What is nursing in Australia really like?

A 2014 report from the Australian Department of Health predicts that by the year 2025, Australia will have a significant shortage in nursing staff, with the demand for nurses exceeding the supply by around 85,000. By 2030, the government anticipates an extra 123,000 nurses will be required to continue delivering quality care to the Australian population. As a result, overseas nurses have become popular as the country attempts to fill the gaps in its healthcare system, creating a lot of opportunities for foreign medical professionals.

But what is it really like to work as a nurse in Australia? If you’re considering making the move down under for a nursing job, Austra Health Recruitment Consultant Nisha Gopath has some advice to set you on the right path.

Moving to Australia is a great option for your nursing career.Moving to Australia is a great option for your nursing career.

Overseas nurses in high demand

With the pressures of a shortage looming close on the horizon, Australian employers are always on the look out for foreign nurses who have the right expertise to meet long-term demand, particularly ones from countries with comparable healthcare systems.

“There is a high demand for overseas nurses in Australia, especially those trained in the UK, NZ and USA. They are hard workers and have similar training and skill sets to Australian nurses. The nurse to patient ratio in these countries is close to what we have in Australia as well,” says Ms Gopath.

“Nursing is a field that is always looking for more staff. It offers the opportunity for flexible work, and one can travel and work between states easily. There is also a high standard of care in Australia,” she explains, highlighting some of the advantages of the profession.

Ms Gopath points out a number of other benefits for nurses in Australia, including:

  • Large and modern hospitals.
  • Excellent rates of pay.
  • Good nurse to patient ratios.
  • Opportunities for further study and professional development.
  • Employment opportunities in both cities and remote or rural locations.
  • Diversity of work.
  • Nursing that meets international standards.

With a quarter of the population soon to be over 65, aged care nurses will always be in demand.

Getting a job as a nurse in Australia

While a range of different specialisations are in demand around the country, nurses with experience in ICU, CCU, midwifery, theatre and chemotherapy will be able to find opportunities especially easily.
In addition, senior aged care will always be hiring, with the Australian Department of the Treasury predicting that in the next 40 years, 25 per cent of the Australian population will be over the age of 65.

For those looking to get a nursing job in Australia, Ms Gopath recommends developing skills and gaining experience to get an edge over the competition and boost hireability.

“Try and build on surgical experience,” she advises. “For recent graduates, it will be advantageous to gain around two years of acute care experience.”

If Australia sounds like the right place for you to take your nursing career, Austra Health can help you with this next step and find the right position for you. For updates on living and working as a nurse in Australia, check out our Nursing in Oz page on Facebook.