All You Need to Know To Study, Register, Work and Settle As A Nurse in Australia.

All You Need to Know To Study, Register, Work and Settle As A Nurse in Australia.

Nursing in Australia

All-Inclusive Guide for Aspiring International Nurses to Study, Register and settle in Australia!

Nurses with essential skills, knowledge and qualifications have always been an indispensable part of Australian healthcare sector. The profession is considered as the most trusted & esteemed of all in the country and also offers great employment opportunities.

A recent study by the Health Workforce Australia ascertains a lingering shortfall of nurses, with approximately 85,000 full-time registered and midwives will be needed by 2025 and 123,000 by 2030 under current settings.

Although the prognosis may be gloomy for Australia’s health sector, it certainly opened many doors for international nurses to choose a rewarding career option, get long term employment and permanent residency in Australia.

If you are an aspiring student considering pursuing nursing career in Australia, you need to understand certain pre-requisites first ranging from courses and specialisations, Qualification, English & Work Experience requirements, PR Pathways, etc.

Let’s jump in to understand each thoroughly!

Qualification Pathways:

There are number of study pathways you can undertake to become an Enrolled or a Registered Nurse or a Midwife in Australia. These include:

Diploma of Nursing - It is an entry-level qualification that allows to work as an Enrolled Nurse in different health care settings.

By undertaking this study program, you can specialise in different areas including nursing communication, medication administration, infection control, wound management and mental, acute, chronic and aged care. The course comprises of minimum 400 hours of mandatory professional practice placement and usually takes 1.5 to 2 years to complete.

You are only eligible to study diploma of nursing in Australia if:

  • You aged 18 or above
  • You have completed year 12 or equivalent
  • You have achieved a minimum band score of 6 in IELTS (with score no less than 6 in each module) OR 50 in PTE (with no score than 50) or 237 in TOEFL

Bachelor of Nursing – Nationally accredited through the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation council, Bachelor of Nursing course provides the knowledge, skills and ethical understanding you need to work as a Registered Nurse in Australia. Graduates of this course are highly sought-after as they possess skills to deliver safe, patient-centric and cognizant therapeutic care in a variety of health care settings including private and public hospitals, aged care, community health, rural practice, mental health, occupational health, etc. The course combines theory and clinical experience and usually takes 3 years full time or equivalent part time to complete.

You are only eligible to study Bachelor of Nursing in Australia if:

  • You have completed Year 12 qualification, Australian Qualifications Framework Diploma or equivalent Australia or overseas qualification
  • You have achieved an overall score of 6.5 in IELTS (with score no less than 6 in each module), 50 in PTE (with no score less than 50 in each module) and 67 in TOEFL (with no score less than 12 in listening, 18 in speaking, 15 in reading and 21 in writing)

Master of Nursing –It is a two-year degree course designed to prepare nurses for the leadership positions or advanced roles in health care by specialising in major areas of study including clinical, chronic and complex care, professional nursing, emergency care, mental health, palliative care, aged care, nursing education, research and management.

You are only eligible to study Master of Nursing if:

  • You have achieved an overall score of 7 in IELTS (with no score less than 6.5 in listening, writing and reading and 7 in speaking)
  • You hold a recognised bachelor’s degree or a Graduate Certificate in Nursing from a recognised tertiary institution

Permanent Residency Pathways:

If you hold an overseas Nursing qualification and wish to apply for PR in Australia as a Registered Nurse or an Enrolled Nurse, you must complete the IRON program and register yourself as a Nurse in Australia before applying for full skills assessment.

Bridging Program (IRON program) – Initial Registration for Overseas Nurses (IRON) program is specifically designed for qualified international nurses looking to get registration without undertaking another bachelor or master course in Australia. It runs for 10-12 weeks and it is recommended by the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Authority (AHPRA) and equips you with all the skills and knowledge required to practise quality nursing in the country. Apart from better employment opportunities, it also provides secure pathway to permanent residency. .

You are only eligible for IRON Program if:

  • You are currently registered as a Nurse overseas.
  • You have a letter of referral from AHPRA to study this program in Australia.
  • You have achieved an overall score of 7 in IELTS test (with score no less than 7 in each module), 65 in PTE ( with score no less than 65 in each module and 94 in TOEFL (with score no less than 24 in reading, 24 in listening, 27 in writing and 23 in speaking)

Full Skills Assessment to lodge PR – Being a registered nurse in Australia, if your goal is to get permanent residency, you must apply for a full skills assessment with Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) Full skil assessment requires a completion of the above mentioned bridging course which is reffered by AHPRA. Once you obtain full skills assessment from ANMAC you can then lodge your EOI. Dependending on your points, you will be invited to apply for PR. As per the new rules, the minimum points required to apply for EOI and visa is atleast 65.

Career Pathways:

The widely adopted career level designations for nurses in Australia are:

Enrolled nurse – As an Enrolled nurse, you get the opportunity to practice nursing under the supervision of a registered nurse by assisting people with daily activities or undertaking responsibilities as per the competency levels.

Registered nurse – As a Registered Nurse, you get the opportunity to work with medical professionals and delivering quality care through instructions, assessment, medical administration and management.

Permanent Residency Pathways:

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) – If you neither sponsored by an employer nor nominated by a state or territory government.

Skilled Dependent Visa (Subclass 190) – If you are nominated by the Australian State or territory government

Skilled Regional Visa (Subclass 489) – If you are looking to work in the regional or low population growth metropolitan areas of Australia.

Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) – If you are eligible for any of its three streams for employed sponsored visa – Direct Entry, Temporary Residency Transition and the Agreement Stream

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187) – If you are looking to work in the regional Australia and eligible for any of its three streams for employed sponsored visa – Direct Entry, Temporary Residency Transition and the Agreement Stream

Need further Assistance on courses or the eligibility criteria for different visas? Book your consultation with XL Migration and Education Services today & get the best solutions!

Our team of experts will help you understand the process of registration as a Nurse, Bridging program, full skills assessment, PR opportunity and much more.

Get in touch with us. Email us at or call us for consultaion on 08 9325 9632

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