Carestaff Nursing has a comprehensive database of rural and regional hospital clients in a variety of locations, ranging from medium sized country towns to the most remote rural outback settlements imaginable.

Registered and Enrolled Nurses are always in demand for rural opportunities, with contract duration ranging from just 2 weeks (last-minute emergency coverage) to 3 months (plus).

The small hospitals usually require ED experience (as you never know what condition is going to present at the front door!) whereas the larger regional ones may utilise your specialist or general nursing skills in the ward of your choice (vacancies usually exist in surgical/medical, paediatrics, aged care, orthopaedics, mental health, intensive care and midwifery).

Accommodation is provided and varies from purpose built, air-conditioned nurses’ quarters to guest rooms at the end of the ward. This is free of charge during your contract, although some very remote hospitals charge a nominal daily fee for meals and access to the kitchen (as there are no shops or food outlets within easy travelling distance!)

Return transport from the closest major city is provided by the Area Health Service, you just retain your receipts and you will reimbursed for the entire costs of travel to the facility.

We have a dedicated nurse consultant responsible for coordinating rural placements and providing full support throughout. You can join Carestaff remotely (no need to come into the office if difficult due to the location of your residence) although various screening and checks do obviously apply.

Because hospitals in “the bush” rely so heavily on travelling nurses, you will always find the people friendly and hospitable and will, without doubt, have the nursing experience of a lifetime.


Let me quote some feedback from a Registered Nurse who completed a rural contract. This information is indicative of the feedback we also receive:

"....where do I begin? I think going rural definitely gives a more rounded, exciting experience. It’s exciting in that you get to do pretty much everything! The hospital in Bourke that we were at has 40 beds (we don’t know how they count 40 as they'd have to include the consult beds to get this figure), it has a 15 bed residential care wing, maternity, theatre (only the basics), 2 bed HDU (semi high in less than intubations, anything more acute gets flown out), the acute ward and of course the emergency department which can go through feast or famine stages, actual legit medical complaints, like chest pain, etc, or the basic 'I cut my finger 2 weeks ago and have decided to come to the ED department at 2 am completely hammered!'

We were pleasantly surprised by the hospital accommodation offered as part of our package. Our quarters were fantastic! We couldn't believe it, but we actually had a house to ourselves (termed a "cabana", they have five of them in this fenced-in area behind the hospital). The cabana is a little two bedroom, one bathroom place with an open living room, dining room and kitchen. Fully furnished, it included bedding and towels (and even some food and cleaning supplies left behind by the last tenants). We had a front porch with outside furniture and “all mod cons” including laundry facilities, TV, VCR and DVD player, microwave, oven, and we both got double beds and plenty of storage/hanging space.

Advice I was given before going to Bourke was "say yes to everything and you'll get along great." Rural communities can offer great opportunities that you will never ever experience in the city. You can do as much or as little as you want. However, I think to really enjoy being rural you need to understand and be comfortable away from cities, from most, if not all, the amenities you usually take for granted (for example, in Bourke the local coffee shop is only open to 3pm and the pub is the only place to hang out in the evening).

It was actually so hard to leave in the end, because we've got a new get to know people really well. They try to hook you up with the local single guys because the thinking is, if you fall in love you'll stay forever! (and believe me, even if you've got a boyfriend “back home” it will not deter the locals from trying to find you someone to hook up with!) You'll get invited out on camping trips, to footy game nights, to the pub again and again. If you tell someone you've never done something before (i.e. camping) they'll make sure you go before you leave. We've been sheep shearing, to the annual ball (with borrowed dresses, shoes and hair appliances), and we even got rides home from the grocery store in the ambulance because one of the local attendants owns the store!

On a more practical note, be prepared for limited mobile phone service (as a heads up if you go out to rural Australia your best bet is to get your mobile through Telstra or Optus as these are the only 2 companies that really are nation-wide. The others, though popular on the east coast, do not penetrate deeper into the heart of the country!). Another suggestion is to go with a bank that actually has a branch in the town you're going to as there is nothing worse than paying fees to get money out of another bank’s ATM! (we got our bank accounts once we got to Bourke).

So that’s it. In a nutshell, rural agency nursing is basically what you want it to be. There is definitely no shortage of work and you'll save much more money living in a town where there isn’t too many places to spend it!"


If you're interested in nursing in a regional or rural region of Australia, on terms ranging from a few weeks (emergency cover) to a few months (on contract), or even in a permanent full-time position, then contact us now to get the ball rolling. Please click one of the links below.

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