24 November 2009

Healthy visa options for emigrating nurses

High demand for trained nurses in Australia, New Zealand and Canada means they will receive priority processing and a good chance of immediate employment.

UK-trained registered nurses and midwives are being actively sought out by the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian governments, with priority processing or special visa considerations as well as excellent wages and career opportunities to entice them to emigrate.


The critical shortages of registered nurses and midwives in Australia has seen such high demands for overseas-trained professionals to fill job positions that the Australian Government has placed these occupations on the Critical Skills List, giving them priority visa processing and the chance to have their application processed within months of lodgement.


In addition to having their visas priority processed, registered nurses and midwives who apply for Australia immigration have the potential to take advantage of excellent career opportunities and salaries.


For example, in Queensland new nursing graduates receive an average salary of over AU$52,089 per annum with experienced nurses earning around $60,000 to $85,000, plus penalty rates for night shift work. In addition, nurses and midwives who choose to take up rural or regional positions could be eligible for further entitlements.


Guy Bradley, Director of the Australian Visa Bureau, said registered nurses and midwives are in an enviable position.


“Most states and territories in Australia already have a shortage of registered nurses, and with the average current age of nurses in Australia 45 years it is predicted that some 90,000 nurses will retire between now and 2020.”


Mr Bradley continued: “The Health Care and Social Assistance industry is the second largest industry in Australia, employing 1,146 300 people, or 10.6 per cent of the total workforce, as of February 2009. With projected employment in this industry to grow at a rate of three per cent per annum this means around 181,600 new jobs will be created in the next five years.


“This means employment opportunities and career development for nurses and midwives on top of Australia’s strong economy and enviable lifestyle.”


“Anecdotally we have seen that Australia offers nurses and midwives a much better lifestyle and life/work balance, and that is one of the major attractions for emigrating, but Australia also faces stiff competition from the Canadian and New Zealand governments who are just as determined to garner trained nurses and midwives,” Mr Bradley said. 


Registered nurses and midwives are also in high demand for New Zealand immigration, with the New Zealand government actively encouraging these healthcare professionals to come and work in the country. Registered nurses and midwives who wish to emigrate to New Zealand may qualify for a skilled visa, even without a job offer.


As an example of New Zealand salary levels, hospital nurses in New Zealand can earn between NZ$40,000 and $55,000, with higher salaries for senior positions and penalty rates for overtime and shift work.


Career progression is also excellent in New Zealand, with many nurses and midwives entering into specialised positions or progressing into research, management or education roles. Postgraduate study can lead to opportunities to become nurse practitioners.

Nurses are also given special consideration in Canada, and are one of a very limited number of occupations which are still being actively sought for Canadian immigration. Nurses are exempt from needing a pre-arranged offer of employment before applying for a Canadian skilled worker visa and nurses can also be sponsored by a Canadian province under the Provincial Nominee Program and have their applications fast-tracked.


Newly graduated registered nurses in Canada start with a salary of C$53,956, and nurses can expect a salary increase every year for eight years after that, as well as an increase to C$78,000 once they reach 25 years’ experience.


How to emigrate to Australia 


To be eligible to emigrate to Australia, you must be under the age of 45 years of age, and meet health, character, English language and occupational requirements. To determine your eligibility for migration to Australia, take a free online assessment with the Australian Visa Bureau.


How to emigrate to New Zealand  

To be eligible to emigrate to New Zealand you must be under the age of 56 years, and meet health, character, English language and occupational requirements. Take a free online assessment for your eligibility with the New Zealand Visa Bureau.


How to emigrate to Canada  

To be eligible to emigrate to Canada, there are a number of minimum requirements that an applicant must meet to qualify, including education, language ability and work experience. To get a better idea of your Canadian migration options, you can take a free online assessment at the Canadian Visa Bureau website.


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