In recent years, we have seen the demand for healthcare professionals rising to soaring heights. Manpower shortages in hospitals have forced hospitals to recruit healthcare staff from overseas, giving foreign workers opportunities for a bright future career.
Nurses, in fact, are some of the most highly in-demand positions available in the overseas workforce market. Countries in Western Europe, North America and the Middle East have a hard time filling up the positions in their hospitals. Saudi Arabia is one of those countries that have a very high demand for good nurses.
Professionals that are looking at going into a Saudi Arabia nursing career will need to educate themselves before diving head-first into being an overseas worker. Countless agencies offer placements in Arabian hospitals, but you will have to make sure that you are communicating with the real deal. There are many bogus agencies or illegal recruiters out to extort you, which will leave you penniless as well as jobless. Work with an agency that has been recommended by a colleague, or an agency that has successfully placed someone you know personally.
A Saudi Arabia nursing position is one of the most sought after by those who practice the profession, as it pays quite substantially. A nurse in Saudi Arabia may typically earn between US$ 23,000 to US$ 33,000 per annum, tax-free. Return flights to the country, as well as accommodation and household expenses are also usually paid for by the employer. Some employers may even offer holiday flights to staff mid-year.
There are, however, many preconceived notions about working as a nurse in Saudi Arabia and most of them deal with Islamic traditions.
For example, some foreigners believe that the female nurses will not be allowed to leave their compound to socialize or go shopping. In reality, the female nurses are allowed to go out as they wish. However, some compounds have a late-night curfew, so it is best to keep the time in mind.
Some foreigners also believe that if female nurses did not cover themselves up from head to toe, that they will be fired out. Nothing can be farther from the truth! Female nurses, like other women in Saudi Arabia, do not need to cover up from head to toe. However, they will be expected to wear a flowy, black abaya (which leaves the face uncovered) over their normal clothes, when going out in public. Women are also expected to wear conservative clothes. Therefore, loose, long-sleeved clothes with a high neck and/or trousers are recommended.
It is also worth knowing that western or foreign women are not expected to walk behind the men in Saudi Arabia, as this is their tradition.
Unfortunately, not many positions are available for men in the Saudi Arabia nursing industry. Due to the Islamic culture, men are not allowed to care for women and children without the supervision of a woman. This would prove to be a limitation in the flexibility of wards. Some positions may be available in all-male wards, but they may be a bit difficult to come by.