International Travel Nursing
International travel is " the future
of nursing," says Gary Fanger, founder and owner of an international travel
nurse comapny. The nursing shortage is not expected to improve anytime soon. While
bringing nurses to the United States from other countries is not the answer to
the shortage, it can help while other solutions are put into place.
In general, foreign traveling nurses want to work in the United States for it's
money making potential. Nurses in the United States are so stressed from the shortage
that many of them want to travel outside of the country for the adventure and
excitement even if it means less money. Let's face it, the grass is always greener
on the other side. Right?
(outside of the U.S.)
to the Middle East
for Traveling Abroad
Travel Nursing Companies
Immigrating to the U.S.
Immigrating to U.S. from another country
Find a sponsor
Take English Exams
Local Consulate for more
U.S. at port of Entry
List of Volunteer
Medical Mission Organizations to forgein countries
outside of the United States
Working outside of the United States is not
usually a money making venture, except in the middle east. In general, nurses
tend to make less money in other parts of the world. For example, the pay in the
UK and Australia is approximately 27 to 36 thousand U.S. dollars a year. If you
want to travel to another country, you may want to consider saving money and paying
off bills before you go.
Plan on spending 6 to 8 months in processing before
being able to travel. The process of proving your credentials and obtaining a
visa still takes awhile even though the United States nursing education is highly
regarded in other countries.
It can be difficult to find companies that send
nurses to other countries because there is not much money to be made in doing
so. Even more difficult is to find a company that sends nurses to a country that
speaks a foreign language.
If you are really serious about working outside
of the U.S., you may want to apply for licensure in where you want to go. The
licensure application is often the most difficult and tedious part of the process
and staffing companies will take you more seriously. Below is a list of some foreign
Australia Nursing Council, Inc.
683 Murray Street
West Perth, 6005
General information: email@example.com Overseas Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bord Altranais 31/32 (Irish Nursing Board)
353-1-639-8500 Fax: 353-1-676-3348
United Kingdom Nursing and Midwifery Council
23 Portland Place
020 7637 7181 Fax: 020 7436 2924
Professional advice email email@example.com
More information on UK nursing
immigration: www.nursingintheuk.co.uk or http://www.brutish-nursing.com/inter.html
Virgin Islands Board of Nurse Licensure
P.O. Box 4247
340-776-7397 Fax: 340-776-7131
College of Nurses of Ontario
101 Davenport Rd.
1 800 387-5526
La Spezia - Italy
Via XXIV Maggio 343
Italy 19125 Europe
Additonal Nursing Boards
LBJ Tropical Medical Center
Pago Pago, AS 96799
(684) 633 1222
P.O. Box 2816
Hagatna, Guam 96932
N. Mariana Island
Commonwealth Board of Nurse Examiners
Saipan, MP 96950
P.O. Box 10200
Santurce, PR 00908-0200
(787) 725 7506
to the Middle East
Traveling to Saudi Arabia is a unique experience. Margaret
traveled to Saudi and reports the inside scoop.
If you go to Saudi Arabia,
the commitment is usually for 2 years. Vacation is once a year for approximately
30 days. You can always break the contract if you do not like it, but you will
just lose your bonus, says Margaret.
The money is good because it is
not taxed. Most companies pay around 36,000 to 40,000 dollars a year which is
like making around 50,000 dollars a year in the United States.
in an American compound and work at an American hospital. According to Margaret,
one of the best hospitals to work at is King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research
Women have to have their bodies covered so as not to show any
curves or they can be taken to jail. Oh yes, do not be seen with any other man
in public that is not related to you. Margaret could have been in real trouble
with her Arab boyfriend. She shares how she would sneak past the guards at her
boyfriend's compound every week. Businesses will shut down for 15 minutes during
the day for prayer. During this time, she would sneak in to see her boyfriend.
Although, this makes for a great story, it is not recommended. Remember, you are
subject to the laws of the area and their consequences.
Eastern area to travel to is United Arab Emirates. Their commitment requirement
is usually for one year and the people there are more "westernized"
than in Saudi Arabia.
If you are thinking about going to Saudi Arabia, read
two books before you go: Nine Hearts of Desire, and Princess. Also, watch the
movie: Not without My Daughter.
Special Tips for
" Make sure you have a signed valid passport (and
visa, if required). Fill in the emergency information page of your passport.
" If you get into trouble, contact the nearest U.S. embassy.
" Before you leave, note the contact information of the local embassy and
emergency contact numbers (local police, hotel, fire department).
Log onto http://travel.state.gov to find
out any possible dangers, laws, and recommended immunizations for the place you
plan to visit.
" Make 2 copies of your passport and any credit cards.
Leave one copy with family and carry one separate from the originals.
" Do not leave your luggage unattended or wear flashy clothing or jewelry.
" Bring an extra pair of glasses and any medications you need.
Bring a doctors note for any narcotics you need to bring with you. Make sure your
health insurance covers you abroad. Consider purchasing a short-term health and
emergency assistance policy designed for travelers that includes evacuation in
the event of an accident.
Beresford Blake Thomas
Belmore Nurses Bureau
Cairns Nursing Agency
Care Nursing Agency
Daryl Alexander &
Eden Health Recruitment
Geneva Health International
Healthcare Placement Solutions
Health Staff Recruitment
Helen Ziegler and Associates
Medijobs - Australia
Mediserve Nurse Agency - Australia
Medistaff Health Care Professionals
MCI Medical Careers International
National Nurses Plus
Nurse on Holidays
Nursing Agency of South Australia
Oxley Nursing Service
Paediatric Nurses Agency
Consultants Pty. Ltd.
UK Health Jobs
Public Hospital Employment
The Wesley Hospital
Australian Nursing Agency
Worldwide Healthcare Exchange
Canadian RN Directory
Solutions Staffing, Inc.
A-Team Health Recruitment
CCM Recruitment International
Kate Cowhig International Recruitment
Supplemental Health Care Travel
BBT- Beresford Blake Thomas
CareLink Nursing & Homecare Ltd
NZ Jobs Co
Remedy Consultants Ltd
Tonix New Zealand Health Recruitment
Working In New Zealand
ALD, Inc. - American Life & Dignity
BBT- Beresford Blake Thomas
Blue 2 Medics
British Nursing Association
BUPA Health Care Recruitment
European Nursing Agency
Geneva Health International
Health Staff Recruitment
Jane Lewis International
Occupational Health Services
Medico Nursing & Homecare
Nursing Agencies List
Oxford Aunts Care &
British Nursing Sites
Pulse Healthcare Appointments
Qualified Cancer Care
Recruitment Solutions Group
Reed Healthcare International
Robinson Medical Recruitment
Strand Nurses Bureau
Supplemental Health Care Travel Nursing
The Thornbury Nursing Portal
Thornbury Nursing Services
Thornbury Quick Nurse
Going to the
U.S. from Canada
When The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
is in effect it makes it relatively easy for Canadians to work in the U.S. and
for Americans to work in Canada. However, this is continually changing. If the
agreement is not in effect then you may have to in the the U.S. like a foreign
nurse from any other country. Any travel nursing company that brings nurses from
the United States will be able to help you witht the process and tell you the
Under the NAFTA agreement, Canadian nurses can work
in the U.S. for 1 year. Annually, Canadians return to the border and cross again
to renew their time in the U.S. If you are Canadian, all you need to cross the
" Letter from your company on letterhead stating your
position, job description, hospital location, salary, and start date.
Birth certificate, ID, or passport
" Canadian RN license and U.S. RN
license if available
" At least $100 dollars cash for crossing fees
please carry copies of all your medical documents and certifications for your
If you have not taken the NCLEX exam yet,
you may still be able to work in one of the following states (please call to verify):
" New Mexico
" North Carolina
York (1 year temporary permit)
A few other states will
accept the Canadian RN exam (CNAT) if you scored above 400 before a certain date.
The date of the exam requirement varies from state to state. The states that seem
to accept the CNAT exam with limitations as to when it was taken and the score
are: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts,
New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Tennessee.
All the states require
the Canadians to have attended an English speaking school. If not, you must take
the English proficiency exams. The CGFNS test locations in Canada are: Montreal,
Toronto, and Vancouver. The NCLEX exam can be taken across most state borders
and in Manitoba, Canada.
Immigrating to the United
States (foreign nurse)
The process of becoming a nurse in the United
States can be a long and tedious process. According to Carl Shusterman, an immigration
attorney specializing in foreign nurses and physicians, the current immigration
process can take as long as 18 months. He is working with delegates to change
the process for nurses (www.shusterman.com).
Lots of good information on the current legal requirements of traveling internationally
can be found on Shusterman's site.
Finding a sponsor
If you want to work in the United States, you must first find a
sponsor. Below is a list of agencies or potential sponsors for coming
to the United States.
Akamai Healthcare Solutions
Alda Professional Placement Services
Allied Professional Placement
All of Nursing
Avant Healthcare Professionals
BBT- Beresford Blake Thomas
First Point Healthcare
Geneva Health International
Health Care Colorado
HealthCare Job Bank
Travel Nurse Association
Jobs At Travel Nurse
OGrady - Peyton International
International Recruitment Agency
Premier Healthcare Professionals
Professional Placement Resources
Stateside Nursing Ltd.
Supplemental Health Care
Travel Nursing Resource
Center - A.M.N.
Taking English Proficiency Exams
If you graduated from an English speaking school, you may be exempt from the English
Exams. Most exempt nurses are from: Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland,
New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. All other nurses must complete at least one/or
all of the following sets of exams:
" English Language Proficiency Exams
administered by the
Education Testing Service (ETS, 1-609-771-7100).
Test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL), www.toefl.org
2. Test of written English (TWE)
3. Test of spoken English (TSE)
English Language Proficiency Exam administered by the English Language Institute
1. Parts 1-3 of the Michigan English Language Assessment
2. Oral Interview section
Taking the NCLEX
Once you have completed the CGFNS, most states will allow you
to apply for a temporary nursing license. Once you are in the United States, you
can take the NCLEX exam which is offered in most location in the U.S. on a daily
basis. The NCLEX exam is the United States nursing exam. Once the NCLEX exam is
passed, it never expires and can be used to apply for any state licensure. Information
about licensure requirements for different states can be found at www.ncsbn.org.
Usually, when you apply for a license in the desired state, the nursing board
will send you the information you need to take the NCLEX exam. You cannot take
the exam without first applying for a license in a particular state. When you
go to take the NCLEX exam, you will be asked which state you have applied for
licensure. It doesn't matter which state you apply with as long as you apply with
NCLEX (National Council of State Boards)
11 E Wacker Dr suite
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Information on studying for the exam can be found at practice
tests . The test is $200 dollars and is offered: throughout the U.S., the
American Samoa, District of Columbia, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and
the Virgin Islands. If you decide to take the NCLEX internationally there will
be an additional $150 fee plus tax. All additional details, registration, and
requirements can be found at this website.
Specific test site locations can be found at www.2test.com.
If the NCLEX exam is not offered in a location near you, you
may elect to skip the CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools)
certification program. This program reviews your credentials and allows you to
assess your chances of passing the U.S. registered nursing licensing exam (NCLEX-RN)
by giving you an exam similar to the NCLEX exam. For immigration purposes, they
will often accept the NCLEX or CGFNS exam. However, in order to work, you will
still have to take the NCLEX exam when you get to the U.S. to work in the United
3600 Market Street #400
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2651
firstname.lastname@example.org or www.cgfns.org
Application fee $368, reapplication $308
The CGFNS certification
program is offered in several locations. Please check this link for the most current list of locations.
Applying for a social security card
you arrive to the United States, you will receive an I-94 form at immigration,
take the form and apply for a social security number immediately at the local
social security office. You cannot get a paycheck until you have a social
Social Security Administration
6401 Security Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21235
an international drivers license
Before you leave the United States,
consider getting an international drivers license at AAA (800-922-8228 or 415-565-2012).
If you are arriving in the United States, most rental car companies in the U.S.
require you to have an international drivers license and a credit card from an
American bank. Check with your local passport center to find out how to get an
international drivers license.
National Passport Center
Pittsburg, PA 15250-7971
Contacting local U.S.
Traveling nursing agencies should be assisting you with the
immigration process. However, for further questions, you can contact your local
U.S. consulate. More information on immigration can be found by visiting www.us-immigration.com.
the United States at the Port of Entry
AT the port-of-entry, you will
be inspected U.S. government officials. They may have at least 4 different inspections:
public health, immigration, customs, and agriculture. You will be asked to provide
your basic identification information, the address you will be staying in the
United States, Passport, and Nursing credentials(certifications, nursing license
in your country, CGFNS or NCLEX).
IN SUMMARY FOR IMMIGRATION TO
Any travel nursing company that helps nurses immigrate
to the U.S. should be up on the most recent guidelines and be able to help you
step by step. In summary, the following is a good start for the process:
Two years experience in the specialty area you want to work in
to write and speak in English fluently
TOEFL, TWE & TSE exams completed
Application and credentials for
chosen US Nursing Board
Visa screening by
the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
-I-140 form filled out
with INS for your greencard. Several follow up forms asking additional info.
-Interview with U.S. Embassy about your application for final approval
many cases the INS will not accept a nurse into the US without a passing score
on the NCLEX exam and complete history and physical. A few states do allow you
to work as a nurses aid or LPN, for 90 days to 1 year, while you get ready to
take the NCLEX exam.