Nursing in Australia: How Terrie McEvoy started her Nursing Journey
Terrie had been working as a Nurse in Ireland for 4 years before she made the BIG move to start Nursing in Australia with HCA, and she has not regretted it one bit. Below, Terrie tells us her story, right from the beginning when she decided to make the move, to how she prepared her documentations to come to Australia and what her life is like now!
In January 2015, my boyfriend David and I made the decision to leave Ireland, travel to South East Asia and move to Australia!! After a couple of months travelling, we landed in Sydney in November 2015, and I don’t think either of us have looked back! Working as a Registered Nurse in Australia has been an absolute pleasure, and I hope this blog post answers some of your FAQs and explains the journey I have been on for the past year and a half.
How do I get started?
AHPRA: Before you come to nurse in Australia, you will need to apply for your nursing registration. This process can be quite lengthy if you do not follow the instructions well. Here is the link for the registration form, and I would advise that you print off 2 copies—one for practice and one for real.
You can fill this form out before or after you apply for your visa of choice. I would highly recommend reading the application form 20 times over before sending it off and using the check – list at the bottom of the form.
Once the application process is sent and depending on how well you completed the form, your approval can take from 6 weeks—6 months. My application was approved within 6 weeks, and I believe it was because I had prepared so well for it. After you have been approved, new standards state that you MUST enter Australia within 3 months post approval to activate your registration.
Tips when applying for AHPRA:
– Any document that is not the original NEEDS to be certified
– Peace commissioners in Ireland can NOT certify documents
– I had my documents certified here
– You can apply for your registration before you sort a visa
– Try not to complicate the proof of identity part – I used my Passport, Gardai ID (If you haven’t got one, apply for one), and my lease agreement
– Apply for an international criminal history check
– Apply for your transcripts from your University ASAP
– Have your degree translated by a certified translator here
– Read over your application 200 times!
To work in Australia, you will need to obtain a valid working visa! The most common visa is the 12 month 417 Working Holiday visas. Find a link to the visa form here.
If you are over 35 you will have two options, Sponsorship or Residency. Sponsorship is basically when a company sponsors the individual to stay in Australia and work with them for a minimum of 2 years. This is something that HCA offers ‚ view the latest permanent opportunities with sponsorship.
I came to Australia on a 417 visa and was sponsored by HCA. My visa does not expire until 2020, and I can apply for residency after 2 years.
Getting set up with Healthcare Australia:
Working with HCA has been easy right from the start. When I first arrived in Australia, I went into AHPRA straight away to prove my identity and obtain my registration. HCA are in the same building as AHPRA so after my visit to AHPRA I met with one of the members of the HCA recruitment team.
The meeting with HCA was pre-arranged via email, so if you want to join/work with HCA, make sure to touch base with them before you get to Australia so you have an orientation date.
During my orientation we went through my competencies, my vacancies, my availability and how to use the eHCA app to get shifts. I completed my Manual Handling and Basic Life Support Training with HCA, free of charge, on the same day. Once my AHPRA registration came through, I contacted the agency and got my first shift in Australia as a Registered Nurse.
Working with HCA:
At first, I was very nervous being an agency nurse, I have only ever worked in one hospital in my whole life, and I was very much stuck in my ways with doing things—the thoughts of being the new person on the ward killed me, but everywhere I have ever worked in Sydney there has an educator on the ward, and they were extremely helpful.
I always take full advantage of them every time I go to a new area, constantly picking their brain and asking questions when I am unsure. I never feel overwhelmed, but I had 4 years’ experience when I first started with HCA, so it is important to have at least 12 months’ experience before you come over to work them.
My workload in a public hospital would be 4 patients or 5 MAX!!! In private hospitals, I usually care for 6 patients and have an AIN (healthcare attendant) working with me. The shifts are 7-8 hours long depending on where you work;
— AM SHIFT: 7am-15.30pm OR 14.30pm
— PM SHIFT: 13.30-21.30 OR 22.00
— NIGHT shift: 21.30-07.00
As an agency nurse, you can work as little or as often as you like! You are not required to apply for annual leave as you dictate your own hours, so it is PERFECT for nurses who want to travel and start nursing in Australia or go on holidays quite a lot!
You can also earn points and receive cool products and experiences through HCA Rewards.
– Earn 2 points for every hour you work
– Referring a friend
– As a thank you
– Through ongoing competitions
Sponsorship with HCA for Nursing In Australia:
HCA do offer sponsorship contracts to nurses who are interested in working as a full-time agency nurse. It is a 38-hour working week where you dictate your roster each week! Nurses still get sick pay, holiday pay and start off on a fantastic salary! If this is something that interests, please email here.
As always, I really hope this blog was helpful!
Thanks for reading!