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| By Alliance Nursing

Hannah, from Reading in the U.K., shares her experience of doing a regional placement in Port Macquarie – a town about 4 hours north of Sydney.  

I've been a nurse in Australia for three years now, specialising in paediatrics and the special care nursery. Alliance Nursing has been fantastic, securing enough shifts for me to work whenever I'm available. For a while, I'd been interested in a regional or rural placement to experience working outside of metropolitan areas. The team was amazing! They arranged a placement for me in Port Macquarie!


Finding home in Port Macquarie 

Port Macquarie became my home for five months. This beautiful little coastal town is about a four-hour drive north of Sydney. I worked and lived at Port Macquarie Base Hospital, which provided on-site accommodation. This eliminated a significant cost and stress factor. Plus, it was only a 20-minute bus ride into town. Being a smaller hospital, I had the opportunity to lead a small team. The smaller size also meant a calmer environment, as sicker patients were typically transferred to larger hospitals in Sydney or Newcastle. 

Regional rewards and relaxation 

Due to the regional location, I received a higher salary, allowing me to save a lot more. The quiet area also meant there weren't many opportunities to spend money anyway! In between shifts, I mostly enjoyed beach walks and relaxing.

'Due to the regional location, I received a higher salary, allowing me to save a lot more.'


A positive, supportive environment 

Overall, I've found nursing in Australia to be a more positive experience. The nurses on shift are very supportive and approachable. Back home, I would often leave work stressed and unable to switch off. Here, I find it much easier to detach after my shift. I'm not sure if it's due to the calmer work environment or simply living in a more peaceful place, which I'd always dreamt of. 

Exploring Australia with agency nursing 

Thanks to agency nursing, I've worked and lived in every state except Western Australia. I now live in Randwick, Sydney, and love the convenience of the light rail for getting around the city. I also enjoy the abundance of restaurants and cafes, particularly around ‘The Spot’ – a bustling crossroads packed with diverse cuisines and a heritage-listed cinema. 

As someone who isn't a big morning person, a typical day off would involve a coastal walk with coffee, swimming in the ocean pools, reading by the beach, or exploring a new area. Later this year, I plan to move to Melbourne, which I've heard is similair to Manchester in the UK. I'm excited to continue my journey working, traveling with Alliance Nursing, and discovering more of Australia in the process! 

Thinking of making the move? You can explore more about living and working in Australia in our International Nursing section - with tips and helpful advice about everything from visas to qualifications and more!