Working in Australia as a Nurse
There is currently a shortage of skilled nurses in Australia, particularly in regional areas.
Nurses can apply for a visa to work in Australia if they have obtained their primary qualification in a country other than Australia or gained their qualifications in Australia and are not an Australian permanent resident.
Nurses are currently in high demand in Australia with opportunities for permanent and temporary work available. Whether you have a high level of skills and experience or need to gain additional skills, there is a visa to suit you.
There are excellent career opportunities with permanent and temporary work available in Australia. You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for a visa to work as a nurse.
Why is there such a shortage of nurses in Australia you might ask?
Research conducted in Australia in 2009 revealed that the average age of nurses working in Australia at the time was 45 and of those twenty percent were over the age of 55.
Research also showed that 49 per cent of the nursing workforce was only working part-time hours and between 2009 and 2020 approximately 90,000 nurses Australia wide were expected to retire.
Australia, like most developed countries has an ageing population. Between now and 2050 the number of people aged over 65 is expected to more than double , which will ultimately place a greater demand on the health system resulting in an even stronger demand for nurses in Australia.
If you decide to migrate and nurse in Australia you will be heading to one of the most popular destinations for expatriates from all over the world. It seems these days everybody wants to live and work in Australia.
So why is Australia so popular? Apart from the very favourable immigration laws that continue to attract so many; the climate and relaxed lifestyle definitely has something to do with it, but something that is more important to most is the cost of living. Is Australia affordable?
Generally speaking the cost of living in Australia has for many years been lower than in other countries like the United States and Britain. However, the truth is that things have changed dramatically over the last 10 years which has seen the cost of living shoot up dramatically in Australia. It’s difficult to make a direct comparison with other countries though because wages are generally higher in Australia, which compensates for other inflated costs.
Property prices in Australia are fairly low when compared to the United States and even UK which probably has the highest property prices in the world. However some prime spots in places like Sydney and Melbourne will not be much different, so as a nurse in Australia you really need to plan ahead in relation to where you end up living.
Being such a large continent with a large road network connecting the capital cities the costs of fuel for transport dictate a lot of other expenses that are directly linked to the cost of living. A large percentage of Australians own one or more private vehicles, but every capital city also has a network of public buses, trains and trams, which are all low cost.
The income tax rate in Australia is 30 per cent which is higher than in a lot of countries but is still lower than the United States where citizens have to pay both federal and state taxes. Still, expats in Australia hardly feel the high tax rate because there is a very huge demand for skilled labour in the country and therefore the pay rates tend to be a lot higher thus more than making up for the higher rate of taxation.
Much of the produce for sale in supermarkets is locally grown and until the last decade prices were significantly cheaper than other western countries, but prices since have risen considerably. Currently food prices are slightly higher than in the United States, however still lower than in the United Kingdom where food prices have been known to be exorbitantly high.
Other items that will contribute to your general quality of life while working in Australia like utility costs and entertainment compare favourably with what you will find in elsewhere. However, as a nurse in Australia you will note a huge difference in price of healthcare costs. A 1.5 per cent income tax levy goes to the national health care system (Medicare) which pays for free healthcare to all Australian residents.
When you also consider the booming Australian economy which has experienced consistent and continuous growth then being a nurse in Australia becomes a very attractive prospect indeed.