Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Between New Zealand and the US

New Zealand is a beautiful country. Its breathtaking landscape and unpolluted air are only a few of the things to love about this country. I've thought about moving to New Zealand even before I took up nursing and now that I have a higher chance of getting into the country with a nursing degree, the temptation is more intense, especially since there's so much uncertainty regarding the US nursing industry right now.

So, when I was asked few days ago what I think about moving to New Zealand, I already had a ready answer.

If you want to take out the uncertainty and want to move out in a definite time, New Zealand looks very promising compared to the US, where there's no telling when the retrogression will end. Applications for NZ are pretty much very straightforward--just get all the paperwork done and you've got high chances of landing a nursing job there, especially if you already have some work experience tucked under your belt. (Although experience is not required by every employer, most gov't-run hospitals there do look for experience and they pay better than their private counterparts).

I'm not saying that the US market is totally closed for us. The shortage there is so much that the domestic market won't be able to keep up and they will definitely still need outside help for a couple of years. The problem is that both immigrant and working visas there are so limited and the availability of new visas is so unpredictable. There's simply too much uncertainty in the appplication period that it's hard to make long-term plans. But the market will open up eventually, it's just a matter of time.

The nursing shortage is so huge worldwide, nurses can practially work anywhere. The only limiting factor is the available resources. Applying for NZ requires some financial resources, something that most of us don't have. The six-week nursing assessment program requires at least NZ $4,000 and that's just part of the total expenses. (Click here for the other expenses.) Recruiters and agencies for NZ are notoriously known to charge such exorbitant fees that you'll end up paying thrice as much as you would have spent if you go it alone. They're not so much help.

Applying for the US is actually much cheaper than applying for NZ. US salaries are also considerably higher than in NZ, and there's so much more opportunities for professional growth in the US. You will be able to live a comfortable life in NZ, but it's not easy to disregard the vast opportunities in the US.

If you really want to take out the uncertainty and hate waiting for the US to open up, NZ is as good as any other place to move to. Some actually use NZ as a jump off point for Australia where the pay is higher than in NZ. Some never leave NZ and it's not difficult to understand why. I haven't met anyone who's been there and didn't fall inlove with its natural charms and quality of life.

If you have the resources and if you feel you might be waiting for a long time for the US, then you might want to consider NZ. The entire application process might take you a couple of months but at the end of the application process you will have a chance to fly out to NZ.

But don't leave off your US application just yet if you want to get there eventually. Just finish your US applications first--get your NCLEX done and Visascreen--and continue to scout for possible employers. Some NZ employers only give one-to-two year contracts and by the time you finish your tour of duty, the US market could be ready to bring you in.

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ron cruz said...

is it much better if i will be applying independently? or would it be much easier if i go with an agency ? would there be any problem looking for a job if in case i will apply all throughout by myself?


Geoff said...

If you wish to go it alone, then it's certainly possible. There is also a large demand for nurses in NZ that it is possible to find a willing employer if you're finished with all the licensing requirements.

However, be reminded that applying for NZ can be very expensive especially if you have other dependents who will go with you, so be prepared.

If you go with a recruiter, remember that a legitimate recruiter will not charge you anything, perhaps some fees, but they should never exceed what you would otherwise pay if your work independently. I've sat through one recruitment seminar and the recruiter was asking for NZ $4,000 on top of the other regular fees. WALK AWAY IMMEDIATELY.

Try to look up this group: You will find valuable resources on their Web site and great help from their members about relocating to NZ.


Refazenda said...

If I intend to work as a hemodialysis nurse in New Zealand, will it help me land a job there as a hemodialysis nurse if I train here in the Philippines and work as a hemodialysis nurse?

And how much do NZ nurses earn? How about taxes?


Geoff said...

It'll help if you have experience in the field you want to work in. however, I believe that once you get to NZ you won't be hired as a hemodialysis nurse right away. you'll probably start somewhere else and will need additional training before you can work hemo.

about the taxes.. I'll get back to you soon. i have to find my notes. i attended a seminar a couple of months ago about working as a nurse in NZ. i just have to excavate my notes underneath my NCLEX review stuff.

Refazenda said...

Thanks Geoff for the reply! =) Hmm, I do hope you find your notes about working as a nurse in NZ.

I want to ask some more questions (I'm sorry for the inconvenience) -- if I won't be able to immediately start working as a hemodialysis nurse, will I be then starting to work as a staff nurse? And how many patients do NZ nurses handle usually?

Thank you! =)

hOney_gaL said...

hei guyz.. im new hir and i found this site from another forum.. in i am a newly grad and i took the board exam last june 2007. fortunately, i passed and i want to work abroad. is that possible eventhough i dont have any experienz..? anyway, i am willing to pay and train... :-) how can i find an employer and how much should i expect to pay..? it will be greatly appreciated if u can send me an answer... thankz guyz!

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