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  • Chance to travel and train a tempting prospect for nurses

    Author: Haley Williams

Travelling the world may not be top of mind when considering a nursing career, but many nurses are taking the opportunity to explore exotic places while earning continuing professional development (CPD) points and the benefits are numerous.  

Many professions combine education with travel and nursing is no exception, said Sue Walker, Conference Co-ordinator of The Nurses for Nurses Network, who has partnered with Education at Sea to combine exotic destinations and CPD experiences for nurses.

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“The education content meets the same exacting standards as any conference offered in Australia and the experience is enhanced as we marry this with a great travel destination.

“Outside of conference hours attendees can explore the location at their leisure either with other conference attendees or with friends and family that may have accompanied them.

“Being able to bring friends and family is a great benefit – we all have super busy lives with shift work complications being thrown in for some nurses – so to be able to spend quality time with family and access exceptional CPD content is a great bonus.


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Programmed Health Professionals
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Cabrini Health
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“Another benefit is the ability to visit and network with colleagues in the locations we visit. On most conference locations we can organise hospital and health service visits that allow us to network with colleagues from that location and discuss our shared nursing experience.

“We are also able to provide education sessions to our destination colleagues as well as learn from them,” said Ms Walker.
This type of professional development is costly, and many nurses may deliberate over whether finances permit. Others may wonder if hectic work schedules and family commitments should take priority, but Ms Walker says these aren't obstacles if nurses plan ahead.

“If you book early enough work commitments can be altered and leave applied for, the family can join you so it can become an annual holiday for them as well as the delegate outside of conference hours.

“Finances are always a consideration no matter the profession. We believe the concept provides value for money and there are payment plans available should it be required,” said Ms Walker.

A personal attendee at many travel and CPD events herself, Ms Walker says though the education and fabulous destinations are the main attraction, the opportunity to network with nurses from around Australia and meet colleagues from different parts of the world is a significant benefit.

“Nurses are an inclusive group, and other attendees are just friends you haven't met yet. On the first night at registration we always have a welcome function where people get to meet each other and get to know each other,” said Ms Walker.

What nurses say about travel and CPD events

“A great experience to attend lectures and to get CPD points and have a fabulous holiday. To communicate with nurses from different hospitals and to hear and share stories is great.”
Linda, Perioperative Nursing | Papua New Guinea

“It was a great opportunity to learn an essential nursing skill in a lovely environment. I have now completed my yearly CPD obligation for the year in July.”
Cheryl-Anne, The Fabulous World of Wounds | The South Pacific

“Friendly atmosphere, very well presented and researched content (not stuffy lectures). The offer to complete tasks missed, e.g. CPR, medications.  Visit to the ship’s medical centre and hospital. Ability to dine with partners and the group, opportunity to network and of course…travel!”
Natalie, Focus on Nursing Fundamentals | Melbourne

Combining a love of travel with a nursing career

If travelling for professional development isn’t enough for those nurses who catch the travel bug, then a position as a repatriation nurse might be an ideal career choice. 

What is a repatriation nurse?

A repatriation nurse is a nursing career that is open to registered nurses who are highly trained to oversee all-encompassing critical, emergency and pre-hospital care for patients during rescue operations or for travellers who are sick or injured overseas or in remote locations throughout Australia.
Repatriation nurses play a vital role in ensuring the safe repatriation of Australian travellers who are injured, commonly due to multi-trauma, from remote and international destinations.
Wendy Keating, a Repatriation Nurse for Allianz Global Assistance, said her job requires frequent travel to international destinations and remote locations throughout Australia to assist sick or injured travellers.

“Since I began my role at Allianz, I’ve been involved in six repatriation missions to countries such as China, Mauritius, and others. I’ve also repatriated patients involved in terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Nice,” said Ms Keating.

However, it's not all work and no play because the work of a repatriation nurse also inevitably leads to days off that can be used to sight-see and enjoy some relaxation. 

“While on a repatriation mission to Mauritius and Reunion Island, I managed to squeeze in a bit of local island adventuring on Reunion Island, where the patient was located in the hospital. 

“A full day of beaching, leisure, and a bit of shopping was a fun way to enjoy a bit of down time before the intensity of an international repatriation assignment,” said Ms Keating.


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Haley Williams

Haley Williams has a Bachelor of Communication in Journalism and over a decade of experience in the media, marketing and communications industries.

She is a widely published journalist with a particular interest in writing magazine features on parenting, health, fitness, nutrition and education.

Before becoming a freelance journalist, Haley worked as a writer for NeoLife (a worldwide nutrition company), News Limited and APN News & Media.

Haley also has extensive experience as an SEO Content Writer and Digital Marketing Strategist.