Top Paying Countries for Nurses In the World

Because of its flexibility, high pay and excitement, travel nursing in the United States is one the most popular trends.

International nursing is growing in popularity despite the fact that the United States has the highest-paid nurses worldwide. What is the best country to be a nurse?

Although the pay in foreign countries is lower than the U.S., many nurses who travel internationally are keen to experience another culture and escape from the nursing issues that plague American bedside nurses. COVID-19 made travel for American-trained nurses more difficult, but international travel nursing is gaining momentum as the restrictions are lifted.

Contrary to U.S. travel nursing contracts, they are longer and can take several months. The nurses who travel on this trip will not be able to change countries every few months, but they may be able move within one country depending on visa requirements.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, registered nurses in the United States earned an average salary of $75,000.330 in 2020 according to BLS. California was home to the five highest-paying cities.

  • San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward – $149,200
  • San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara – $146,870
  • Vallejo-Fairfield California, $142,140
  • Salinas – $132,160
  • Santa Rosa- $124.840

The lowest-paid states are not listed, but the 10 percent that earned less than $53,410 were. Consider the potential income in your home country when you consider a career as an international travel nurse.

While international travel nursing can be very exciting and adventurous, it can also be extremely rewarding. However, it is crucial to make a commitment to the process as it can take many months and can prove costly. It is also very difficult to end a contract once you have signed a letter of employment agreement in most countries.

It takes effort and planning to become an international travel nurse. However, it is a unique opportunity to experience another culture while working with locals.

Visa requirements for working abroad

  • To legally work in any of the listed countries, you will need a work visa. Without the following, visas are not possible to be obtained.
  • Accreditation from the country board of nursing
  • Verifiable employment offer
  • Sponsorship through the hospital
  • An International Nursing Travel Agency is a great way to facilitate all of this. This is critical to your success since most countries will deny non-EU applicants the first time.
  • The chances of success are greater if you use an agency that is well-versed in international nursing law. They can also facilitate discussions with countries to discuss ways to get licensure faster.
  • Work visas require you to travel to the Embassy of country in order to obtain them.

The following cities are home to the majority of embassies

  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • New York City

If you live in a country without an Embassy, you may need to travel to one. You would pay an additional fee for this.

Here are the top places for nurses around the globe. The average salaries are all interesting

The Top-Paying Countries for Nurses in the World

Luxembourg – $91,000 (USD)

This tiny country in Western Europe is currently the top-paid country for nurses in the world. It is difficult to get a job in nursing because of its small size and tax haven laws.

Although it is almost impossible for nurses to find a job, they can wait for many years for an opening. International nurses who are interested in working as nurse in Luxembourg need to have the required linguistic skills, including proficiency in French, German, or Luxembourgish.

At the request of Minister of Health, the nurse’s proficiency in any of these languages could be tested.

To become a nurse in Luxembourg you will need to first apply to the Ministere de La Sante (Ministry of Health). You can either be licensed as an adult nurse only or under a general system.

It is dependent on the nursing specialty. Luxembourg requires a visa to work.

  • Villa Louvigny
  • Allee Marconi
  • L-2120 Luxembourg
  • +352 247 85500

Denmark – $87,436 (USD)

All non-EU citizens applying for nursing licensure are supervised by the Danish Patient Safety Authority. There are three options for applying, including those from the Nordic countries and EU member states. You cannot practice nursing in Denmark if you are older than 75 years. This is due to Danish law.

If you are interested in applying, submit all required education documentation and qualifications. Individuals are granted three years to complete the remaining qualifications to be allowed to practice in Denmark. The language test is the main component.

The language exam is held twice per year, in May/June in Denmark and November/December in Denmark. This exam is equivalent to a native speaker test.

Language fluent speakers can appeal to the board and request a new exam. After passing the language section, the individual must pass the employment test for adaptation and training purposes.

This demonstrates clinical skills and communication skills between patients, providers and their families. After all these have been passed to the satisfaction the board, a permanent license is possible.

All non-EU members must obtain a work visa before arriving in Denmark.

  • Danish Patient Safety Authority
  • Islands Brygge
  • 2300 Copenhagen S
  • Denmark
  • +45 72 28 66 00

Canada – Canada – $75660 per annum, $48.50 per an hour (USD).

Canada has universal healthcare and is close to the United States. This makes it a great place for nurses who want to try International Nursing, but don’t want to leave Canada. The ease of moving to another country is enhanced by English being the main language.

The College of Nurses of Ontario governs Registered Nurses in Canada. After a series background checks and interview questions, as well as an examination, international applicants can obtain a license from this board. The examination is minimum $340.

Prices can vary depending on the individual factors. The website states that the registration process could take between 3-18 months. Online registration is possible with the submission documentation.

Canada is our neighbor to Canada and requires a visa to work there. This can be obtained from your workplace after you have been credentialed.

  • College of Nurses of Ontario
  • 101 Davenport Rd.
  • Toronto Ontario
  • Canada M5R3P1
  • 1-800-387-5526

Virgin Islands – $72,000 USD

You want to live in a laid-back, island lifestyle while still making a good living. Virgin Islands is the ideal escape for people who are tired of long winters and want sunshine, sand and crystal-clear water.

St. Croix, for example, has a higher average salary. The individual island’s financial stability as well as the availability of healthcare facilities will determine the wage.

All applicants are overseen by the Virgin Islands Board of Nurse Licensure.

A completed application packet, along with the verification form and copies of all transcripts from nursing schools and course syllabuses must be submitted. Letters of recommendation are also required.

Additionally, nurses must pass the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools Exam. Processing of an application takes at least 90 business days.

  • Virgin Islands Board of Nurse Licensure
  • No. 5051 Kongens Gade
  • Suite #1
  • St. Thomas, VA. 00802
  • 340-776-7397

Australia – $69 699 (USD)

Australia is the home of Steve Irwin, kangaroos and the Great Barrier Reef. It has also been a popular destination for people who want to travel while they work abroad. The country’s national language is English, and there are no language barriers.

Many international agencies work with Australian hospitals. Healthcare Australia (HCA) is the largest international agency that recruits nurses from overseas.

To work in Australia, foreigners must apply for a visa that includes full working rights and valid registration with AHPRA (Australia’s Health Practitioner Regulation Agency). This process takes on average 4 to 5 months and is then assessed.

International nurses usually work for a agency that is familiarized with international travel laws. It is very rare that one can apply for a job without having to complete all the paperwork.

It can take up to a few months to obtain a visa. It takes more planning to become an international nurse than it does to travel within the United States.

  • Australia Nursing Council, Inc.
  • 683 Murray Street
  • West Perth, 6005
  • WA, Australia
  • +61 8 9481 2488

Switzerland – $64,793 (USD)

All credentials for foreign nurses are overseen by the Swiss Red Cross. There is a shortage of nurses in Switzerland. However, all applicants must be fluent in one of the three national languages (Italian French and/or German).

This is the only exception. Some hospitals in Switzerland may state that English can be used for hospital employment, but it is not accepted by the governing board.

It costs approximately $800 USD to evaluate credentials for certification. This can take many months and may be costly. All applicants must take an exam in the language they are applying for, depending on where they will be working.

All nurses must also take courses towards a six-month apprenticeship. This is a salaried position, but less than the average nurse’s salary.

  • Swiss Red Cross (Croix-Rouge Suisse)
  • CH-3001 Berne
  • +41 58 400 41 11

Norway – $46,050 USD

Norway, known as the Land of Fjords in Scandinavia, is home to one of the highest standards of living and the highest levels of satisfaction for nurses.

The average salary for nurses is $46,050. However, depending on their experience and specialization, they can earn up to $100,000.

Statistics Norway reports that the average Norwegian life expectancy is steadily increasing.

In Norway, 95,000 to 135,000 more healthcare workers will be needed over the next decade. The report didn’t distinguish between nurses and doctors, midwives or nursing assistants.

To apply for a job, you will need to go through the Norwegian Registration Authority for Health Personnel.

For residents from outside the EU/EEA, applications can take up to 6 months and may cost as much as $500. The SAK may also require that an applicant submit additional paperwork in person at Norway’s main office.

Most applicants are not allowed to practice in SAK. Applicants are sent a letter detailing exactly what they must do to reapply at a later time.

A Norwegian language exam must also be passed by individuals. For foreigners, courses can be taken online. International nurses must complete a one year training program that includes enrollment fees.

  • The Norwegian Registration Authority for Health Personnel, (SAK).
  • Pb. 220 Skoyen, 0213 Oslo
  • +47 24 16 30 00

Ireland – $39 768 (USD).

Registered nurses who want to practice in Ireland need to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland. Nurses are advised by the Board not to move to Ireland before a decision has been made regarding credentialing. The Board also advises nurses not to apply for or inquire about job positions before they have been granted certification.

To be eligible, applicants will need to complete an online information package, background check, fingerprinting and English proficiency exam.

It does not matter if you speak English fluently. A few individuals may be required to take an exam, but the final decision is made by the board. An employment visa is required to work in Ireland.

Another outcome of your application could be ‘adaptation or assessment’. This means you will have to complete a supervised placement at an Irish healthcare facility.

  • Bord Altranais agus Cnaimhseachais na hEireann
  • 18/20 Carysfort Avenue
  • Blackrock
  • Co. Dublin
  • Ireland
  • Telephone: +353 1 639 8500

Italy – $30.179 (USD).

Italy is currently experiencing a shortage of nurses, just like the United States. Most nursing licensure boards require that you pass a language proficiency exam in order to be able to work in a country where English does not speak the primary language.

To obtain a license as a nurse in Italy, nurses must take the Italian Nursing Board. This is a language proficiency exam that requires them to speak Italian. After passing the exam, you will need a visa to enter Italy.

There are many English-speaking hospitals throughout Rome, Florence and Milan. These include the Rome American Hospital, Hospital of Innocents and Milan Clinic. However, it is not clear if those hospitals require nurses to pass the language section of the exam.

Further information is available at the Collegio Infermieri La Spezia or Federazione Nazionale Ordini Professioni Infermieristich.

Although the website is largely in English, it also contains very little information in Italian. However, it can be translated into Italian and includes a lot of information about being a nurse in Italy.

  • Collegio Infermieri La Spezia – Italy
  • Via XXIV Maggio 343
  • La Spezia
  • Italy 19125
  • 0187/575177

Dubai – $23,316 USD

Dubai is currently one of the most luxurious and wealthy places in the world. However, the average salary for nurses is extremely low. reports that the average salary for a nurse in a long-term care facility or hospital is lower than other Middle Eastern countries. Despite the low salary, nurses are still flocking to this country.

While some hospitals in Dubai offer compensation comparable to that in the United States, this must be discussed before job acceptance. The highest salaries for Dubai nurses are generally paid by Americans.

Income is exempt from tax and all income is subject to healthcare. This means that the entire paycheck goes home. Individuals have the chance to earn more at work than they could at home.

Dubai has stricter requirements for nurses than other countries. Nursing staff are required to live in hospitals and receive a modest living allowance. A minimum of one year contract is required for most nurses.

It is also important to be aware of the rules and regulations in place for neighboring Muslim countries. It is important that women are covered up at all times. Dubai is home to many ex-pats, but there are still many practicing Muslims living in the country.

Visitors to Dubai do not need to have a visa. However, nurses who are moving to Dubai must have an employment visa. For immigration clearance to take place, it can take up to three months.

Important to remember that contracts in Dubai, and other Middle Eastern countries, can be either single-status (married-status) or multi-status. If you’re married and have a family member, a single-status contract will prevent them from moving to Dubai.

They will still be able visit, but they will not have the opportunity to receive any benefits of employment. Depending on the job, some hospitals may only hire male or female employees. These are essential to remember if Dubai or the Middle East is of interest.

  • Dubai Health Authority
  • Al Maktoum Bridge Street
  • Bur Dubai Area 4545 UAE
  • +971 42198888

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