16 Mar I Am a Registered Nurse and Want to Work Abroad: What do i do?
More and more healthcare institutions and nursing facilities are now recruiting foreign healthcare professionals to counter the skills shortage in the sector. But not all the nurses and caregivers who come to Germany are happy and settled here. Whether these people stay long term in the country depends very much on how well they can integrate into society here. Care With Care goes to great lengths to familiarize the nurses with their new working and living environment and to encourage them to stay for a long time with their selected employer. The following interview with Wilvin S., a pioneer of the Care With Care program, tells us how he felt when he moved to Germany and how he settled in at his place of work and to life in the German state of Hesse. His experiences can also provide employers with useful tips for recruiting personnel from abroad.
1. Do your homework and decide on a destination country that fits your personal and professional goals.
As a registered nurse, you probably already know that your profession is in global demand and that there are several destination countries that you can choose from to work and live, in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East. Take the time to know what your personal and professional goals are before choosing a destination country. This is crucial in shaping your determination and commitment to work abroad, and whether you will be happy once you move there. Then, take the time to research the destination country you are considering. Learn about the country’s healthcare system, local specifics of the nursing profession, the culture and way of life, and the network of other professionals like yourself who have decided to work abroad. Moving to another country is not a quick and trivial matter. It entails a firm commitment and the better prepared you are, the easier the process of moving and integrating into your new country and workplace.
2. Determine if you need your qualifications recognized before working abroad.
Undertaking a job abroad often entails meeting certain professional qualifications and thresholds. Most important of these are language requirements, education and training, and work experience prerequisites. For example, in the United Kingdom (UK), if you are a foreign educated nurse who obtained your training outside of Europe, in order to practice as a nurse, you must register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which requires at least a score of 7.0 in the International English language test (IELTS), and passing both a computer based test of theoretical practice-based knowledge and an Objective-structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). To work as a nurse in Germany, you will have to obtain a B2 certificate in German language and go through qualification recognition process which will either be an internship with your employer for several months (if it’s a university hospital) or a qualification exam in Germany (for all other employers). Care With Care provides both types of adaptation measure and arranges a 4-week preparation course for the qualification exam takers.
3. Find an experienced nursing recruitment agency that you can trust.
Securing a nursing job abroad and then undertaking the move to a foreign country is a complicated and sometimes lengthy process. A licensed nursing recruitment agency that has successfully placed nurses in your destination country can help with guiding you through the process of connecting you with employers, deployment and integration. Choose a nursing agency that is transparent with the process and the costs entailed. Know that in some countries, recruitment agencies are not allowed to charge placement fees from candidates, however, there will be some administrative costs involved, on top of financing your language and professional requirements. The key here is choosing an international nursing recruitment agency that is transparent, professional and looks after your interest and welfare. Be aware of the wide-spread practice of salary deductions — and choose an agency that does not do it, if you don’t want to find yourself later in Germany with a salary lower than expected.
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