Melissa - U.S. Delivery Nurse
My name is Melissa and I am a Delivery Suite Registered Nurse. I came to NZ on the 8th of November from the USA.
The whole process took 8 months because something things only get done on KIWI time!
The easiest part of the process was working with Accent Health. When things got so stressful that made me doubt why we were doing this, Hayley was always positive and offered solutions. Even if she did not have the answers, she was willing to be honest and say, "Let me find out for you."
The most challenging part of the process was collecting every document, and making sure it matched exactly with the requirements, especially when it came to documents for animal transport. Transporting animals can become expensive and overwhelming, but worth it in the end.
We had to work with several agencies during this transition, everything from animal transport, to nursing, travel and immigration agencies. Accent Health, was the only one that we felt we had a genuine connection to and felt comfortable handling my future career. Hayley was able to keep me in my specialty even when the odds were stacked against us. She pushed through and proved there was a place here for me and my family.
In the USA, I am a Labour and Delivery Certified Registered nurse with a specialty in High Risk Obstetrics. Unfortunately, here in New Zealand I would require changing careers to become a midwife in order to continue doing what I have done for the last 12 years. Changes are coming to NZ with the current need for more midwives, and I hope to bring back the need for obstetric nurses. In the US, Midwives are Nurses whereas in NZ they are separate paths. It is taking some time to understand those differences.
We speak the same language both personally and professionally, which has eased my transition in the hospital. Even if I have to re-learn new names for the same medications as we used in the US. Much of the equipment we use daily is the same or very similar. The US is also a blend of many cultures. Although there are a few new cultures I am adjusting to, I realize that others are doing the same thing. NZ appears to welcome differences in cultures as long as cultures already here are remembered and respected.
It appears that NZ prides itself on incorporating culture and personal respect in decision making in patient care. Current medical advice and a patient's culture or expectations do not always see eye to eye, but unlike my experiences in the US; allowances and compromises are made when everyone is involved in the plan of care. This can be refreshing and a bit confusing for me at times.
My first impressions of NZ were that it was difficult not to be the tourist that takes pictures of every tree and hill in this beautiful country. The best parts of NZ are the beautiful outdoor parks that are free to everyone to use and allows for much quality time spent as a family. One of my daughters and my parents stayed in the USA so I do really miss them; (and Walmart!) but overall the move has been well worth it.
My advice if you are planning to come to NZ is don't be afraid to ask lots of question! You don't know what you don't know but staying silent can leave you uninformed.