Foreign Nurse Work in Australia

Do you want to work as a nurse in Australia? One of the benefits of being a nurse is the opportunity to work in other countries. Many nurses go to Australia not just to improve their abilities in a new setting, but also to experience the thrills of living in a foreign country. Rachel Hines, a dermatological nurse in Sydney, has always wanted to migrate from Ireland to Australia. “Almost every country requires more nurses. So, as nurses, we are absolutely in demand in terms of jobs.” “I was a bit of a stereotype – ever since I was a child, I wanted to relocate to Australia’s beach and live as they do on ‘Home and Away!'” However, it is critical to be aware that each country has distinct standards that must be met in order to immigrate and work as a nurse. You will also have to apply for a nursing visa Australia. This page will provide you an up-to-date description of the requirements and steps you must take to work as a nurse in Australia.

Step 1 – Do your credentials and experience fulfill the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s requirements?

To be eligible to work as a nurse and be considered for migration to Australia based on your profession, you must first fulfill the registration criteria of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). When evaluating your registration application, five criteria are used:

Criterion 1 – Proof of identify

You must present a variety of ‘proof of identification’ documents, including:

  • Your passport’s biostatistical page(s)
  • Documentation for a name change (marriage certificate, decree nisi, deed poll)
  • A passport-size photograph taken within the past six months

Criterion 2 – English language proficiency

You must pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Occupational English Test (OET) for Nurses, the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic, or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT. It is not necessary to pass all of these tests. The findings are only valid for two years following the examination.

  • IELTS – A least of seven in each of the four components – listening, reading, writing, and speaking – is required.
  • OET – A minimum of a B in each of the four components – hearing, reading, writing, and speaking – is required.
  • PTE – A minimum overall score of 65 is required, as well as a minimum score of 65 in each of the four communicative skills – listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
  • TOEFL iBT – A minimum score of 94 is required, as well as the following minimum scores in each area of the test: 24 listening, 24 reading, 27 writing, and 23 speaking.

Criterion 3 – Meet Australian nursing and midwifery education standards.

If you have a bachelor 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 these countries, you are likely to meet the equivalent qualification as a nurse qualified in Australia:

  • Canada
  • Hong Kong
  • Republic of Ireland
  • United Kingdom
  • New Zealand
  • United States of America

The NMBA discovered that nursing credentials from the following countries may fulfill Australia’s quality assurance and accreditation requirements:

  • Belgium Flanders
  • Chile
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Singapore

Individual assessments will be required for nurses from countries not listed above to determine if their credentials and experience will be recognized by the Board. All applicants must submit a diploma and basic transcripts.

Criterion 4 – Professional practice

You must offer proof of five years of experience as a nurse or midwife prior to submitting your application. You will be needed to provide professional references that match the following requirements:

  • Be on official letterhead
  • Be written by a direct supervisor who is a nurse or midwife
  • Be dated
  • Contain an official signature

Criterion 5 – Show that you are physically and mentally fit to practice in Australia.

You must demonstrate that you have no previous proven disciplinary proceedings against you, that you have no restrictions based on mental incapacity, that you have no restrictions based on physical incapacity, and that you have no criminal history that would preclude you from working as a nurse or midwife in Australia.

What should I do if I don’t satisfy AHPRA’s requirements?

If your credentials or experience are not recognized, you might want to consider applying for a ‘Training visa – subclass 407’ to allow you to participate in a bridging program to develop your skills. 

Step 2: Submit your registration application to AHPRA.

If you believe you fit the criteria in step one, apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. 

Step 3: Get a visa

Once you have been registered with AHPRA as a nurse, you will require a VISA to live and work in Australia. There are several types of VISAs available. If you are able to obtain employer sponsorship, one of the following VISA types will be appropriate:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage Visa
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (Permanent Visa)
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Permanent Visa)

If you are not sponsored by an employer, you can apply for a VISA through the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s General Skilled Migration (GSM) provisions.