International Travel Nursing

International Travel Nursing

Travel nurses are some of the most adventurous people on the planet, so it makes a lot of sense that some of you travel nurses would want to look into international travel nursing. Nursing shortages extend well beyond our nation’s borders. This article will provide you with you a detailed blueprint of how to get involved in international travel nursing including where to go, how to get there and tips on how to make the most out of international travel nursing.

The places we’ll cover are: Australia, The UAE and Saudi Arabia

Read about travel nursing in Guam & American Samoa here!

Travel Nursing in Australia

Travel nursing in Australia is a great option in international travel nursing if you want to be both adventurous and speaking English.  Travel nursing in Australia is possible only if you’ve registered through the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency, or AHPRA. Like the US, each Australian state capital has its own office.

Just hearing back from the AHPRA can take months so if you’re interested in travel nursing in Australia you should start the application right now. You’ll be sent a list of all the necessary documents including employment verification from the job you have now and 5 years of experience. They will want to see all the different state licenses you’ve obtained. The AHPRA does require letters from your employers that must include information about your employment such as the length of your employment if your employment was part time or full time and it must be on a company letterhead. You will have to sign each and every page of your Resume/CV as well.

The AHPRA may also ask for details of your clinical time and a letter from your high school to ensure that your education was in English. If you can not get this letter from your high school you can take the IELTS. Most travel nurses also must take the International English Language Testing System exam, or the IELTS, to prove they can speak English, but US citizens are exempt.

The application fee is $576 AU and the application process usually takes around 7 months. Once you’ve gotten your license, you’re free to look for a job! Your Australian registration also enables you to apply to be a travel nurse in New Zealand with relative ease. That process is kind of like nursing in one US state and getting a license to work in another state.

Australia Nursing Council:

683 Murray Street

West Perth, 6005

WA, Australia


General Information Email: anci@ancilorg.au

Overseas Information Email: overseas@anci.org.au

Travel Nursing in The United Arab Emirates

Travel Nursing in the UAE is definitely one of the more adventurous selections in international travel nursing.  The income of a travel nurse in the UAE is around $2,000 per week. The best part about travel nursing in the UAE is your income isn’t subjected to any income tax whatsoever. It’s a pretty good deal considering the low cost of living & the benefits. The benefits depend on the contract but are usually: insurance, housing & travel expenses. The contract will depend on if the hospital is privately or publicly funded.

To qualify for nursing in the UAE you must have the appropriate nursing license in the US with no unexplainable interruptions of work for a minimum of 2 years. You cannot apply to work in the UAE yourself, the hospital you’re planning to work at must apply for you to gain a temporary license. The hospitals will require your education transcripts as well as your work history, and maybe references.

With a temporary license you may begin work in Abu Dabi, but to get a full license you must pass the Ministry of Health, MOH, exam. To get a full license to work in Dubai you have to pass the DOH interview.

Travel Nursing in Saudi Arabia

Probably the most adventurous of all of these international travel nursing opportunities is travel nursing in Saudi Arabia. Like in the UAE, the money you earn when travel nursing in Saudi Arabia will be tax-free. On top of that, people make a lot of money in Saudi Arabia because the cost of living is so much lower than anywhere in the West.

Vacation days are also plentiful in Saudi Arabian contracts. Kristine Wanders notes that she had 54 vacation days in one contract.

Ladies do have to adhere to cultural dress wear. Your black dresses, or abayas, are mandatory outside of your housing compound unless you are in DQ, Diplomatic Quarters. The Diplomatic Quarters are great places to be during national holidays.

The hospital Americans work at is called King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center. Traditionally they don’t have CNAs or Techs so Nurses are expected to do everything. Currently, CNAs are being introduced and there may be one tech in the entire hospital. You will have to schedule around them. L&D does the full round of care as there is no post-partum handoff.

Long-Term Care is 5 years in Saudi Arabia. Everything around the family is oriented around them their time. You have to be a little more flexible with people expecting you to work around their schedule.

A doctor ordered something stat, and it was next to impossible to get the patients in stat, the patients are noted to have a different idea of timeliness and see themselves as in charge of when they do anything medically related.

You have a preceptor for 2 full weeks when you have somebody with you for as long as you need.

If you don’t speak Arabic, it could be tough. But if you try a little Arabic, it could go a long way. They may very well speak a little bit of English, but it helps if you at least try communication in the native tongue.

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