Become a Nurse in 16 weeks

RN Bridging Course

You are a Nurse with 7 IELTS and BSc Nursing and want to work and live in Australia permanently.

Become an Australian Registered Nurse in 16 weeks

About Registered Nurse Pathway

This pathway is for Nurses who have a BSc in Nursing and a current IELTS of 7.0 in each of 4 modules.

This pathway allows you to apply to Australia’s Nursing Board (NMBA) for an assessment of your Nursing Education, once approved, attend a 12 week Bridging Course, upon success, become a Registered Nurse in Australia, apply for Permanent Residence within 30 weeks, and work and live in Australia.

  • Assessment of eligibility by Nurses & Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).
  • NMBA Approval to attend Bridging Course as precondition of Registration.
  • Study in Australia for the duration of the 12 week course.
  • Register with NMBA as an Australian Nurse at the conclusion of the course.
  • Apply for an employer sponsored work visa if an employer is available.
  • Apply for Permanent Residence within 5 months of registration.
  • Eligible for unlimited work rights on approval of Permanent Residence.
  • Apply for employment as a Permanent Resident.
  • Your family have unlimited work and study rights as Permanent Residents.
  • Earn $A60,000-$A90,000  as an Australian Registered Nurse.
  • Eligible to study for advanced Nursing degrees, including Masters.
  • Nursing qualifications recognised worldwide.
  • You are a Registered Nurse in Country of Origin
  • Bachelors in Nursing degree assessed by NMBA as equivalent to Australian degree.
  • IELTS 7.0  or OET B in all modules, in one test, 2 years validity.
  • IELTS exceptions approved on a case-by-case basis (only UK, USA, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa)
  • Assessment of nursing education by Nursing Board of Australia (NMBA)
  • NMBA and AHPRA approval to attend approved Bridging Course.
  • Bridging course must be completed within 12 months of approval.
  • Confirmation of enrolment for an NMBA approved Bridging Course
  • Visa approved to attend 12 week Bridging Course by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
Pathway in Australia
  • Assessment by NMBA/AHPRA (8-16 weeks)
  • Bridging Course: 12 weeks
  • Application for Registration: 4 weeks
  • Application for Skills Assessment (ANMAC); 16 weeks
  • Application for Permanent Residence: 4 weeks
  • Total time in Australia, living & studying: 36 weeks
  • Progress from a completed qualification to another with admission
    • The Bridging Course is a non-award course
    • Provides qualification for Registered Nurse by NMBA/AHPRA
    • Registration Conditional on satisfaction of ID, English requirements
    • The Bridging Course does not qualify students for any other academic course
Career Outcomes
  • Registration as an Australian Nurse with NMBA
  • Improved Eligibility for Permanent Residence
  • Permanent Residence status significantly improves eligibility for employment
  • As a Permanent Residence you and your family can work in any occupation.
  • As a Permanent Residence you and your family can study and attend school
  • Work as a Registered Nurse in
    • Aged Care
    • Acute Care
    • Hospital Graduate Programs
    • Mental Health
    • Rehabilitation care
    • General Practice Medical Centres
    • Nursing Agency


  • Maximum 480 hours in 12 weeks.
  • Theory: 4 weeks; Australian health system and legal environment
  • Class Size : 25 students
  • Clinical Laboratory: ongoing role playing and practising procedures
  • Clinical Placement: 8 weeks in Hospitals and Aged Care facilities
  • Ensure students are safe to undertake professional practice as Registered Nurses in the Australian health and legal environment.
  • Assess and qualify students on all 10 NMBA competencies
    • Professional practice
    • Critical thinking and analysis
    • Provision and coordination of care
    • Collaborative and therapeutic practice
  • Successful completion of all Self Directed Learning Packages
  • A pass of 100% for the drug calculations test
  • Deemed Competent in all 10 competency standards of ANMACA
  • A pass in classroom presentations
  • A pass in all other Laboratory Assessments
REGISTER NURSE PATHWAYStart your application today and let us guide youENQUIRE NOW


  • Course fees: $12,000
  • Enrolment Fee: $500 (Includes academic support)
  • Course Materials: included
  • Cost of Living:
    • Rent: $150-$250 per week
    • Food/Personal:$50-$100 week
    • Actual living costs will depend on the type of accommodation you choose, the location, and the number of persons sharing these facilities.
  • 8 courses per year
  • Availability will depend on how many are on the waiting list
  • Nursing Careers Australia have preference with providers for enrolment
  • Sydney and Melbourne


Visa Conditions
Participants in the Bridging Course are not advised to work while undertaking this course.

  • The course is 12 weeks of intensive study and assignments, and
  • Working would more than probably result in failure to pass the rigorous assessments.
  • For this reason a Business visa (subclass 600) is the most appropriate visa,
  • This visa allows study, but does not allow the holder to work.
  • It may be possible to extend this visa by applying for a tourist visa, or
  • an employer sponsored work visa once Nurse Registration is granted.
Indicative Wage Rates; Registered Nurse $Australian (Effective Jan 2015)
  • Base Rate: depending on years of experience up to year 8: $26-$45.00
  • Shift Allowances:
      1. morning shifts base rate:$26-$43
      2. afternoon shifts:       +12% on base rate
      3. Night shifts:             +15% on base rate
      4. Saturday Shifts:      +50% on base rate
      5. Sunday Shifts:        +50%-75% on base rate
      6. Public Holidays:      +100% on base rate
      7. Overtime:                 +100% on base rate
  • Rates of pay will depend on each Health Institution and health sector Enterprise agreements
  • These are indicative rates only.
  • Annual Incomes can vary from $55,000 to $90,000
  • Actual rates of pay and annual income will depend on shifts worked during the year
  • Most nurses work rotating shifts unless allocated fixed shifts for lifestyle or health institution policy reasons.
Potential working hours available
    • Standard working week 38 hours per week 52 weeks per year=1976 hours per year
    • 6-4 weeks paid annual leave
    • 10 days sick leave fully paid
Jobs for Registered Nurses
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Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) Course
  • Participant must provide a certified true copy of a valid AHPRA Letter indicating they have permission to complete the Bridging Course.A valid letter is 12 months from the date of issue.
English Language proficiency
  • International English language Testing System (IELTS) a score of at least 7.0 in each component OR Occupational English Test (OET) a score of at least B in each component.
  • Requirements much be achieved in a single sitting and results valid for two years. Course participants need to provide a certified copy for enrolment.
Supporting documents
  • Please attach an up to date resume and a letter explaining the reason why you wish to enrol into the course
Applicant must pass a selection interview.
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Additional Documents required when accepted in the Program
  1. Certified copies of all relevant information Applicants must provide of nursing registration, and other nursing courses.
  2. Police Clearance: Course Participants must provide a certified copy of a Police clearance certificate from country of origin.
  3. Current working with children check
  4. Immunisation:Course Participants need to provide evidence of Immunisation for:
  • Hepatitis B
  • Pertussis, Diphtheria
  • Tetanus, Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Annual Influenza vaccination and swine flu,
  • Mantoux
  • Clear X ray for Tuberculosis

       5. Overseas Health Insurance:Course Participants must provide evidence of having Overseas Health Insurance prior to starting course.

       6.Passport-size certified photos: 2 photos taken within the last six (6) months

REGISTER NURSE PATHWAYStart your application today and let us guide youENQUIRE NOW


Entry to Australia for Bridging Course: Business visa
    • No work permitted
    • Study for 12 weeks only
    • Visa may be able to be extended for Tourism only
Work visa (457)
    • Employer/Sponsor required for approval
    • 4 year visa with unrestricted work rights
    • Work rights includes family
    • Must be a Registered Nurse in Australia
Permanent Resident (189/190)
    • Independent skilled visas 189/190
    • Applicants must be Registered as Australian Nurse with AHPRA
    • Applicants must have a valid Skills Assessment conducted by ANMAC (Australian Nurses & Midwives Accreditation Commission)
    • Eligibility based on a points system awarded on following criteria.
      1. Age
      2. IELTS 7.0-8.0
      3. Degree
      4. Experience
      5. State sponsorship

FAQ RN Bridging Course

Assessment of eligibility: Bridging Program

I want to work in Australia as a Registered Nurse?
You must:

  • Have successfully completed an accredited Bachelor in Nursing course that is assessed as substantially equivalent to the Australian Bachelor in Nursing. (as defined in the Australia Qualification Framework (AQF) Level 7.
  • Achieved English language proficiency in IELTS 7.0 or OET B,
    • Academic,
    • All modules, (listening, reading, speaking, writing) 
    • In one test,
    • No older than 2 years at the time of application
  • Be approved for registration by the Nurses and Midwives Board of Australia (NMBA) and the Australian Health Practitioners Registration Authority (AHPRA).
  • Receive approval from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), for either a work visa or Permanent Residence.
What is an AQF level?
  • The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) establishes the quality of Australian qualifications.
    • AQF Level 5: Diploma
    • AQF Level 6: Advanced Diploma/Associate Degree
    • AQF Level 7: Bachelors
    • AQF Level 8: Bachelors Honours/Graduate certificate/Grad Diploma
Who will assess my AQF Level?
AHPRA assesses overseas applications on behalf of the National Board (NMBA), which is responsible for the final decision on each application.
How will AHPRA/NMBA use the AQF to assess my application
  • The National Board uses the AQF Framework to benchmark international qualifications against Australian qualifications.
  • The AQF outcome is used to assess your qualification against criterion 4 of the assessment criteria.
  • Criterion 4 of the qualification assessment criteria requires that your qualification(s) must be equivalent to an Australian Bachelor degree.
  • If it is not then In order to meet the qualification requirement for registration in Australia, you can enrol in a Board-approved program of study leading to registration as a registered nurse or an enrolled nurse or a midwife.
  • You may be able to request recognition of prior learning with the education provider – this is a decision for the education provider to make.
Why a Diploma is no longer assessed substantially equivalent to an Australian Bachelor’s degree AQF Level 7.
  • A Diploma is assessed as AQF Level 5.
  • In the past, work experience has been included as part of the assessment.
  • It is no longer possible to consider work experience as a factor in assessing your educational qualification, irrespective of where the Diploma was undertaken.
  • There are no exceptions to this requirement.
Why is IELTS 7.0 Required?
  • The English language skills registration standard intends to make sure that all enrolled nurses, registered nurses and midwives in Australia can communicate effectively in English – by listening, reading, speaking and in writing – with:
    • Their clients, and 
    • Other health professionals about the care of their clients.
  • All other health professions in Australia have a minimum of IELTS 7.0.
Are there any exceptions to the English Requirement?
  • The countries where an exception to the English skills requirement may be granted are:
    • Australia 
    • Canada 
    • New Zealand 
    • the Republic of Ireland 
    • South Africa 
    • United Kingdom 
    • United States of America.
  • If you can show that you have completed five years’ full-time equivalent education comprising;
    • a minimum of two years’ full-time equivalent in a pre-registration nursing program of study approved by the recognised nursing and/or midwifery regulatory body
    • a combination of secondary and/or vocational and/or tertiary education,
    • taught and assessed in English,
  • No other exceptions are permitted.
What is a Bridging program?
A Bridging program is program of study approved by the NMBA that enables eligible internationally qualified nurses & midwives (IQNMS) to become registered by completing further study and assessment against the NMBA’s competency standards.
Who determines eligibility to a Bridging Program?
IQNMs must be referred to a Bridging program by the NMBA who will assess their educational qualifications as a condition of attendance at the Bridging course.
What factors determine eligibility for a Bridging Course?
You must:

  • Have successfully completed an accredited Bachelor in Nursing course that is assessed as substantially equivalent to the Australian Bachelor in Nursing. (as defined in the Australia Qualification Framework (AQF) Level 7.
  • Achieved English language proficiency in IELTS 7.0 or OET B,
    • Academic,
    • All modules, (listening, reading, speaking, writing) 
    • In one test,
    • No older than 2 years at the time of application
Why is a Diploma in most countries not equivalent to an Australian Bachelor’s degree (AQF Level 7)?
  • Being a competent nurse requires more than just mastering tasks. It requires the ability to think critically.
  • A Bachelor’s degree taught at an Australian university teaches among other skills, critical thinking skills, essential in today’s evidence based assessment environment
  • Acquiring excellent critical thinking skills takes into consideration nurses’ assessments, ability to recognize problems, interpret data, and anticipate appropriate interventions.
  • Critical thinking involves the ability to connect the dots and respond appropriately to improve patient outcomes.
  • Australia stopped approving the Diploma of Nursing for Nurse Registration in 1992.
  • Since 1992 only the 3 year Bachelor of Nursing degree was eligible for Registration.
  • Registered Nurses in Australia are in many cases the decision makers, and are expected to work independently without supervision from Doctors on a day to day basis; consequently they need critical thinking skills.
Why is an IELTS score of less than 7.0 or OET B, not eligible for assessment for the Bridging program?
  • The Bridging program is typically 12 weeks, at the end of which you are eligible for registration as a nurse in Australia.
  • 12 weeks is insufficient time to improve an English score from, for example, IELTS 6.5 to 7.0.
  • The Bridging program is intense and focused, with 4 weeks theory and lab work and 8 weeks clinical placement, which leaves no time to teach and coach English.

Alternatives to the Bridging Program

How long do I have to attend a Bridging program after referral by NMBA?
  • You are required to successfully complete a NMBA approved Bridging program within 12 months of the date of the referral letter from AHPRA and the NMBA
  • Extensions are only permitted in extenuating circumstances and must be approved by the Director of Registration for AHPRA.
  • The likelihood of an extension being approved is significantly enhanced if you do this through Nursing Careers Australia, who will communicate directly with AHPRA.
What are the alternatives to a Bridging program?
  • Applicants who do not wish to or are unable to undertake a bridging program can upgrade their current registered nursing qualification to a Bachelor degree qualification (assessed at AQF level 7) either:
    • In Australia or
    • Overseas.
  • If you upgrade your qualification outside Australia you must make sure that the country you are upgrading in meets the accreditation requirements of Australia.
Why would it be better to upgrade my qualifications to AQF Level 7 in Australia, rather than overseas, where it may be cheaper.
  • It is unlikely that a qualification studied in countries other than Australia, will be assessed as being equivalent to an Australian Bachelor in Nursing,(AQF) Level 7.
  • The exception to this is nursing studies undertaken in the following countries:
    • Canada 
    • New Zealand 
    • the Republic of Ireland 
    • South Africa 
    • United Kingdom 
    • USA
  • If you study in Australia on a student visa you can work up to 1400 hours annually and earn up to $30,000 which will make a significant contribution to your cost of studying in Australia
  • if you do not have a current IELTS 7.0, you are more likely to achieve this by immersing yourself in the English speaking culture of Australia where you are forced to improve your English.
  • Most education institutions offer English tuition as part of the student visa study. Program.
  • After you have studied in an Australian University for 2 years you can apply for a 18 month work visa without a sponsor.
What happens if I attend a Bridging program that is not approved by the NMBA?
  • If you complete a bridging program that is not approved by the NMBA, your application forregistration will be refused.
  • This is because the program of study may not cover specific requirements that you need to be eligible for registration as a nurse in Australia, such as clinical practice, drug exams, aged care nursing and other subjects relevant to nursing in Australia.
  • There are a number of Bridging programs in Australia but only a few are approved by AHPRA and the NMBA.
  • There are 1 year programs promoted as a pathway to Registration, offered by Universities and other education institutions, but in fact are not approved by the NMBA
  • Therefore you will not be registered as a nurse at the conclusion of the course, even if they advise you that you will be registered.

Registration after the Bridging Program

What happens after I have passed my Bridging course?
  • Once the NMBA refers you to a bridging program, the NMBA will close your application.
  • After you successfully complete a NMBA-approved bridging program, you are then eligible to make a new application for registration.
  • This application will be granted upon successful completion of the course, provided other Identification and police checks undertaken by AHPRA are in order.
How do I make a new application once I have passed my Bridging course?
  • You will only be registered if you have successfully completed the NMBA-approved bridging program and meet all the NMBA’s other registration requirements.
  • If you complete a bridging program and have not first been assessed and referred by the NMBA, you may be refused registration even if you have successfully completed the bridging program.
  • Nursing Careers Australia and or Careers Migration Australia will assist you to reapply for registration at the conclusion of your Bridging program.
What information will I need to apply for registration after my Bridging program?
  • You must complete and submit a new AGOS-40 application form and make all declarations required in the form. 
  • You must pay the registration and application fees, however the overseas assessment fee is not charged when making a new application after completion of a bridging program. 
  • You must provide a copy of your course completion certificate from the bridging program. 
  • You must provide all identification requirements (as detailed in the Proof of Identity fact sheet) not previously provided. 
  • You must arrange for a new Certificate of Good Standing or Certificate of Registration Status to be sent to AHPRA directly from the relevant authority.
  • If your IELTS or OET test has expired, you must provide:
    • a new certificate, or 
    • evidence that you have been continuously enrolled in a program of study taught and assessed in English and approved by the recognised nursing and/or midwifery regulatory body in any of the countries listed in the English language registration standard.
  • All relevant documents must be certified according to AHPRA standards.

About the Bridging Program

What are the fees for assessment of qualifications for an Internationally Qualified Nurses & Midwives (IQNM)
  • Application fee for general registration:    $150
  • Registration fee for general registration:  $150
  • Overseas assessment charge:                 $220

  • Total fees payable on application:     $520
What fees are refundable if my registration is not approved, but I am referred to a Bridging program?
Registration fee for general registration:  $150
Who approves and accredits Bridging programs?
  • NMBA and AHPRA approve Bridging Programs.
  • Accreditation is the responsibility of Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC).
  • An approved Bridging program is run by approved and accredited Educational institutions and provider.
What is the course structure?
  • The course content, structure and number of hours both clinical and theory is approved by ANMAC.
  • Typically the course structure includes a minimum 200 hours theory and $240 hours in clinical placement.
  • Clinical placement normally occurs primarily in Acute care hospitals (Private and Public) and Aged Care homes (Private).
Why do bridging programs cost so much?
  • Bridging programs are run by private approved and accredited providers or Universities.
  • Costs are determined by these providers based on;
    • Supervision costs by the providers staff particularly in clinical placement.
    • Costs charged by hospitals and aged care for clinical placement.
    • Clinical placement can cost up to $3000 per nurse placed
    • Insurance costs for nurses operating without registration, are very high
    • Tutoring costs in theory and laboratory phases can be as high as $60 per hour
    • Leasing and running costs of commercial premises for offices and classrooms.
    • Printing and photocopying cost of materials for classroom work.
    • Equipment costs including high tech dummies for laboratory practice.
    • Accreditation and approval costs.
  • Bridging program fees range from $10,000 to $12,000 for a 12 weeks program
  • Enrolment and material costs can be up to $1000 per student.

Working after Registration

Can I work as a Registered Nurse once I am registered with NMBA & AHPRA?
  • Nursing registration makes you eligible to apply for work in Australia as long as your visa allows you to work ( and does not have a condition of “no work permitted”)
  • In order for any overseas person to work in Australia they must have a valid work visa or be a permanent resident.
  • Most work visas in Australia require an approved sponsor, normally an employer.
  • Registered Nurses can apply to Australian employers for employment and sponsorship either on an Occupational Visa (subclass 402), or a Temporary long stay visa (subclass 457) for up to 4 years.
  • The preferred pathway is for IQNM Nurses once successfully registered, to apply for Permanent Residency which will improve their chances of finding nursing employment.
  • Employers in Australia in recent times prefer to employ permanent residents, as the Australian government has made temporary work visas less attractive for employers through a number of regulation changes.
How long will it take to apply for permanent residency?
  • Once registered, a nurse applies to ANMAC for a skills assessment as a mandatory requirement of the Department of Immigration (DIBP).
  • A skills assessment from ANMAC will take 12-16 weeks to complete.
  • The Registered Nurses can then either apply for state sponsorship (if required) or direct to the DIBP.
  • Permanent residence if not sponsored by an employer is based on a points system awarded based on age, IELTS, experience, and academic qualifications.
  • If nurses are Registered in Australia, have 7.0 IELTS and a Bachelor’s degree will qualify, however applications are complicated and many have been rejected due to insufficient knowledge of the migration regulations.
  • It is best to consult our Registered Migration Agents as we have never been rejected for a Permanent Residence application.


How many jobs for Registered Nurses are advertised in Australia each month.
  • As at 14 March 2015 there were 2,534 jobs for Registered Nurses advertised by the leading internet job site Seek .com.
  • Together with other sources and unadvertised sources and government hospital advertised jobs it is estimated there are over 5,000 new jobs every month for Registered Nurses.
  • This adds up to approximately 60,000 jobs annually for Registered nurses which is about 25% vacancy of total Australian registered nurses.
What are the prospects for Registered Nurses in Australia in the future?
  • The Australian Government has estimated Australia will be short of between 80,000 to 115,000 Registered Nurses annually in the next 5-10 years.
  • This level of shortage will represent 34% to 60% of the total workforce will be required from overseas.
  • The reasons for this include;
    • The Australian population is aging and living longer
    • The average age of Registered Nurses in Australia is 49 years.
    • Retirements of nurses is approximately 5% annually and increasing.
    • The supply of new nurses is increasing at a slower rate than retirements
    • The gap over the last 10 years has been filled by internationally qualified nurses
    • Unless Australia’s Universities at least double their enrolments and graduations shortage of registered Nurses will grow exponentially.
  • The consequence of this shortage is that the salaries of Registered Nurse will increase significantly as has been the case in the last 10 years


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Certificate III/ Registered Nurse

You are a Nurse or High School Grad with 5.5 IELTS and No degree/BSc/Diploma in Nursing and want to work and live in Australia

Enrolled / Registered Nurse

You are a Nurse with 6.5 IELTS and BSc/Diploma in Nursing and want to work and live in Australia permanently.

About Us

Nursing Careers Australia (registered 26 October 2013 with ASIC) is a Registered Business name of Australian Educators Pty Ltd, ABN 73 164 534 141 a specialist education consultancy registered 28 June 2013 with ASIC.
We offer education and career advice, enrolment, relocation, and accommodation services to our clients.
All education advice and enrolment in relation to approved and accredited CRICOS registered education courses within Australia.
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