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Theatre Nurse career prospects

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I’m not actually qualified yet so this is a bit premature (not long though - 🤞)

I really fancy working in oz when I am a qualified nurse (i’ll get my two years experience and hopefully a masters/pgdip before then). Then my plan would be to get a WHV for the first year, then see maybe apply for the regional (489?) visa.

My chosen nursing area will be theatre/Perioperative. I am curious to the short and long term career prospects for theatre nurses in Australia. From what I can tell: RN ~ staff nurse, clinical nurse ~ UK deputy charge nurse , NUM ~ senior charge nurse and then there’s the clinical nurse educator role which is a role in the UK too.

Would it be really difficult to secure a permanent RN theatre job (if I were to stay after the WHV year) ?

And are senior roles very competitive/an unrealistic goal? In the UK in some areas they might be, but I know of many wards/areas struggling to recruit band 6 and 7s due to low applicants.  

My other question is what is the difference between the enrolled nurse and the registered nurse in the theatre environment ? (Some of the Nurses in the UK who I’ve worked with are former ENs but none of them worked in theatre)

This is a mixture of idle curiosity as well as career aspirations, I’ve read/heard Australia can be better for upward career progression but don’t know specifically to theatre nursing. 

Any replies appreciated, thanks a lot.

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At the moment theatre nurses are relatively in demand but only if you already have experience, I had over 10 years when I came over. There are no odps in theatres here, some states use anaesthetic technicians. There aren’t many enrolled nurses on the scrub side as they’re not able to scrub for emergencies or complex cases. 

As far as senior roles there isn’t a struggle to recruit. Australian universities turn out thousands of nurse graduates every year who struggle to find jobs.  My unit recently had over 100 applicants for 5 positions. Having said that if you are prepared to go truly regional you should be able to find a position, particularly in Queensland.


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