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Elissa - Registered Nurse

My name is Elissa, and I am a registered nurse in the Emergency Department. I came to New Zealand on March 18th with my husband and three kids (7, 2 and almost 1 year old) from the United States. I started the process at the end of May 2021. The easiest part of the process was how clearly everything was laid out in terms of the steps I needed to do. The hardest part was getting my university to send in the required paperwork to CGFNS.

Kristin at Accent was my recruiter and she walked me through everything, from an initial phone call to emails with random questions, to some panic on my part with all the changing isolation requirements, to making sure myself and my family were settled once we arrived.

My first impression of New Zealand was definitely the breathtaking views. We travelled by car from Auckland to the Bay of Plenty and there was not a moment of the trip that wasn’t amazing. I’ve also enjoyed how very helpful and kind people seem to be. From co-workers going out of their way to ensure we found adequate housing, landlords finding and putting together beds for our children, to strangers stopping to help us load furniture into our car.

The Bay of Plenty where I live has lived up to its reputation of beauty. One of the first things we did was climb Mount Maunganui to take in the views from all sides. Once my kids are a little older, I can’t wait to visit the South Island and experience all it has to offer, in particular the Southern Lights and Gemstone Beach.

In terms of work, I was initially worried about the transition from electronic to completely paper charting, but I’ve found it not too bad and I’m enjoying getting to spend more of my time actually performing nursing tasks rather than typing. A major difference I didn’t expect is that drug names are not the same for most of the drugs I give on a daily basis. But that is knowledge that will come with time. I have also been impressed with the different way New Zealand seems to handle end of life care as opposed to the places I have worked in the United States.

For anyone contemplating the move, especially those with small kids, I say go for it! And my advice is start sooner than you would expect, it’s a long process but worth it.
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How do I get registered in New Zealand? How much will I get paid in New Zealand? Where is the best place to work in New Zealand? Do my children need visas for New Zealand? For answers to these questions and more, check out our FAQs page.


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