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Benefits of Working as a Nurse in the U.S. vs. the U.K.

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March 13, 2023

When you embark on your journey as an international nurse, naturally, you will have many decisions that need to be made. One of those decisions will be where you begin or end your journey as an international nurse. Avant Healthcare Professionals works to make your American Dream come true here in the United States. There are, however, other staffing opportunities in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, for international nurses. Healthcare professionals must decide where they want to further their nursing careers and what is the best choice for them to achieve long-term success. The pressure of choosing where to advance their life can make nurses worried about making the right decision, so researching different staffing opportunities is crucial.

Below you will find the benefits of working in the United States and the United Kingdom as an international nurse.

U.S. Benefits

There are many benefits that healthcare professionals can explore and prepare for before moving to the United States. In addition, there is a world of opportunities that the U.S. provides for international nurses. Below are the benefits that international nurses will find when they move to the U.S.

Competitive Salary and Benefits

Nurses are underappreciated worldwide and continue to be underpaid or paid unfair wages. In other countries, healthcare professionals are less respected than in the United States. Many are incredibly underpaid, especially for their hard work in their countries. The salary for nurses in the United States allows them to afford a car and potentially save up to buy a house within a few years of working there. They also are paid enough to be able to travel to visit their family in their home countries. Compared to other countries, the U.S. typically pays a higher salary for their nurses. In addition to the competitive salary, USRNs get benefits such as medical and dental insurance, a 401k retirement plan, and paid time off. Moreover, many employers provide allowance or reimbursement for continuing education of nurses.

Employment-Based Immigration (EB-3 Visa)

Becoming a USRN is a primary goal for nurses worldwide as it allows them to become green card holders/ permanent residents of the U.S. By working in the U.S., international registered nurses are eligible for an EB-3 Visa, which enables them to live and work in the U.S. They are also allowed to bring their legally married spouse and children below the age of 21 with them as they begin their journey. By becoming a USRN, nurses can create a better life for their families. It is also a pathway to be reunited with family members who have moved to the U.S.

Opportunities for Future Education

When working in the U.S., nurses are exposed to more educational opportunities than they would typically receive in their home countries. Hospitals throughout the U.S. will do what they can to help their staff move forward with their education, as it makes their hospitals more competitive and upgrades the overall patient experience. U.S. hospitals typically have resources available to ensure that their staff’s knowledge and skills are up-to-date to provide exemplary patient care. Some hospitals will reimburse their staff for certifications and additional education they gain as RNs.

Work-Life Balance

Although the nursing profession does come with its difficulties, becoming a USRN gives you a better opportunity to have a work-life balance. Although overtime is always possible, and nurses can have days they work extended hours, that isn’t always the case. Registered Nurses work five eight-hour shifts a week, four ten-hour shifts, or three 12-hour shifts a week at most facilities. That still allows them to have downtime to relax from their long shifts and find activities to relieve stress from their labor-intensive job. Being in the U.S. means nurses also can spend time with friends, explore their new cities, try a new restaurant, or plan trips for their spouses and children while on their personal time.

Clinical Autonomy

In most cases, Registered Nurses in the U.S. have more autonomy in practice than nurses in the U.K. Registered Nurses are expected to perform full and complete physical assessments, including heart sounds and lung sounds, on patients under their care. In the U.S., the Registered Nurse is more focused on skills and responsibilities such as physical assessments, IV insertions, male and female foley insertion, medication delivery and education, analyzing lab values, making referrals to the doctors, and collaborating on the patient's plan of care. The relationship with medical staff is often more collaborative in the U.S. Most individual patients are paying for care; therefore, there is a high expectation of customer service in nursing and healthcare, so the patient experience is very important. There are also opportunities for advancement into leadership roles or different areas of nursing.

U.K. Benefits

Few careers offer the benefits and advantages that nursing does. Nurses have endless opportunities to pursue and further their careers in the United Kingdom. Below are the benefits if you are choosing to start a career in the United Kingdom.

Job Security

As the population in the U.K. continues to grow, and nurses leave or retire, the growing need for nurses in the U.K. continues to increase. They play a significant role in the U.K. healthcare system, so most nurses won’t have to worry about losing their job when choosing to become a nurse. Hospitals could not function without nurses, so most nurses are typically ensured to maintain employment while working in the U.K., especially as citizens in the U.K. continue to age, making the need for nurses even greater.

Multiple Career Options

While working in the United Kingdom, nurses can pursue many specialties when beginning their careers. There are various healthcare settings that nurses can find themselves in if they’re working in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or outpatient settings. Nurses can learn and develop but vary in their work, allowing them to stay energized in their current positions. They also are given opportunities to work as managers, advanced practitioners, and even consultant nurses.

Flexible Work Schedule

Depending on the facility you work in, in the U.K., nurses are provided a wide range of flexible work policies, which include part-time, voluntary work, flexible hours, and more. U.K. nurses can also work the typical 9-5, rotational, or overnight shifts. Depending on your lifestyle, you can find the shift that works best for you to maintain a proper work-life balance.

Relocation Packages

Moving can be expensive, especially when moving to a new country. Depending on the agency you partner with, a recruitment agency can provide you with an extensive relocation package to assist you with your move to the U.K. You may be provided with your flight to the U.K. covered, refunded visas costs, and refunded English language exam fees so you can have a little extra in your pocket to start your new life.

The Bottom Line

After doing proper research, it is best to apply to your chosen program and stay updated with the most recent news regarding your staffing agency. International Registered Nurses will need all the support they can when settling into their new life in the United States or the United Kingdom, so they should choose where they feel most supported and able to achieve long-term success.

At Avant Healthcare Professionals, we recruit, and staff internationally educated healthcare professionals and make sure they make the right decision when transitioning to work in the United States. When working with Avant Healthcare Professionals, nurses will have an entire team of experts dedicated to finding them success as international nurses in the United States. Take the first step toward your new life and a new career. Apply today to find out if you qualify for this exclusive program! You could be working in the U.S. in as little as 12 months!

About Avant Healthcare Professionals

Need nurses? Avant Healthcare Professionals is the premier staffing specialist for internationally educated registered nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists. Avant has placed thousands of international healthcare professionals across U.S. facilities to help improve the continuity of their care, fill hard-to-find specialties, and increase patient satisfaction, revenue and HCAHPS scores. Avant is a Joint Commission accredited staffing agency and founding member of the American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment (AAIHR). Avant Healthcare Professionals is a member of the Jackson Healthcare® family of companies.


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