When intensive care nurse Renjith Ramachandran noticed a Western Health job advertisement online last year, he and his wife Sruthy had no thoughts of moving to Australia.
The Dublin-based couple had just welcomed their first child, daughter Rudra, and felt quite settled in their adopted home city.
"I first came to know about Western Health when I was working in Ireland, I was just searching the net," Renjith recalls.
"I hadn't had the idea of working in Australia, but then I saw this opportunity."
Fast-forward 12 months and the Ramachandran family are living in Melbourne – and Renjith has started his new position as an ICU nurse at Footscray Hospital.
Sruthy, also an ICU nurse, will consider her next career move when the couple's now 10-month-old daughter is a little older.
"We hadn't even been to Australia before – it's great," Renjith says.
Renjith is the 30th international nurse to take up an ICU position at Western Health since March last year. This is the result of a year-long, global recruitment campaign that began in December 2021.
Jo Mapes, Director of Nursing and Midwifery, said: "We are extremely pleased to welcome our cohort of international ICU nurses and we are very proud of how successful this strategy has been.
"We have developed a detailed induction and transition program for these nurses to ensure they are well supported as they integrate into our teams and facilities.
"Hospitals across the country are competing for specialist nurses, so this group has given us a new pipeline of experienced and highly trained staff to complement our teams. As we plan the transition to the new Footscray Hospital, we will require a larger workforce to meet the growth in our local areas and hospital facilities across Western Health."
Jo said Renjith and his fellow recruits bring a wealth of experience.
"The international nurses have all worked in critical care services in their home countries, and many hold specialist post graduate qualifications in the field. They bring their skills and capability to our teams and offer a level of confidence and skill when working with our novice nurses at the start of their careers in the intensive care setting. Many will now seek permanent residency or citizenship and plan to make Australia home."
Having trained in his home country of India (he met Sruthy at nursing college in Visakhapatnam), Renjith has now worked in intensive care units in four continents – from Mumbai in India to Cape Town in South Africa, and then from Dublin to Melbourne.
Renjith says nursing skills are very transferrable.
"Nursing in general is the same, it's really just how the hospital systems work that is different," he says.
Renjith and his family arrived in Melbourne in mid January, and he started in Footscray Hospital ICU in February.