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6 Countries That Accept US Nursing License (2022)

Even though the United States is one of the highest-paying countries for nurses in the world, some American nurses wish to work abroad.

The journey to becoming a registered nurse in the US is not so full of roses, from earning your degree to passing the NCLEX exam and eventually obtaining your license. In this article, we outlined the list of countries that accept US nursing licenses in 2022.

Before we get started you must know that trying to work in some European countries with your American nursing license may not work out due to the language proficiency requirements.

Now, shall we?

Can you use your US nursing license in other countries?

Yes, you can legally use your US nursing license to practice in other countries. Some countries may honor the license without retesting you while some require that you go through some processes.

As an American nurse, it’s so much easier to work in an English-speaking country like England with your nursing license than in countries such as Norway or Germany. This is because foreign nurses must be proficient in the nation’s language which may cost you some time.

There are some things to put in mind if you plan on relocating to another to work as a registered nurse. This includes.

  1. Immigration process.
  2. Licensure requirements and employment process.
  3. Average salary.
  4. Security/Safety.
  5. Cost of living.

In the end, you want to spend some quality time doing a ton of research on the countries you have in mind to avoid making mistakes that could affect your nursing career.

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Countries that accept US nursing license

Below are the top countries that accept the US nursing license for those interested in working abroad.

1. The United Kingdom

While the pay may not be great, you can work in the UK as an American nurse. First of all, you need to make sure you have all the required documents such as a tier 2 visa, international passport, nursing license, etc.

You don’t need to take the IELTS test since you can meet the English language proficiency requirements by practicing full-time for at least a year in the US. The next thing to do is to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

To submit your completed application, you need to pay a $160 mandatory evaluation fee. If you are approved, you will start as a new nurse regardless of your previous skills and this is why you need to adapt to working in the British Healthcare system.

2. Canada

Foreign nurses in Canada make an average of about 50 grand per year which is considered above-average when compared to other developing countries. Unlike the UK, American nurses intending to practice in Canada must first apply to the nursing regulatory body of the province where they wish to work.

Canada is one of the countries where the US NCLEX RN is accepted. Your application will be assessed based on your character, language proficiency, work experience, and other requirements.

Once approved by the province, the next thing to do is to apply for the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE). Depending on the province, it takes about 6 to 8 months to be processed.

3. The Netherlands

With its rapidly growing population, the Netherlands is in dire need of foreign nurses to help maintain its good healthcare standards. Depending on your specialty, experience, and working hours, you can earn up to $3,000 monthly before tax.

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The problem however is the language barrier, foreign nurses need to understand and speak the Dutch language. Learning to speak Dutch to the required level will take at least 5 months.

Once you can speak dutch, have your working permit, and have validated your diploma, you need to go through the BIG register, the Dutch nurse registration. Once your name is in the BIG register, you can start applying for jobs and work legally as a nurse in the Netherlands.

4. Ireland

Unlike in the Netherlands, you don’t need to learn any foreign language to work as a registered nurse. However, you do need to prove to the Irish nursing board that your US nursing license and education are equivalent to theirs.

Firstly, you need to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) and submit all the required documents. Assessment of applications generally takes 1 to 90 days and you will be notified of their final decision.

You may need to pass the Overseas Aptitude Test to complete your registration. If your application was declined, you can either move on or appeal the rejection.

5. Australia

Australia has a strong demand for foreign nurses and is one of the few countries that accept US nursing licenses. Even though you have passed the US NCLEX exam, you may still need to take the OSCE (Objective structured clinical examination).

To work as a registered nurse in Australia, you need to be approved by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Getting this approval can be tough especially if you don’t have the required documentation or work experience.

If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, don’t even bother applying. As an American nurse working in Australia, you can earn at least $73,000 annually pre-tax.

6. New Zealand

In contrast to most countries mentioned in this article, foreign nurses planning to work in New Zealand must secure a job offer before commencing their registration. After this, you can register with the New Zealand Nursing Council (NZNC).

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Apart from your US nursing license, you must have practiced as a nurse for at least 2,500 hours and submit documents such as your CV, proof of English language proficiency, police report, etc and pay the application fee ($285).

Once your application is received by the NZNC, it will be processed in a week or 2. Those who fail to meet the requirements may need to undergo the further experience with instruction at a New Zealand academic institution.


Unless you are moving to practice nursing in other countries for solid reasons, it may not be worth the stress. Some countries waste too much time processing these applications and we haven’t even talked about the amount of money you are going to spend.

If you are tired of working as a nurse in the US, maybe you should relocate to another city or state. If you however insist on working abroad, you should consider going through recruitment agencies.

We covered everything you need to know about the countries that accept US nursing license as well as their requirements in this article. If you found this post helpful, kindly share it with others.

About Martin Vernon

A lifelong learner, educator, and advocate for education as a means for individual and social change. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!

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