As my last post detailed, I made the decision to venture overseas and live in England this year. One of the integral components of this endeavour was to become registered as a nurse in the UK so that I could fund my travels, rather than end up broke and homeless somewhere along the banks of the River Thames.
I love the idea of continuing my work in another country, and can’t think of a better way to get to know the character of a place than to drop into the homes of the people who make it up. Being able to practice as a district nurse in London is as exciting for me as the prospect of travelling. However, the act of getting registered has not been as straight forward as I had hoped.
Despite growing up in an English-speaking country, attending an English-speaking school, and getting a degree from and English-speaking university, one of the hurdles I had to jump was passing an English exam to prove I could read, write, comprehend and speak English. I am thankful to say I passed. And the act of proving I had indeed mastered the English language only set me back five-hundred odd dollars.
After that, I had to prove I had all the required knowledge of a nurse. Again, I have a degree and have worked in the field for six years, but I could understand the necessity of proving this knowledge. After all, some people are very good at phoning in their jobs. So I sat a practical nursing exam, and again, thankfully passed, proving to myself and the world that I can nurse (Yes, it can be used as a verb, I’ve passed an English exam and have the certificate to prove it). And this evidence of my nursing knowledge, a compliment to my degree, let’s say, only set me back another five-hundred odd dollars.
What followed was a hurricane of paperwork that I had to obtain from multiple sources including my university, the Australian registration board, a doctor, my current employer, and the Victoria police force (all for a certain cost, of course). After weeks of gathering all the necessary documentation, I dropped the brick of paperwork into the mailbox and sat back, awaiting my registration with a grin.
Only, it wasn’t as straight forward as I had hoped.
The UK registration board left me waiting for a month and a half, after which they replied that the forms I completed, THAT THEY PROVIDED, weren’t detailed enough, and they required further information. For the past two months I’ve worked and waited, and enquired and waited, and collated and waited, and have now sent off another batch of paperwork that I hope will be acceptable. Although, given the nature of the process so far, I’m not booking any day trips around London quite yet.
But, the point of this long-winded story is that during this process I found myself very much stationary. From the fury of the initial idea of moving, of renting my house and relocating, of mentally ticking off to-do list items, I was suddenly stuck in limbo while I waited to hear back from university and registration boards. I found myself putting off beginning anything as I didn’t want to run the risk of committing to something I would have to drop once I had the green flag to head to the UK. I wasn’t making plans with family and friends, because I might not be in the country in two months time to complete those plans. In short, I began stagnating.
It was while waiting on the second instalment of paperwork that I realised I couldn’t keep my life on pause. These months, this time, was life still happening, and I was getting itchy with my self-enforced purgatory. Once I had this realisation, I started up again, deciding I’d deal with the potential conflict of clashing plans once that demon was on my doorstep.
One of the things I decided to do was apply to write for an online science magazine. Of which I now am.
The Australian Times is a grass-roots not-for-profit organisation that releases a collection of over forty magazines free for the community. In the latest edition of Science, I wrote an article about the creation and trial of a bionic pancreas.
You can read it here.