Fair Isle, the most remote inhabited island in the United Kingdom, is looking for a nurse.

Located in the Shetlands, a subarctic archipelago northeast of Scotland, Fair Isle is popular with bird watchers and famous for its traditional style of knitting. The local economy is supported through fishing, agriculture and locally made goods. There is one school, one store and a small airport.

The island's current population of 60 people has depended on the services of nurse Elena Mera-Long for the past nine years. Unfortunately, she's moving to Romania at the end of the month and, with doctor visits from the mainland occurring only every three months, the island is very much in need of medical assistance.

"We are looking for an enthusiastic autonomous practitioner with a degree of flexibility to work on the non-doctor island of Fair Isle," states the job description. "Living within this small island community, with a resident population of approximately 60, you will be responsible for the provision of a healthcare service in line with local and national standards, ensuring that all islanders have access to appropriate healthcare to meet their needs."

The ups and downs of living on Fair Isle

Sunset over the South Lighthouse of Fair Isle. Sunset over the South Lighthouse of Fair Isle. We'll go ahead and take a chance and say that the natural beauty of the place is one of the benefits. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

As you might expect, working on a remote island is not without its challenges. For instance, on nights without wind to turn the island's turbines, power is shut off to all homes between 11:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. This may not be much of an issue during the region's mild summers, but it lends something of a chill to the situation during the winter. Fortunately, officials are working to remedy this inconvenience with the planned construction of three 60-kilowatt wind turbines and a 50-kilowatt solar array.

As for the nurse who earns the position, an independent spirit is recommend, but he/she will not be completely without assistance.

"A degree of personal resilience is also required to work in this single-handed post on a non-doctor island with support available via telephone or videoconference link," adds the description.

Despite its remote setting, the island's community makes living there a true pleasure, Mera-Long says.

"People say: 'What do you do all day on such a small island?'" she told The Guardian. "They must be joking. Everybody on Fair Isle works like beavers, and there's never a dull moment. It's a model for a good community. I doubt if there's a more harmonious one anywhere."

Those willing to give this adventure a shot can expect to earn between $32,000 to $44,000, depending on experience. Interested applicants can apply here.

And for a sneak peek at the scenery, check out this video:


Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.