horizons and practicing overseas, read on to discover what countries will pay YOU to come live and work there!
Not only are Australian nurses among the best paid in the world, Australian health services are so eager for expert nursing talent from overseas that they tend to offer expansive relocation packages to entice quality nurses.
While no two relocation packages are the same, a typical package for nurses aiming to live and work in Australia may include:
- Visa sponsorship
- Relocation bonus of up to $1,500 AUD for a metropolitan area, or $3,000 AUD for a rural area
- Salary packaging (certain expenses, including rent or a mortgage, can be taken out of your salary pre-tax to save you money in the long run!)
- Environmental allowance (of up to $7,000 AUD p.a.)
The complete relocation package can reach as high as $10,000 AUD in a metropolitan area or $13,000 AUD in a rural area in the state of Victoria, whose world-class healthcare system boasts one of the highest life expectancies and lowest infant mortality rates in the developed world.
One major benefit of practising in Australia or New Zealand is that both jurisdictions operate reciprocal licensing recognition for nurses. Being eligible to practice nursing in one or the other country allows you to practice in the other. This gives you unrivalled flexibility when planning your future and shopping around for a career posting that fits your life and work needs.
Getting settled in New Zealand is made simple thanks to a lucrative relocation package offered by Te Whatu Ora, New Zealand’s public health authority, which includes:
- Full waiver of costs for shipping belongings from overseas
- One-way economy class fare, plus layover accommodation for yourself, a partner and any dependent children under the age of 19
- Transfer from the airport to your accommodation upon arrival in New Zealand
- 4 weeks paid temporary accommodation while Te Whatu Ora helps find a permanent residence
- 4 weeks car rental costs covered
Among the criteria for availing of the above considerations, a registered nurse must reside outside of New Zealand and have secured an employment contract in New Zealand of at least 12 months in duration. You can find out more information at Te Whatu Ora’s website.
Like Australia, Canadian nurses benefit from being among the world’s highest paid. Also like Australia, Canadian provinces are in hot competition to help salve their individual nursing shortages and attract top quality nurses from overseas.
Relocation assistance packages in Canada are typically in the region of $5,000 CAD. These often come with additional stipulations, such as an obligation to work in an approved facility for a term of at least one year, etc.
The province of New Brunswick, Canada’s only officially bilingual province, offers relocation assistance packages in some cases of up to $15,000 CAD, with an additional sweetener of $5,000 CAD for select rural placements. Other packages include travel expenses, additional monetary benefits (for the northern regions), and even free housing in certain circumstances.
United Arab Emirates
Nurses in the UAE, specifically those working in Dubai, can expect quite an enticing range of benefits for taking up work in the emirate. As well as incredibly generous pay, nurses in Dubai can often avail of the following supports:
- Nurses working full-time are charged no income tax
- A housing allowance, up to and including free housing accommodation, in some placements
- Patient behaviour is strictly regulated by the Dubai Health Authority to provide a safe and respectful working environment for healthcare staff
Aside from these official supports, it is worth noting that given Dubai’s reputation as a hub for international nurses, the turnover rate in nursing departments is generally quite high, allowing ample opportunity for nurses looking to position themselves higher up the career ladder.
Employees in Dubai also enjoy travel allowances as well as health, life and dental insurance. The lucrative benefits on offer to nurses as well as Dubai’s manageable cost of living make it the perfect destination for young nurses keen to see more of the world and make some money before finding a forever home in which to settle down.
Relocation assistance in Britain’s National Health Service is not agreed upon at a national level. It is up to each NHS trust to set a level of assistance they deem adequate, according to their staffing needs and budgetary considerations.
Considerable relocation assistance sums are available, however, with some reaching as high as £8,000, with additional coverage for travel expenses to get to the UK from your country of origin. In cases where support exceeds the base amount agreed upon, this support is taxable similar to income.
Additional supports, known as London Weighting, exist for nurses relocating to work for an NHS Trust in the Greater London Area. This grants an additional 20% of a nurse’s base salary to workers in Inner London, capped at a total of £7,377 per annum. This same benefit extends to Trusts in Outer London, scaled to 15%; and to 5% to nurses based in the London Fringe.
The Republic of Ireland’s Health Service Executive, by contrast, works from a national framework to establish relocation packages for nurses hoping to live and work in Ireland. This includes:
- An allowance of up to €4,158 for EU/UK candidates to help with travel and relocation expenses
- An allowance of up to €5,506 for non-EU/UK candidates to help with travel and relocation expenses
- Assistance with fees for nursing registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland
- Funding for further postgraduate education
Additionally, Ireland provides targeted tax breaks for certain expenses made by healthcare workers to assist them in their work. Some additional grants are provided by the HSE to help with the cost of aptitude tests, registration fees and other considerations, though these are administered on a case by case basis.
The United States classifies registered nurses as a highly desired skill group. This means that a lot of the time-intensive hoops hopeful emigrants must leap through to get a green card are made easier for nurses than for most other people looking to make America their new home.
Decision-making on relocation packages to the United States are the sole purview of the individual healthcare providers hiring nurses from abroad. As such, the relocation supports on offer to nurses hoping to live and work in America vary from state to state and employer to employer.
Nonetheless, a typical relocation package might consist of the following:
- A sign-on bonus, of up to $20,000 or more
- An additional $4,400 in relocation benefits for select nursing positions
- A retirement scheme
- Wellness incentives to help bring down healthcare costs
- Student loan incentives for further education
- Assistance with childcare (if applicable)
Live and Work as a Nurse Abroad
Looking to take the next exciting step in your nursing career?
The Nursing Jobs Fair is making a splash across three continents in 2023, debuting in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, the UK and Ireland . It represents an incredible opportunity for nurses interested in living and working overseas to discover the opportunities in nursing abroad and connect face-to-face with the world’s premiere healthcare employers.
Registration is completely free for jobseekers, as are exclusive seminars hosted at each event by various regional governments to outline the benefits of living and working abroad as a healthcare worker.