As the yachts get bigger the demand for a vast skill set is increasing. One such skill set is that of a Nurse, but what does it take to be a Nurse on-board a Super Yacht and how do you apply? Read on to find out how to become a Nurse Stewardess on a private yacht.
The general response from a variety of our candidates is that friends of friends, internet searches, knowledge of Cruise Ships needing nurses and general word of mouth pointed them in the direction of yachting.
What qualifications do you need to become a Nurse on a yacht?
Predominantly a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, is what yachts are looking for. Additional experience within an Emergency Ward setting and Cardiac Rehabilitation modules are furthermore attractive to prospective employers. In contrast, however, there are some yachts that would be happy with a Paramedic Qualification. Again this depends on the yacht, but imagine being at sea without any speedy responsive emergency services – it is in the yacht’s best interest to cover all bases and have someone prepared and adept in all situations, from giving crew members a band aid to performing CPR.
What requirements are preferred for nurse stewardesses?
You would also need your basic safety courses of Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) and hold a current Medical Fitness Certificate (ENG 1), plus B1B2 Visa if travelling further afield than Europe, these are a must.
Additionally it could aid your job search to have some form of hospitality experience on your CV, since your Nurse role will almost always be paired with being a Stewardess on-board. We are aware as a Nurse you usually need to maintain your department’s level of cleanliness and that you provide excellent customer service to the patients you treat, however please include it in your CV if you have done any cleaning, waitressing, bar tending or food service jobs, as this will add to your hospitality skill set and help you to stand out.
What to expect as a Nurse Stewardess
Working on-board a Yacht is a job like no other, from waking up in a different country each week to staring out at the beautiful ocean on your tea break. As a Nurse/Stewardess you will be expected to maintain the on-board Medical Ward and Nursing Stations. This would include stock take, ordering supplies and recording inventories. Depending on the Yacht Owners health you may be required for certain medical duties; otherwise your role will be on standby awaiting the need for Medical Attention. There may be another Nurse to work with and sometimes even an on-board Doctor on some of the much larger vessels.
As part of the interior team, a large part of your role is to assist in maintaining the succinctly high standards of the interior, predominantly in the housekeeping department. This will involve beds and heads, polishing, cleaning, laundry and generally ensuring the yacht is immaculate at all times. You may also be required to assist with service. Most Nurse / Stewardess positions will be rotational or at least have adequate leave provided to ensure your hours banked can be maintained via freelance work, as part of the Bank Staff within the NHS for example, so that your qualifications can be maintained.
The Benefits of Being a Nurse Stewardess
Although long working hours are required, the benefits are tremendous with salaries often being remarkably higher than shore based positions. Yachting is not for the faint hearted though and working for the world’s richest individuals requires a high level of commitment, consistency and impeccable customer service, plus a sense of adventure, an urge to travel and a desire to do something different than the day to day norm.
On asking a few of our Nurse candidates about their experiences, here is what they had to say…
“I started out as a Registered Nurse specialising in the Emergency Department of a busy metropolitan hospital in Melbourne which I absolutely loved. Unfortunately, the shift work hours didn’t love me so I decided to pursue my other loves, the ocean and travel. I’d known about the yachting profession since my teenage years thanks to family friends who were loosely involved in the industry in Auckland and I had always hoped I’d get a chance to try it for myself. So my first yacht position (Stewardess/Nurse) came along in 2010, over the next 2 1/2 years we travelled from Barcelona to the Caribbean, Panama, Costa Rica, U.S.A and Greenland. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction really! Following on I’ve worked on yachts between 45-76m, always with the title of ‘stewardess/ships nurse’. Put concisely, yachting is a warped yet exciting mix of long-hours, laughs, dress-ups, long-hours, fun, new experiences, life-long friendships and long hours. Did I mention the long hours?! I couldn’t recommend this industry highly enough to any professional RN’s out there thinking about taking the plunge. The work may be hard at times but the pay offs are limitless.” – Australian candidate
“A patient I treated mentioned how her husband was a Captain on-board Private Yachts and that I should give it a go as an on-board Nurse. From that off chance meeting and swapping of contact details I was informed of the qualifications needed and have not looked back. I am due to start my first Nurse / Stewardess role next week and cannot wait, knowing I am young enough to try something different, pay off my student debt and still have my solid Nursing Degree behind me should I change my mind.” – British candidate
“After almost 10years on-board Cruise Ships I chose to swap to Yachts. The wages are higher and I enjoy the dynamics on-board plus the variety of tasks given. It takes the desire to want to do different jobs from laundry or service to looking after the Crew or Owners when they are sick. Most of the time it is a Stewardess role but when it is Nursing the responsibility is high due to the lack of a complete medical team on-board, you need to be confident in your ability as a Nurse.” – Austrian candidate
“A lot of my friends applied to be Nurses in the Middle East and I wanted to do something different. I used Google and came across Yacht Nurse’s, it all started from there. Working on a Billionaire’s Super Yacht is challenging but rewarding, you have to be tough yet caring. I went through a lot of rejections and hardships before gaining a Super Yacht position but I never gave up. For many it is a dream job. If I can do it, why can’t you?” – Filipina candidate
As you can see candidates come from all over the world and we try to help as many as possible here at wilsonhalligan. No day is the same on-board, you will make great friends, have wonderful experiences and perhaps find yourself hooked on a new and exciting career at sea.