A Little Bit Of Everything – Northern Sydney Local Health District

The Northern Sydney Local Health District covers a vast area, stretching from the northern shores of Sydney Harbour all the way to the Hawkesbury river. If you are seeking a pocket of Australia that has a little bit of everything then it could be argued that the area covered by NSLHD is exactly what you are looking for.  

From Bush to Beach and everything in between

If City living is for you then you’ve got the majestic views across Sydney Harbour encompassing the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and the magnificent and ever-changing skyline of Sydney CBD. Regularly voted to be amongst the most beautiful cities in the world, and from the northern suburbs you can see it all.  

For aspiring surfers and beach lovers, Northern Sydney Local Health District contains the “Northern Beaches” stretching from Manly right up to Palm Beach, which may be familiar to many as “Summer Bay” the location for the long-running Aussie soap, “Home & Away”.  Mona Vale hospital is located between a golf course and Mona Vale Beach. I’m sure if you’re based in the UK or Ireland, spending your lunch breaks strolling golden sandy beaches sounds too good to be true, but that’s just the day-to-day reality for a lot of the NSLHD nursing staff.  

For people who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and live a more sedate family-centric life, you’ve got so many options around Hornsby and Ryde which is often seen as a gateway to the Australian Bush. Close to beautiful locations like the famed Berowra Waters or Bobbin Head, you can be sure to find your own little slice of paradise in the catchment area of the river’s many inlets and harbours. If exploring the bush is your preference there are many great locations for mountain biking, bushwalking and trekking trails.  

Northern Sydney Local Health District Overview

The Northern Sydney Local Health District consists mainly of five public hospitals ranging both in size and in the medical services offered. 

  • Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital – is a major metropolitan teaching hospital, whichhas recently undergone a $265m redevelopment in 2021, including a refurbished Emergency Department and a new Clinical Services Building. New specialist services have been established including dialysis and cancer services. 
  • Macquarie Hospital – is a Mental Health Facility for acute and long-term admissions and rehab services. A diverse range of person-centred rehab programmes are available. 
  • Mona Vale Hospital – is a sub-acute hospital providing high-level rehab services along with in-patient and community palliative care. Onsite there is a 24/7 Urgent Care Centre for patients with minor injuries and illnesses. Not far from Mona Vale is the Manly Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice – opening in 2023 it will be Australia’s first dedicated service for young people with life-limiting illnesses. 
  • Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH)Is a leading principal referral centre and teaching hospital. RNSH provides a comprehensive range of complex services to patients across the whole state of NSW, being the state referral centre for Trauma, Burns, Plastics and Spinal Cord Injuries.   
  • Ryde Hospitaloffers a range of services covering emergency and intensive care, speciality rehabilitation and a variety of outpatient services.  Ryde has received $479 million for a major redevelopment to begin in 2023, which will see brand-new state-of-the-art clinical facilities built.

Career Progression

Career progression is something that is very much central to how NSLHD operates. Tracey Gray, Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Royal North Shore Hospital, explains how there is a huge focus on career advancement and research opportunities. The district uses in-house learning paths, and succession planning, and has a real focus on quality improvement, including actively submitting nominations for quality awards. The collaborative nature of how the district operates means that it is often possible to find the right career moves for a person within the extensive areas of nursing available across the district.  


One significant advantage of the Northern Sydney Local Health District is that regardless of which of the hospitals or facilities your nursing experience might lead you to, you’re never far from any of the lifestyle options outlined above. To give an example, Palm Beach to Sydney is no more than an hour away. Hornsby to either Sydney or over Palm Beach is about 45 mins so most of the locations outlined are all within an easily commutable distance which should allow for plenty of potential places to call home.  

All locations within the Northern Sydney Local health district are well serviced by an extensive bus and rail public transport network as well as the public network of Ferries which is integrated into the overall transport network. If you’d like to see more information, the NSW transport site is a great location for route and timetable information which could be helpful if you’re starting to consider possible destinations to relocate to. There is also a wide selection of schools both, public and private, servicing the population.  

Measurable Work-Life Balance

The standard week for a nurse in NSLHD would be about 38 hours. The standard shifts are 8 or 10 hours, with Morning and Afternoon shifts normally 8 hours and night shifts being 10. There are some options for 12-hour shifts in larger hospitals like RNSH where you would be expected to have thirteen shifts in a month, but this would be dependent on the area of nursing you are working in.

The standard full-time rotating roster would typically accrue 6 Weeks of annual leave, and you are encouraged to take it all. There is a lot of thought put into the rostering so that when staff are on leave, they don’t need to feel like they are leaving colleagues understaffed as there are clear processes to ensure that resources are put in place.

One of the metrics guiding resourcing in NSW is the nursing hours per patient per day. The goal is for Medical and Surgical Wards to provide a minimum of 6 hours of nursing care to any given patient, per day (averaged over 7 days per week). Without going too in-depth, data is gathered annually to calculate the required hours. This shows how many nurses on each shift are required to meet those hours per patient per day.  These requirements are built into budgets and signed off by nursing unit managers in collaboration with the senior management team. This ensures a more well-resourced health system and a less stressful working environment.

Sounds great… where do I sign up?

For more information on the current roles available in Northern Sydney Local Health District including info on the Relocation Package worth $10k AUD and VISA information, or to Register your interest, visit our campaign webpage here. Please Note, we are holding interviews across Ireland and the UK for two weeks 3rd March-17th March. 

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