Nursing is a popular field and by studying nursing abroad, you’ll open many employment opportunities. It’s important to choose a reliable programme though, and with many great options offered at universities all around the world it can sometimes be confusing. Some of the strongest nursing programs are offered in America, UK and Australia. Those who wish to study nursing abroad should focus on these destinations and the opportunities they offer. In this article we take a look at these three destinations, and what they offer.
Study Nursing in America
Study Nursing in the UK
Study Nursing in Australia
Each of these countries has its own rules and regulations when it comes to nursing courses and programmes, so it’s important to inform yourself about their differences and similarities. Studying nursing abroad can be challenging, but it’s also very rewarding, both in terms of your education and future work experiences. It’s best to evaluate the programmes and regulations offered in different countries and choose the one that suits you.
Studying Nursing in America
If you wish to study nursing in America, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s a great choice for many international students. Demand for nurses in the United States exceeds supply, so there are excellent employment opportunities once you complete your nursing course.
Nursing Programmes in America
If you wish to study nursing in the USA, you’ll want to choose the nursing program that is best for you, your prior qualifications and your future goals. Here are the most popular nursing programmes in the US.
LPN (The Licensed Practical Nurse) and LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) Programmes
These typically last for one year and are offered at most colleges in the US. They usually don’t require prerequisite classes. A course provides training for basic patient care (taking vital signs, patient monitoring). All LPNs have to pass a national licensing exam to get state certification.
ADN (The Associate Degree in Nursing) Programs
These are 15 month or two year programs. They are usually offered at community colleges and often require certain pre-requisite classes. These programs focus on technical nursing skills. Those who complete this program can treat and educate patients, as well as provide emotional support for patients’ families. All ADNs have to pass a national licensing examination (the National Council Licensure Examination) to obtain a nursing license.
BSN (The Bachelor of Science in Nursing) Programmes
Typically a 4 year programme offered at colleges and universities. This programme trains students for a wide range of health care tasks and opens numerous employment opportunities. There are also accelerated BSN programs typically geared towards students who have received an appropriate prior degree. It is a quick route to become a registered nurse, lasting 12-18 months. In addition to these programmes, there are also special RN to BSN programmes, designed for the ADN nurses who wish to obtain a BSN degree.
MSN (The Master of Science in Nursing) Programs
These programs incorporate a variety of nursing disciplines. These advanced programs combine disciplines such as neonatal nursing, adult nursing, women’s health nursing, pediatric nursing, nurse educator, and more.
CRNA (The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) Programs
They typically last from 24 to 48 months. These courses deal with anesthesia technique and application of knowledge in clinical problems. This is a highly specialized degree that opens some of the most exciting employment opportunities.
DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) Programs
These programs focus on training in research methods, including data analysis and statistics, history and philosophy of nursing science. Studying nursing in America for a DNP usually lasts for 18 to 30 months beyond an MSN.
Evaluation of Your Educational and Work Record
Foreigners who wish to study nursing in America are required to have their prior degrees evaluated by specialists to see where an applicant stands when it comes to nursing requirements of the US. Some educational institutions will require American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions’ Officers to evaluate an applicant’s educational or work record. Others ask the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools to evaluate an applicant’s record.
It’s important to note that in many cases, your prior education and training, as well as work experience you have outside America, might not permit you to be a licensed nurse in the US. Therefore, studying in America is often your only way to be able to practice nursing in the US. However, training you have already received in your country of origin as well as work experience will help you with your nursing courses in America. In some cases, your past studies might even count towards fulfillment of your nursing degree requirements in the US.
Application and Acceptance
Before you apply for a nursing program in the US, you have to prepare copies of your school transcripts and diplomas and send them to your desired educational institution in the US. You should get in touch with schools you’re interested in at least one year before you apply to them. Keep in mind that many schools have limited spaces for international students.
One thing you need to keep in mind if you wish to study nursing in America is that strong English language skills are required. Take a look at our pages about English language testing if you’re unsure about what may be expected of you. This is necessary for both undergraduate and advanced degree programs. Luckily, many colleges and universities offer intensive courses in English as a Second Language.
All prospective students whose native language isn’t English are usually required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) prior to studying. Furthermore, if you wish to practice nursing in America, you may need to take advanced English tests, such as a test of Spoken English (TSE) and the Test of Written English (TWE).
When you are offered a place and you accept the offer, it’s important to plan your stay in the US. One of the most important things is to demonstrate through documentation that you will be able to fund your studies as well as cost of living in the US. Take a look at Study Cost Compare to get an idea of how much money you’ll need to study abroad. Once you have been accepted by a college or university you need to apply for an F-1 visa. Your student F-1 visa allows you to work part-time on campus. Read our guide to the American Student Visa system for more information of students visas in the USA.
Studying nursing in America is exciting and it opens up numerous opportunities for study abroad students, with many different types of employment you can pursue after you have completed your courses. Some of the most common employment opportunities for nurses in the US include:
- Work in hospitals (hospital nurses).
- Office nurse (taking care for patients in a doctor’s office or at an outpatient clinic).
- Public health nurses (working with individuals and groups to improve the overall health in the community).
- Long-term care nurses (caring for residents in assisted living facilities or nursing homes).
These are just some of the more popular employment opportunities for nurses in the US.
Start searching for nursing degrees in the US.
Studying Nursing in the UK
If you wish to study nursing in the UK, you must hold a degree in pre-registration nursing. After this, you will be able to register with the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council), which will enable you to seek employment and practice nursing. It’s also important to know that the nursing diploma in higher education has been phased out in the UK.
After you have completed your pre-registration program and obtained your degree, you will be able to register with the NMC, enabling you to look for employment in nursing in the UK.
Pre-registration Nursing Degrees
There are 4 recognized branches of pre-registration nursing degrees: adult, children (pediatric), learning disability and mental health. Even before you apply to a program you need to decide which of these branches of nursing you want to train for. Some universities do offer the flexibility to choose a branch after you have started your course, but they are in a minority. As such, it’s important to understand your preferences, wishes and goals even before you start studying nursing in the UK, so you can choose a branch of nursing that is best for you.
There are universities that run dual branch pre-registration courses, which lead to registration in two branches of nursing and some courses offer an opportunity to combine two branches of nursing. However, these details and opportunities vary from university to university so it’s important to contact your desired institution to learn for yourself about the courses and programmes offered.
How is Nursing Taught in the UK
Generally speaking, pre-registration programs comprise of 50% theory and 50% practice, which means that studying nursing in the UK is divided between university classes and practical tasks.
At the university you will learn the theory behind nursing care. Various learning methods are applied, such as lectures, seminars, presentations and tutorials. These do sometimes include practice on lifelike models. Some of the main areas of competence you will study are nursing practice and decision making, professional values, communication and interpersonal skills, and leadership, management and team working. In addition to this, you will probably have an opportunity to take other healthcare modules, such as pharmacy, midwifery, occupational therapy and social work, which will allow you to diversify later on in your career should you choose to.
When it comes to your clinical placement, it will depend on your chosen branch of nursing. For example, if you opt for mental health nursing, your placement will focus on mental health patients in hospitals and community settings. There are also certain aspects of training common to all branches of nursing. For more detailed information on this, it’s best to talk directly to the institution you are applying to.
Begin your search for nursing degrees in the UK.
Studying Nursing in Australia
If you wish to study nursing in Australia, you’ll be pleased to know that there are many degrees and programmes offered to international students. Australian nursing degrees are also recognised across the globe so they open exciting employment opportunities.
Australia is one of the world leaders in nursing education. In this sense, studying nursing in Australia is a great opportunity for all internationals seeking quality education and excellent employment opportunities.
A degree from a recognised Australian institution will enable you to work in the nursing profession according to the State and Territory regulatory authorities. It’s important to know that you have to be registered in order to practice nursing in Australia, however all nurses are eligible to join Australian Nursing Federation in order to receive benefits and additional training.
Areas and Specialities
All Australian states and territories offer programs and courses in nursing. There are many different undergraduate and graduate programs throughout Australia you may wish to pursue. Those who wish to study nursing abroad in Australia can take many different courses focusing on various specialities and areas, such as:
- Clinical Areas (pediatrics, midwifery, critical care, mental health, emergency, operating room, and more).
- Health Promotion
Another great advantage of studying nursing in Australia is a strong focus on practical skills. Most universities have a collaboration with public and private hospitals. This provides numerous opportunities for students to acquire the necessary practical skills needed for future employment.
Nursing Professional Levels
There are two professional nursing levels recognized in Australia:
The Registered Nurse
This is a first-level nurse. These nurses have education in pre-registration degree level courses (such as bachelor degree or higher qualification). Registered nurses can practice nursing in all the fields in which they are registered without supervision.
The Enrolled Nurse
This is a second-level nurse. Nurses in this level provide care within the limits specified by education as well as the registering authority’s license to practice. These nurses are mainly educated through advanced certificate or associated diploma courses. The duration of these programs is typically less than three years.
- CATEGORY courses