Hi my name is… Kelly! I’m 27 and grew up in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. I have been a Registered Nurse since 2011 and have also completed post graduate study in Emergency nursing and Mental Health nursing.
After university I worked for a few years in theatre as a scrub/scout. I then moved to Alice Springs, Central Australia and worked in a psychiatric ward for a short amount of time before transferring to the emergency department – where I worked for a year and a half. After Alice Springs I moved to Cairns in Queensland for another 1.5 years in emergency. During my time away I continued to work extra shifts in theatre when I could because I love both specialties!
I am currently living in Adelaide working in theatre and emergency. I am also employed by nursing agencies that give me the opportunity to work all over the country. I travel to fill contracts that vary in length, location and nursing specialty – needless to say you never know what experiences you’re going to face!
Where has been your favourite place to nurse in Australia? And why?
I will always have a soft spot for nursing in the Alice Springs emergency department. I learnt so much in the time that I was there and I grew as a nurse more than I ever expected. The patients were unforgettable and the staff that I worked with were all equally dedicated and committed to putting their patient’s needs before anything else. I have not had a similar experience anywhere else in Australia and I am still so grateful for it. Living in Alice Springs shows you raw Australia, a different kind of beautiful with red dirt and blue skies – and the location and the culture of the town means there is always something to do!
What advice would you give to overseas nurses who would like to nurse in the Australian outback?
DO IT – I think it is the best way to see the real outback Australia! Be prepared though. Do your research about the country, the culture and the kind of work you will be doing. Ensure you are comfortable with your nursing knowledge and skills. Do not be scared to tell people if you do not know something, be willing to learn, be open minded and take everything in your stride.
What are your favourite Australian holiday destinations? And where is next on your list?
Having a day off in Far North Queensland meant laying on a tropical island under a palm tree, riding a horse along a beach, snorkeling in the great barrier reef or even learning to row in crocodile infested waters! It really did feel like a working holiday and is definitely one of my favourite places to date.
I am very interested in traveling to Tasmania in the warmer months! I get the feeling it is underrated and I am intrigued to see how beautiful it is and check out all the outdoor activities on offer.
Do you have any other local tips for nurses wanting to come to Australia to work?
For individuals less experienced in travelling and nursing, perhaps start with a contract in a bigger hospital to ensure you have support available to you! This will help with meeting people and identifying if you need more education or learning opportunities before working in remote areas with more responsibility and less support.
If you find a hospital happy to sponsor you, make sure you are happy with the amount of time you will be committing to and check if that contract is flexible or not.