Ann - UK Nurse working in NZ
My name is Ann Bennett. I am a registered mental health nurse who came to NZ in June 2020 from the UK.
The process to come to NZ took me about 13 months from starting the application to the NZNC to having to negotiate through Covid 19 and the closed borders.
The easiest part of the process was actually getting my visas with the expert assistance from The Emigration Group. Without their assistance I would not have been able to navigate my way through the process.
The most challenging part of the process was the application process to the NZNC. Having started my training in 1986 at a School of Nursing and Midwifery this proved tricky in getting hold of the required documents as the school of Nursing no longer existed. With a lot of perseverance and phone calls and e mails to the NMC and current nurse education facility this was finally sorted.
Only I could decide to emigrate in the middle of a worldwide Covid 19 crisis. It didn’t put me off though. After having to find out what limited number of airlines were flying, dealing with cancelled flights, re-booking flights, applying for exemptions and transit visas to travel through Australia I finally arrived in NZ on June 9 2020 to spend 2 weeks in quarantine in Auckland. This was not a problem as it was a comfortable stay and the NZ Government paid for it. I believe I was very lucky to get here when I did.
My first impressions of NZ were wow what a beautiful country, rolling hills, stunning lakes, the ocean, forests and a laidback friendly vibe.
The best parts of NZ for me are the awesome scenery, the outdoor lifestyle, the weather, much like the UK with the 4 seasons in one day.
What I miss most of course is my family and friends, my little house and my 2 noisy budgies Fred and Ernie who sadly I could not bring with me.
My advice if you’re planning to come to NZ is ‘Just do it’. You get one go at life and you only regret what you don’t do. Be organised and plan ahead, learn a bit about NZ, be prepared for setbacks but never give up on your dream. It is well worth it.
I have to thank Accent, particularly Kristin, for their support, advice and assistance throughout the process. I would not have found my current job without them. I value their advice and support.
My new workplace:
Coming from a community mental health background over the past 8 years in the UK I found going back to work on a ward as a registered nurse a bit of a challenge at first. Orientating and learning new systems and ways of working took time. My colleagues have been very supportive and helped ease me in. Having a ‘Pom’ on board was a bit novel for them I guess too.
I guess from a community nurse perspective the area covered is much bigger and more rural than in the UK.
There have been similarities that have helped me orientate/transition more easily. Nursing practice and philosophies of care are very similar. Policies and procedures have both their differences and similarities.
I have particularly noticed the differences in the availability of Mental Health Services.
I have noticed that on the ward that I work on the way medication is administered is different from when I worked on a ward in the UK. I think that the administration process is better and safer.