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Study Nursing Abroad - the Definitive Guide

Did you know that Florence Nightingale’s service in the Crimean War highlighted the importance of nurses?


Medical Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in India and there is a massive demand for trained and qualified nurses.

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Subject modules & entry requirements

Nursing is an integral part of the medical profession. Before a doctor sees an injured patient, it is the role of the nurse to provide first aid and check the vital statistics of the injured patient. Additionally nurses provide dedicated and crucial support during surgeries and medical operations. With specialised skills required to handle different categories of diseases, patients and medical emergencies, the role of the medical nurse has evolved tremendously.  

Today as a qualified nurse, some of the popular roles available are – cardiac care nurse, clinical nurse specialist, forensic nurse, geriatric nurse, lactation consultant, trauma care nurse, labour and delivery nurse and neonatal intensive care nurse. This subject guide will lokk at some of the key postgraduate Nursing courses on offer abroad.

Postgraduate programme options

The Master of Nursing Practice and MSc in Nursing are the popular degree opportunities available.

How long will you study?

The duration of the programme varies from one year to three years based on the subject specialisation and the university.

What will you study?

Typically a postgraduate programme in Nursing would help prepare students for a full-fledged career in the medical profession as a nurse. To qualify to work as a nurse in the USA, UK or Australia, additional certification and qualifying courses have to be completed.  An MSc in Nursing will include modules in – Adult and Child Care, Public Health and Pharmacological Sciences for Nursing. Most universities require students to submit a dissertation as a part of their programme as well.

View all postgraduate programmes in Nursing.  

Typical entry requirements

Typically postgraduate Nursing programmes are offered only to qualified nurses or applicants with a relevant undergraduate degree in Nursing or allied medical courses.

English language proficiency

A score of 6.5 on the IELTS or 79 on the TOEFL is usually considered to be fair enough for admission into a postgraduate programme in Nursing.  


The average cost of completing a postgraduate degree in Nursing ranges from INR 15 lakhs to INR 35 lakhs. 

Subject specialisations

Some of the most popular postgraduate subject specialisations in Nursing are:

Child Health and Children’s Nursing Studies

Nursing children takes special skill and this is one of the most challenging aspects of nursing. Not just medical knowledge or skills, immense patience, understanding and genuine love and affection are the qualities that a qualified children’s nurse should possess. AUT University offers a popular Master of Health Practice programme specialising in Child Health. The programme is designed for health professionals and clinical nurses with at least three years of relevant work experience. View all postgraduate programmes in Child Health and Children’s Nursing Studies.

Palliative Care

Palliative Care Nursing focuses on providing care and guidance to patients who are on the last legs of their lives and are plagued by diseases that have no cure in modern medical science. The MSc in Palliative Care is the most common degree offered in this subject. View all postgraduate programmes in Palliative Care.

Intensive Care Nursing

Intensive Care Nursing or Critical Care Nursing focuses on providing support during emergency accident cases and support during serious surgeries with a special focus on cardio-vascular surgeries. View all postgraduate programmes in Intensive Care Nursing.

Geriatric Nursing

Programmes in Geriatric Nursing are designed for those looking to carve a career for themselves in nursing the aged. The programmes address health appraisal, interventions, evaluation, and management of health care needs for older adults. View all postgraduate programmes in Geriatric Nursing.

Diabetes Nursing

India is the world’s ‘Diabetes Capital’ with over 25% of the country’s population over the age of 35 affected by Diabetes. Complications arising out of Diabetes include, cataract in the eyes, foot pain and heart disease. Programmes in Diabetes Nursing are designed to help nurses working to offer specialised care for diabetics. View all postgraduate programmes in Diabetes Nursing.  

Mental Health Nursing

In India, discussing mental health issues is still considered taboo and seeking the counsel of a psychologist or psychiatrist is extremely limited. In countries like the USA and UK where personality disorders, schizophrenia and mental illness is documented with great care, there are a lot of career opportunities for qualified nurses offering care for emotionally disturbed patients. View all postgraduate programmes in Mental Health Nursing.

As per the latest Complete University Guide Subject rankings, the top five universities to study Nursing in the UK are:

As per the latest U.S. News & World Report’s rankings for top Nursing Schools in the USA, the top five universities are:

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of Washington
  • University of Pittsburgh     

Career prospects

A postgraduate degree in Nursing from a recognised international university is a great way for nurses to create a career path for themselves to work abroad in the USA, UK, Australia and Canada. In India, the pay-scale for nurses is still quite less and unless the nurse works in a premier hospital, salaries are way below the prescribed international guidelines.

Starting salaries for nurses are in the range of INR 1.5 lakhs to INR 3.5 lakhs a year in India. Registered nurses in the USA have salaries starting at around US$ 40,000 a year. The variance is extremely high and the working conditions are definitely much better in the USA in the medical and healthcare sector. Definitely makes sense to secure a nursing degree abroad and find employment abroad, rather than studying and working as a nurse in India.  

Professional associations


The Trained Nurses’ Association of India – TNAI was established in 1905 in India and acts as a driving force to integrate all trained nurses in India under one parent body. TNAI publishes “The Nursing Journal of India”.

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Neha Jain Neha Jain,
Study abroad expert.
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