International Travel Nursing - The Gypsy Nurse

By The Gypsy Nurse Staff

November 14, 2012



International Travel Nursing

International Travel Nursing can be a complicated and time-consuming process.  If you are looking into International Travel nursing, I would recommend that you allow yourself a minimum of 6 months to prepare and obtain the required certifications, visa’s and licensing.  The information below is not a conclusive listing.  It is a mere small representation of some of the steps needed to obtain a nursing position internationally.

Canadian Travel Nurse Resources:
Nurse Registration:
Obtaining Work Permit:
List of requirements may include (via

  • International Travel Nursing

    Completed application form and two recent passport size photographs

  • Your present and previous passport or travel documents and those of any family members accompanying you
  • Copies of your birth certificate
  • Payment of processing fee ($150 CND per person)
  • Your educational certificates
  • Letters of reference from present and past employers
  • An offer of employment
  • Employment Validation (Labor Market Opinion) from Human Resources Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) 1
  • Registration with College of Registered Nurses of BC or College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of BC (Provisional Registration will also be sufficient)
  • A medical examination by a designated medical practitioner on Canada’s designated medical practitioner’s list. A list of Practitioners can be obtained from Citizen and Immigration Services Web site:
  • Note: Medical instructions will normally be sent to you after you submit your application to the Canadian Consulate/Embassy; however it is recommended that the medical be conducted as soon as possible after the date that the application for a work permit is submitted to the Canadian Consulate/Embassy.
  • “Application for a work permit” (IMM 1295)
  • “Document Checklist” (IMM 5488)
  • “Original receipt form” (IMM 5401) or payment receipt for fees paid online

The full process can take anywhere between 8 and 16 months to complete.
UK Travel Nursing Resources and Steps

  • International Travel NursingThe first step is the IELTS academic test. IELTS website:
  • Requirements for EU/EEA/overseas nurses and midwives (via
    • English language requirements.  Since 1 February 2007, our requirement for overseas-trained applicants to the register is that they achieve an overall score of 7.0 in the British Council’s International Language Testing Scheme (IELTS).
    • Pre-registration education.  AEIs providing either the Overseas Nurses Programme (ONP) or the Overseas midwives programme, must make sure that applicants have submitted a copy of their IELTS test score before accepting them as students.
    • Applying for registration.  Applicants must take the IELTS test before they apply for registration, and submit their score as part of their registration. The NMC will then independently confirm this score.
  • Complete Mandatory package
    • The initial package is fairly straight forward and includes an application request form, form to accompany birth certificate, form to accompany registration certificate and form to accompany passport.
  • Application request form
  • Please check your personal details and make any necessary amendments
  • Complete the information about your IELTS exam
  • Most people will be applying for Registered Nurse – General so please tick the appropriate box
  • Forms to accompany your birth certificate, registration certificate and passport
  • You are required to provide notorised/certified copies of your birth certificate, registration certificate and passport. Please read the attached link on the requirements for certifying documents accepted by the NMC
  • Please note that your registration certificate MUST be the original nursing certificate that you would have received when you first licensed as a registered nurse.
  • At this point you will need to make payment to the NMC for your application. The current fee is £140 and is payable direct to the NMC. The easiest way to make the payment is by credit card over the phone and the NMC contact number is +44 207 333 9333. Alternatively you can send a cheque along with your mandatory forms but you need to ensure that it is written in UK pounds (so you will need to request this from your bank and there are usually fees involved for this).
  • Application Form
    • Personal Details – please check all your contact details are correct and make any necessary changes
    • Primary and Secondary education – all years of school education prior to university need to be included, typically between 12-14 years.
    • Professional Education and Training – clearly list all nursing related training
    • Declaration of Good Health by Occupational Health Dept/Medical Practitioner – This section needs to be fully completed by your doctor and stamped with the doctors official stamp. If the doctor has no official stamp, they will need to write a letter on official letterhead. The letter
    • must include the applicant’s name and PRN, state he/she doesn’t have a stamp, be signed, dated and attached to the application form.
    • Reference Forms
    • Registration Authority/Licensing Board Declaration of Good health and character
  • Apply for visa under one of the following:
    Work permit holder or Tier 1 – General skilled visa routes
  • You may be required to complete the Overseas Nursing Program (depending on which tier visa you qualify for).

 Other Resources

International Travel Nursing

There are other options for working overseas as a US Registered Nurse.  The option that I chose was to work with the US Department of Defense.  The DOD has nursing positions in international locations such as Germany, Belgium, Italy and Japan.  The process, although slightly easier is still a mound of paperwork and forms.  You can start your DOD search by going to

If you are accepted for a position with the DOD, feel free to contact me as I have some additional resources that could be helpful as you transition into a DOD position in nursing.

The entire process from filing my application to arrival in Germany took about 8 months for me but I know others that it only took 3 months.  Demand plays a large part in this.

If you have specific information about International Travel Nursing that you would like to share with The Gypsy Nurse readers, please submit it to me at

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