What You Should Know About Becoming a Nurse in Australia

Nurse crossed arms

Nurses are in high demand all over the world, including in Australia. Nursing is, in fact, one of the most popular professions in the country, owing to its high salaries and numerous benefits. And it's not just Australians who can apply; anyone who meets the requirements, no matter where they come from, can become a nurse.

A career in nursing can enrich your life and the lives of others every day; it can provide diverse challenges; it can take you around the world; and you could be employed within months of graduating due to our aging and growing population, which means skilled nurses are in high demand. Begin by considering whether you want to be a Registered Nurse (RN) or an Enrolled Nurse (EN). Let's look at the requirements and steps you need to take to work as a nurse in Australia.

Check your qualifications

Do your qualifications and experience meet the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia's requirements? To be able to work as a nurse and be considered for migration to Australia based on your profession, you must first meet the registration requirements of the NMBA and AHPRA.

Meet the educational requirements for nursing and midwifery in Australia.

If you have a bachelor's degree (at level 7) or a diploma (at level 5)* as well as further education and are registered as a first-level nurse in one of the following countries, you are likely to meet the equivalent qualification as a nurse qualified in Australia: Canada, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

Other requirements and experience

Other requirements include demonstrating adequate English language proficiency on one of the approved tests — IELTS, OET, PTE, or TOEFL. You should also meet Australian educational requirements (each applicant is assessed individually, but those from certain countries, such as Canada, Hong Kong, USA, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Ireland, are more likely to pass). 

You must be able to demonstrate that you have worked as a nurse in the five years preceding your application. Finally, you must demonstrate that you have no disciplinary proceedings pending against you and that you are not restricted due to physical or mental incapacity.

Register to AHPRA
After completing the Self-check and any required assessment stages, an internationally qualified nurse or midwife (IQNM) is eligible to apply for registration. Once an IQNM is eligible to apply for registration, the registration application form will be available on the Nursing and Midwifery Board website within the IQNM candidate dashboard. The next step is to submit your registration application to AHPRA. If you believe you meet the criteria in step one, apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

Obtain a Visa
You can't live or work in Australia unless you have a visa, so getting one should be your next step. Workers in Australia typically apply for the General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa. However, if you obtain sponsorship from your employer, you can obtain a variety of types. Employer Nomination Scheme, Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, Temporary Skill and Shortage Visa are a few examples. Make sure to carefully follow the instructions for obtaining each type. After securing everything else on the list, the last thing you want is to have problems with your visa.

According to au.talent.com, the average salary for a registered nurse in Australia is $79,435 per year. But it's not just about the money. What could be more satisfying than saving lives or bringing new life into the world? So, if you want to be a registered nurse, you can expect a rewarding career!

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