It is impossible and illegal to work in Australia as a Nurse unless you have the following:
Registered Nurses are on both these lists, meaning if you an overseas registered nurse and have applied for and been approved for Australian Nurse registration, you can apply for either Temporary or Permanent visa.
As an overseas nurse you cannot apply for a visa to work and migrate successfully unless you first become registered with Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA)
These lists are reviewed annually, to ensure that the occupations specified are unable to source sufficient Australian Permanent residents and citizens to meet the demand for skilled labour in that occupation.
The primary qualification however is that you must first become an Australian Registered Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).
As an Overseas Registered Nurse, you are NOT automatically eligible to be registered in Australia.
The NMBA is governed by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law as in force in each state and territory and is responsible for the final decision on each application.
International applicants must meet the registration standards and qualification criteria to be eligible for registration.
A number of documents will have to be sent Direct to AHPRA by;
The hardcopy application form is submitted, and reviewed internally for completeness.
The supplied information is assessed against registration standards.
The applicant may be required to supply further information or undergo various tests or examinations regarding competency.
A recommendation is then made, which may be to register, register with conditions, or refuse.
The Board may accept the recommendation or take some other action.
The Board’s decision will either be to
Most Registered Nurses from countries who cannot provide the accreditation and medication management evidence (Criteria; 2,3,6, & 8), will be required to attend an approved NMBA Bridging Couse in Australia.
Registration is finalised and relevant letters and certificates are prepared for the applicant after the:
Countries that are able to satisfy Criteria; 2,3,6, & 8, and MAY lead to immediate registration currently include:
If a National Board accepts the application with conditions or rejects the application, the applicant will be informed at this stage. The applicant may then elect to make a submission to the National Board.
Following Stage 5, the response from the applicant is considered and a final decision is made.
If applicants do not agree with the final decision of the Board, they may take their case to a tribunal for a decision.
If a required response from the applicant is not received within a reasonable period, the application is closed – withdrawn and incomplete.
This means AHPRA has received all the information to complete an assessment.
The standard timeframe for the assessment of a complete application is:
This means AHPRA has not received all the information to complete an assessment.
It is not unusual for an Overseas Nurse to take 12 months for approval, or worse still refusal.
Yes you can, however, it is not unusual for an Overseas Nurse to take 12 months for approval, or worse still, be refused.
While an application made without assistance and advice is cheaper, the lost time and income (approximately $1000 per week after tax) cancel out any perceived savings.
The standards and qualifications, and the evidence of these, are not negotiable with the NMBA or AHPRA
For some reason, most overseas nurses do not understand, that the NMBA is not negotiable on either;
Reluctance or inability, to provide appropriate evidence and documents will result in refusal of registration.
Australia has the best reputation in the world for safe practice in Nursing and the standards and qualifications are one of the reasons for this reality.
Australians have the longest life expectancy along with Japan, in the world, partly a result of the competency of the Nursing and Medical profession, and their dedication to excellence and high standards of care.
Nursing Careers Australia has been dealing with the NMBA for 10 years and understands;
Registration Standards define the requirements that applicants must meet to be considered fit to practise as nurses and midwives.
Qualification Criteria define the minimum acceptable education and training that international applicants must have undertaken.
Applicants must meet all registration standards and qualification criteria in order to be eligible for registration without conditions or limitations.
The current model for the assessment of international qualifications was implemented by the NMBA on 10 Feb 2014.
The model guides the NMBA assessment of international applicants to decide if they have educational qualifications that are ‘substantially equivalent’ to an NMBA-approved Australian qualification under section 53(b) of the National Law.
This is critical information to help the NMBA decide if an international applicant is qualified to provide safe care to patients in Australia.
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia has developed the following registration standards for Overseas Qualified Nurses registering in Australia for the first time:
AHPRA and the Nurse & Midwives Board of Australia (NMBA) has recently (1 July 2015), updated their English language skills requirement:
1. Undergo a valid English language Test exam (IELTS, OET, PTE or TOEFL) and achieve a minimum score as shown in the table below.
Name of Test Provider
2. The ONLY exceptions to the above requirements are;
3. If you believe you satisfy any these requirements please contact us, as we can verify if you qualify,
4. The detail of these regulations is exceptionally complicated, and if you lodge an application incorrectly the NMBA will charge an application/assessment/registration fee of $520 and retain the application/assessment fee of $360 and reject your application.
A Criminal history check for all countries in which the Nurse has been registered.
Registered Nurses must have undertaken sufficient practice to demonstrate competence in their professions within the preceding five years.
Practice their profession within the past five years for a period equivalent to a minimum of three months full time.
Nurses and midwives must not practise their respective profession unless they are covered by appropriate professional indemnity insurance (PII) arrangements.
As an applicant, you must satisfy the evidentiary requirements of the eight qualification criteria, regardless of your country of origin or registration status.
Evidence of completing a Bachelors in Nursing Degree leading to registration in the country where you studied;
Evidence Required: Certificate of Registration (COR) and a Certificate of Good Standing(COGS).
The education institution where you studied was externally accredited during the period of your studies.
During the time you undertook your program of study:
Your overseas qualification is equivalent to an Australian Bachelor Degree in Nursing as a minimum.
A Master’s degree will generally not qualify you, or substitute for a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.
Degrees in other disciplines are not relevant to Registration as a Nurse in Australia.
The educational level of your qualification will be assessed against the current level expected of an Australian Nursing graduate, as defined by the AQF (Australian Qualifications Framework):
Your Program of Study (Bachelor’s degree) included:
The curriculum of your program of study focused on the various aspects of nursing practice.
You successfully completed all components of the program and have graduated with a qualification leading to registration in that country/state.
The education institution that provided the program of study, and confirmed your qualification, has certified that you have successfully completed an assessment in medication management including:
As part of the certification, the education institution must provide information that clearly shows the medication management content you completed as part of the program of study.
The outcome of an application by an Overseas Registered Nurse is usually referral to a Bridging Course, since in many cases Overseas nurse cannot satisfy criteria; 2,3,6, and 8.
There are several possible outcomes for your application:
The NMBA cannot determine conclusively whether or not a nursing or midwifery qualification meets the requirements for criteria 2 and 3 unless this documentation is provided.
Nursing Careers Australia can assist you in providing the appropriate documentation to enable the NMBA will determine that your qualification does meet the requirements.
some, but not all, education institutions and nursing education programs are subject to the systems of regular external review described above,
Qualifications in this category include those completed in the following countries:
|Countries are unlikely to meet the requirements for Criterion 2 and/or Criterion 3|
The NMBA will refuse you registration if your qualification does not meet the requirements for criteria 2 and 3 or you do not provide the relevant documentation.
To be eligible, international applicants must be referred to a bridging program by the NMB following assessment that they meet the minimum Mandatory Registration Standards and Qualification Criteria.
If overseas you need to be sure the degree meets the accreditation requirements of criteria 2 and 3, many do not.
The pricing and availability of the programs are determined by the education provider, not the NMBA.
Until NMBA-approved bridging programs for midwives are offered by education providers, midwives can upgrade their qualifications by:
The NMBA approves programs and providers, but does not determine the cost of the program
You will only need to resubmit any documentation that has expired. As we will still have record of your previous documentation, you can refer to it without needing to resubmit it.
If Nursing Careers Australia has assisted, you with the AHPRA application initially we will advise you on the correct procedure.
We are aware of several nurses who did not seek professional advice left Australia after their Bridging Course.
They failed to follow the correct procedure and were advised by the NMBA that they would be required to return to Australia before registration could be granted.
As for the application you should seek professional advice about all registration procedures.
The NMBA procedures and requirements are is not optional or negotiable.
Upon review of the submitted documentation, you may be requested to provide additional documentation.
All documentary evidence must meet the AHPRA certification requirements.
after you are assessed by the NMBA and meet all Registration Standards and all 7 Qualification Criteria,
The usual visa applied for, if a Registered Nurse wishes to work in Australia, is a subclass 457
While there are other temporary visas that have work rights, such as a Holiday Work visa, these normally do not allow work for extended periods of time.
There are a wide range of Permanent Residence visas that have work rights, without significant restrictions, as is the case with the subclass 457 visa.
Permanent Resident visas are granted for 5 years, but renewable, and rarely cancelled, if the holder is resident in Australia for at least 3 out of the 5 years, and has no security breaches during the time they hold the visa.
This visa allows you to:
The main requirements of this visa include;
Nursing Careers Australia does have access to employers who are prepared to employ Registered Nurses on a 457 visa, provided they are prepared to agree to a 4 year contract.
Usually after 2 years on this 4-year contract, the employer is prepared to offer sponsorship for Permanent Residence for the remaining 2 years of the contract.
The current job market has vacancies in the following segments:
Employers prefer Registered Nurses who;
Agents overseas may advise you that you can apply to migrate to Australia, either Temporarily or Permanently, because you are a Registered Nurse in your country of origin or any other country, where you may have lived and worked.
They may further advise that if you apply to the Australian Nurses and Midwives Accreditation Council (ANMAC) for a skills assessment, which if positive, will make you eligible for a Temporary or Permanent work visa.
This advice is incorrect, either due to lack of knowledge or deliberately fraudulent, in order to extract money from you on the basis you can be approved for a work visa in Australia.
As an overseas Registered Nurse it is not possible to be approved for a temporary work visa or Permanent Residence if you are not registered as a Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).
If your partner or spouse is a Permanent resident sponsoring, you, or includes you as a dependent on his sponsored work visa you can live in and work in Australia, but until you are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), you cannot work as a Registered Nurse.
However, a successful outcome of a skills assessment by ANMAC does not qualify an applicant for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia to work in Australia.
ANMAC under Australia Health law, cannot register nurses, it can only assess skills
The registration process is independent and separate to the skilled migration process.
To work as a nurse or midwife in Australia you must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and meet the Board’s registration standards.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) cannot by law, and will not, grant you a visa based on a positive Skills Assessment by ANMAC, unless you are Registered with the NMBA.
However, in every case without exception, as Nurse, you must be registered with NMBA to be granted
By law ANMAC cannot, and does not register nurses to work in Australia. This is the responsibility of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.
Skills Assessments are usually required by the Department of Immigration when a Registered Nurse is applying for Permanent Residence if the nurse has NOT worked for the employer for at least 2 years, or is applying independently without an employer as a sponsor.
A successful outcome of a skills assessment by ANMAC does not qualify an applicant for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia to work in Australia, nor does it guarantee the awarding of points under the Skilled Migration Scheme.