Can a PN Work Internationally?

Posted On October 18,2018


The demand for nurses is well publicized. The need for nurses isn’t confined to the United States. Nurses are needed worldwide. This is a win for practical nurses who want to see the world. International healthcare organizations actively recruit US nurses on nursing websites and with advertisements in top nursing journals.

Where to Work

Licensed practical nurses can work overseas in settings including physician’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes, and private homes. International LPN duties mirror those of the United States. This includes providing medical attention to sick, injured, and disabled patients under the supervision of doctors and/or registered nurses. However, many overseas nursing jobs will require a two to three year commitment.


Nursing opportunities in Europe can include benefits, such as free housing, high pay, and health insurance. Depending on the country you work for, a substantial percentage of your travel expenses might also be covered. Most hospitals in Europe require you to have at least one year of nursing experience.

Middle East

The Middle East offers some of the highest international nursing salaries. Plus, salaries are tax-free. A position here allows you to work for several years while exploring the sights and culture. Of course, you will need to communicate while working as a nurse in the Middle East. Basic knowledge of the language is advised. However, certain hospitals in the Middle East require that English be spoken among the staff.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom depends largely on health care providers from other countries. The UK considers hiring from the US and other countries for the future of nursing. LPNs looking to work here should contact The Royal College of Nursing immigration advisors. This agency is licensed by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner to provide immigration services and advice to LPNs seeking to work in the UK.

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Australia is one of the easier countries to obtain credentials to work in. Australia has a National Registration which allows LPN’s with a visa to work anywhere in the country. You simply apply to the Australian Midwifery Board. You will then be given a certified document signed by the State Board of Nursing officials.

Before You Go

Preparing to travel to another country for a PN position can be a long and tedious process. Plan on spending six to eight months in processing before you leave. You will need to have a signed, valid passport. You will also need to obtain a work visa for the country you will be traveling to. In addition, it takes time to get your credentials approved. You also may want to go ahead and apply for licensure in the location you want to go.

While waiting for paperwork to be approved, you can prepare by looking up the location and contact number of the embassy office closest to where you will be staying. Also look up laws, travel warnings, and recommended immunizations for the area in which you will be working.

Before you leave, be sure to make two copies of you original passport. Leave one at home with family. Also carry a copy on you, separate from the original.

Just as the range of opportunities vary from place to place, so do salaries. Nurses tend to make less money in other parts of the world than they do in the United States. However, the trade off is you get to work, live and experience life in another country. For many, this opportunity to immerse themselves in another culture is priceless.

If you want to satisfy your wanderlust with an overseas nursing career, start by getting a good education right here at home. You can train to be a practical nurse at Athena Career Academy. For information on our nursing program, be sure to contact us at Athena Career Academy in Toledo, OH today.

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