Essential Survival Tips for Australian First-time Travel Nurses in the UK

Updated on November 9, 2023

Nurses are some of the most important people in the world.  The past few years have certainly demonstrated that.  Unfortunately, in some parts of the globe, there’s a bit of a shortage of them.  An example of this is in the United Kingdom – while there are a lot of nurses there, they could always use more.

With all of that said, you can start to understand why there have been a lot of travel nurses heading the United Kingdom.  In particular, a lot of Australians have started to head there.  Why is that? 

Well, we’ve already covered some of that above – it’s largely that there just aren’t that many local nurses over in the UK.  Another reason is that it can be quite intimidating to move to another country like that, even if it’s temporary.  Of course, this is why we’re here today: to give you some survival tips for being a travel nurse in the UK. 

If any of that sounds interesting to you, make sure to stick around!  While a lot of these are targeted specifically at us Aussies headed abroad, they may be applicable to any travel nurse whose destination is the British Isles.


Why the UK?

In terms of a survival guide, it may seem strange that this is our first point but hear us out – it’s worth taking some time to consider where you want to travel abroad as a nurse.  For a lot of us Australians, it may feel a bit better to start out in a place that is more familiar to us.  The UK is a good option, because while our cultures are obviously quite different, at least some of the foods and stores will be similar.

Still, when you do opt to go to the United Kingdom, it also gives you access to the rest of Europe.  As you can see on this site:, a lot of the travel nurse organizations can help you with ways to explore the rest of Europe, including helping you to get travel visas for anywhere you want to visit in the continent.

One of the other reasons to head to the UK is the way that their hospital systems work with ours to allow nurses to work in some of the best hospitals in our respective nations.  Depending on the program you go with, you could end up in the best hospitals in the UK, which is a perk – imagine what you can learn!

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Why Become a Travel Nurse?

All of this leads us to the other elephant in the room: why would anyone want to be a travel nurse in the first place?  Is it really that enriching?  In order to survive as an Aussie nurse in the UK, you sort of have to know the answer to this question.  Thankfully, there are plenty of reasons that you may want to pursue something like this.

Perhaps the biggest one is that you’ll be able to learn more about your profession and get to work alongside some of the best and brightest in the field.  You can learn more about the specifics of that on this page, if you aren’t entirely familiar what travel nursing is.  

Another aspect that often goes unappreciated is the fact that we can experience a lot of new sights, sounds, and smells as we travel abroad – stuff that we’d never get to see back at home.  Though the trips are usually on a thirteen-week basis and rotation, there’s the opportunity to go again and again if you so desire (space permitting).

During those thirteen weeks, you’ll be getting paid and still have the chance to explore the rest of Europe and the United Kingdom, whatever you decide to do.  It’s hardly a surprise that this is one of the best parts for many travel nurses, since the opportunity to travel like this can be difficult otherwise.

Preparing Yourself

Obviously, traveling abroad is a wonderful experience that most people would love to get to do.  However, once you decide to apply to be a travel nurse, there are some things that you’ll want to bear in mind.  The first thing to do is to check out what the travel visa requirements are for your destination. 

Again, depending on the specific organization that you’re working with, they may be able to help you with that application process.  Either way, though, it shouldn’t be that difficult as long as you do your research.  A lot of the countries across Europe will accept a general travel visa or not even require them if you do decide to visit some of the others during your stay.

Another thing to consider is how much you want to pack.  Don’t be afraid to ask about your lodgings in the United Kingdom because that can help give you an idea of what to expect as well as what to bring.  Beyond that, double check to see if there are any restrictions on what you can take onto certain airlines, especially considering that the flight will be quite a long trip.

Overall, the most important thing is to prepare yourself for both the positive and the negative that can come with these experiences.  Obviously, you’re going to have a great time no matter what – but it’s impossible to predict every bump along the road at the same time.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.