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Bernadette - Clinical Nurse Leader, Christchurch

Hi there, my name is Bernadette. I am a Registered Nurse and I worked as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner in ED for the NHS in the UK before coming to NZ.

When I initially came to NZ in 2013, I worked as a Registered Nurse at an Urgent Care Facility in Christchurch. Then in early 2015 I obtained the Clinical Nurse Leader post there and love it!

The nursing profession in NZ differs greatly from the UK. Advanced nursing roles were well established back in the UK, in NZ there are only a handful of Nursing Practitioners. The NP role in NZ is not an easy pathway to take on and would have meant that I had to start again with studying at Masters Level as my skills as were not transferable. Initially I started the process and obtained a level 8 paper in Advanced Health Assessment before I obtained my current post.

Christchurch is a beautiful place even though rebuilding since the earthquakes is still happening. In places, it is a very English City and I have family and friends here, which helped immensely.

The process to come to NZ took me 6 months, which was a time I set myself in order to move out for the birth of my first Grandchild.

The easiest part of the process was, (once I had made the decision to emigrate) the step by step advice from Accent Health Recruitment. It was good to trust that I was getting the right advice I needed at the right stage.

The most challenging part of the process was obtaining transcriptions of my training from my school for nursing, as I graduated in 1996 and they had been destroyed. The NMC went out of their way to help and obtained a transcription from the European Directive for Nursing Standards which the NZNC accepted.

I have visited NZ on three previous occasions and from the first visit, I felt I could live here.
The best parts of NZ are: The beautiful environment, its chilled culture and the friendliness of people here.
What I miss the most is: Family and friends, however modern technology helps with keeping in touch.
My advice if you are planning to come to NZ is: Plan your move using reputable sources.

It is an exciting time to live and work in Christchurch, a new city is being rebuilt, it is great to be part of the development of advanced nursing roles and this year the Urgent Care Facility I work in is moving to a new building - I am looking forward being part of that project.