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From pediatrics to critical care, Australia has several prospects for experienced and well-certified nursing and healthcare workers. They can immigrate to Australia as nurses and start their careers. Registered Nurses have several job prospects in Australia. Working Holiday Visa, Employer Sponsorship, and Skilled Migrant Visa are all alternatives for registered nurses in Australia.

Each visa has specific requirements that candidates must satisfy to apply for and be granted the visa. Furthermore, the Australian Government limits the number of visas it can give each year, which means that registered nurses may be unable to apply for a visa under the selected option.

This essay will discuss how to immigrate to Australia as a nurse, the requirements and conditions, salaries, benefits, and the assessment process.

Nurses’ Working Conditions in Australia

Because of the breadth of the nation, its climate, topography, and population distribution, the range of roles is broad. However, the similarities in organization and healthcare practices help to mitigate cultural shock.

In Australia, around 330,000 nurses work. Two-thirds of nurses work in the public sector. Shifts are identical to those in the United Kingdom, lasting between 8 and 12 hours. The number of vacation weeks each year ranges between 4 and 5 weeks. Patient-to-nurse ratios range between 4:1 and 6:1. It should be noted that incomes, working conditions, hours, and patient ratios differ across Australia. Australian businesses, like any other, may have varied criteria for nursing employment in Australia in terms of necessary years of work experience, credentials, or a specific set of abilities.

Nursing Jobs in Australia for Immigrant Nurses

A list of occupations currently includes nurses and midwives as eligible occupations for Australian General Migration and Employer-Sponsored Visa applications. Nursing and midwifery vocations on the Australian Skilled List include:

Midwife

Nurse Practitioner

Nursing Clinical Director

Registered Nurse (Disability And Rehabilitation)

Registered Nurse (Critical Care And Emergency)

Registered Nurse (Perioperative)

Registered Nurse (Medical Practice)

Registered Nurse (Community Health)

Registered Nurse (Pediatrics)

Nurse Researcher (*STSO List)

Registered Nurse (Surgical)

Nurse Manager (*STSOL List)

Registered Nurse (Aged Care)

Registered Nurse (Medical)

Registered Nurse (Child And Family Health)

Nurse Educator (*STSO List)

Registered Nurse (Mental Health)

Registered Nurse (Developmental Disability)

Enrolled Nurse (*STSOL List – Employer-sponsored visa only)

Registered Nurses (NEC)

Note: Before applying, you must confirm your visa eligibility and particular Australian visa conditions.

Australian Nursing Registration for Immigrant Nurses

To start your career in Australia’s medical, healthcare, or nursing fields, you must be registered with the Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Because there is just one National Register, you can start your practice in any Australian state once registered. The registration process is independent of the visa application process and can be completed before or after your visa is accepted. This will be determined by your individual circumstances as well as the sort of visa you are seeking for.

Registered nurses must undergo Orientation classes, and some may be required to pass examinations based on their certification level. In general, holders of a Bachelor of Nursing degree will not be required to take tests.

What are the Australian Visas for Immigrant Nurses?

With jobs in the Australian health care industry expected to grow by 25% over the next five years, many globally certified health practitioners are considering immigrating to Australia as nurses or midwives. As a result, nursing and midwifery jobs are featured on the Australian Skilled Occupation List, the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), and the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).

Whether you intend to stay in Australia permanently or only for a few years, you will require a Visa with work privileges. Based on your unique circumstances, you may have the following visa options:

  • Employer-Sponsored Visa
  • Australian Skilled Migrant Visa
  • Working Holiday Visa 
  • Other visas with work rights

Who are Registered Nurses?

Is a nurse who has obtained an undergraduate nursing degree acknowledged in Australia?

Registered nurses are among the positions on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). As such, it is a highly sought-after career in Australia since it increases your chances of becoming a Sponsor.

What Do Registered Nurses Do?

They have the power to develop and change a patient’s health care plan. Compared to an enrolled nurse, a registered nurse has more significant opportunities.

Tasks:

  • Nursing care for patients is assessed, planned, implemented, and evaluated in accordance with approved nursing practice and standards.
  • Working with other Health Professionals and members of health teams to coordinate patient care.
  • Supplying interventions, treatments, and remedies such as drugs, as well as monitoring treatment and care plan responses.
  • Engaging in health education and other health-promoting activities promotes health and aids in preventing illness.
  • Answering inquiries and giving treatment and care data to patients and their families
  • Enrolled nurses and other health care personnel supervise and coordinate their work.

How to Become a Registered Nurse?

A Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Australia or overseas is required. Only after completing studies in Australia is the foreign qualification recognized.

In this case, you’ll have to enroll in a Bridging Course/IRON Course, a 3- to 6-month study program that costs from AUD8,000 to AUD14,000.

This program provides complete recognition of international university qualifications and is a necessary step toward practicing as a registered nurse in Australia.

To start your work as a registered nurse and join the employment market, you must first register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). By producing all relevant documentation, you must be recognized as eligible by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Let us organize our thoughts and go through the processes that will lead you to become a nurse in Australia:

  • Provide identification, a criminal record, and a certificate of pending charges.
  • English requirements: IELTS Academic with a minimum score of 6.5/7 (this score differs based on the chosen school and the course)
  • AHPRA issued a Letter of Determination (based on the chosen school and course)
  • Certificate awarded after the Bridging Course.
  • Practical nursing experience for a specified period
  • Registration with the NMBA) Australian Nursing and Midwifery Board(
  • The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency requires registration (AHPRA)
  • Working in a hospital or healthcare facility and getting a Sponsor Visa or filing for a Skilled Visa

You must show proof when seeking registration as a registered nurse or midwife. In addition, you must demonstrate that you have graduated and completed at least five (5) years of full-time education taught and assessed only in the English language. 

Your education must have taken place in a recognized nation and included tertiary credentials in the relevant professional subject you are replying to establish your suitability for registration under National Law. The Board will only accept five (5) years of full-time education that is a mix of:

  1. Secondary and tertiary education conducted and evaluated in English; or
  2. Vocational and vocational education conducted and evaluated in English; or
  3. Postsecondary, secondary, and vocational education all delivered and scored in English; or
  4. Tertiary education must be taught and graded in English, and the most recent study phase must have been finished no more than five years before applying for registration.

Who are Enrolled Nurses?

Enrolled nurses are professionals who have at least a diploma certificate. While playing an important function, an enrolled nurse has less power in a hospital than a Registered Nurse. They will work together as parts of a team rather than as a supervisor. Enrolled Nurses are frequently the initial point of contact for a patient; hence their position in the healthcare system is critical.

What Do Enrolled Nurses Do?

An enrolled nurse works very closely under the guidance of a registered nurse and is not permitted to operate independently of the Registered Nurse’s care plan.

Tasks:

  • Evaluating, arranging, and delivering nursing care to patients in accordance with approved nursing practice and standards
  • Providing treatments and therapies such as medication administration, as well as tracking reactions to medicines and care plans
  • Helping registered nurses and perhaps other team members in the coordination and evaluation of care.
  • Promoting and aiding in health education activities for disease prevention
  • Newborn infant bathing, feeding, changing, and settling.
  • Giving newborn infant parents guidance and training on infant care
  • Giving parents of newborn newborns emotional support

How to Become an Enrolled Nurse?

You must have completed a Nursing Diploma. In addition, you must complete a two-year VET program. These courses are accessible to anybody above 18 and with an upper secondary school diploma.

If you are requesting registration as an enrolled nurse, you must present proof that you have graduated and completed at least five (5) years of full-time education. In addition, your education must have been given and evaluated entirely in English in a recognized nation, including vocational credentials in the relevant professional field you depend on, to establish your suitability for registration under National Law. The Board will only accept five (5) years (full-time equivalent) of continuous education that is a mix of:

  1. secondary and vocational education given and evaluated in English; or
  2. vocational and tertiary education given and evaluated in English; or
  3. Postsecondary, secondary, and vocational education, all taught and judged in English; or
  4. Tertiary education must be taught and graded in English, and the most recent study phase must have been finished no more than five years before applying for registration.

Hard Skills for Nurses in Australia

  • Work Permit
  • IELTS Academic with a score of 7
  • Qualification recognition
  • 3 years of previous international job experience
  • AHPRA registration is required
  • Requested medical examinations, such as a chest x-ray and blood testing

Soft Skills for Nurses in Australia

  • Excellent communication abilities
  • Capability to take the initiative in an emergency
  • Capability to take on responsibility and lead at work
  • Ability to connect with patients
  • Empathy
  • Willingness to work both alone and in groups

How to Immigrate to Australia as a Nurse?

Many nurses go to Australia not just to perfect their abilities in a new setting but also to experience the thrills of living in a foreign nation. This page will provide an up-to-date description of the requirements and processes you must complete to work as a nurse in Australia.

Step 1. Check if You Have the Qualifications and Experience to Meet 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 NMBA or Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and the AHPRA or Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. When evaluating your registration application, five factors are used:

Factor 1. Identify proof 

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

  • Your passport’s biostatistical page(s)
  • Documents for a name change
  • A passport-size photo taken within the past six months

Factor 2. English language competency 

Tests of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT, Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic or IELTS are required.

It is not necessary to pass all of these examinations. The findings are only valid for two years following the examination.

IELTS. Applicants must get a minimum score of 7 and a minimum score of 7 in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing, and speaking).

ANMAC will only accept test scores from one test session OR a maximum of two test sessions in six months, provided the candidate meets the following criteria:

  1. An aggregate score of at least 7 in each sitting; and
  2. No component of the exam has a score lower than 6.5.

OET. Applicant nurses must receive a B or above in each of the four test components: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. ANMAC will only approve test results from a single test sitting OR a maximum of two test sittings during six months if the applicant:

  1. Is examined in each session in all four components; and
  2. No part of the test yields a score lower than a C

PTE. Applicants must get a minimum total score of 65 and a minimum score of 65 in each of the four communication abilities (listening, reading, writing, and speaking). ANMAC will only approve test scores from one test sitting OR a maximum of two test sittings in 6 months if the candidate achieves the following:

  1. An overall score of at least 65 in each sitting; and
  2. No one of the four communication skills has a score lower than 58.

TOEFL iBT. Applicants must get a minimum overall score of 94 and the following minimum scores in each exam area: 24 listening, 24 reading, 27 writing, and 23 speaking. ANMAC will only accept test results from one test sitting, or a maximum of two test sittings in six months, if the applicant meets the following criteria:

  1. An overall score of 94 or above in each sitting; and
  2. No sector score is less than 20 – 20 listening, 19 reading, 24 writing, 20 speaking

Factor 3. Satisfy Australian nursing and midwifery education standards

You may be qualified to apply for registration as a first-level nurse in Australia if you have a bachelor’s degree (at level 7) or a diploma (at level 5) from one of the following countries:

Canada

Hong Kong

Republic of Ireland

United Kingdom

New Zealand

United States of America

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

Belgium Flanders

Chile

Pakistan

Papua New Guinea

Singapore

Suppose you just own a diploma from one of the aforementioned countries. In that case, you will be required to have your further education or experience evaluated to see if you are considered equal to an Australian-qualified nurse.

Individual assessments will be required for nurses from nations not listed above to determine if the Board will recognize their credentials and experience. In addition, all applicants are required to provide a graduation certificate as well as essential transcripts.

Factor 4. Professional practice

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

  • Be printed on official letterhead
  • Be written by a nurse or midwife as a direct supervisor
  • Date someone
  • Include an official signature

Factor 5. Show that you are fit to practice in Australia

A nurse or midwife in Australia must prove that they have no previous disciplinary proceedings against them, that they do not have any limitations due to physical or mental incapacity, and that they have no criminal history preventing them from practicing.

Step 2. Submit Your Application for Registration with AHPRA

If you think you will fit the criteria in step one, apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. The form may be viewed and downloaded by clicking here.

Step 3. Get an Australian 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 visa options available. If you can acquire employer sponsorship, one of the visa kinds below will be appropriate:

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

If you do not have an employer’s sponsorship, you can apply for a visa under the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s General Skilled Migration (GSM) rules. Here are more GSM visa options:

190 Visa

489 Visa

191 Visa

189 Visa

491 Visa

If you plan to move to Australia for a working holiday and are between 18 and 30, you can apply for an Australian Working Holiday Visa.

Infographic How to Immigrate and Work in Australia as a Nurse

Skills Assessment for Immigrant Nurses in Australia

An employer nomination scheme (ENS) visa or general skilled immigration will require a skills assessment. An ANMAC (Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council) assesses nurses’ skills. There are three primary eligible processes for nurse skills assessment:

Registration in Australia

If you are an AHPRA-registered nurse in Australia, you can qualify for a “modified skills assessment.” You would be required to produce proof of your registration and your entry-level qualifications. You will also need to prove that you have been registered abroad or enrolled as a nurse in Australia. It is crucial to understand that AHPRA registration is insufficient for skills evaluation; if you want a migration skills assessment, you must go via ANMAC.

Initial Qualifications in Recognised Overseas Country

This would need initial nursing credentials and registration in Canada, the European Union, Hong Kong, Singapore, or the United States.

In addition, you must fulfill the English requirement for the ANMAC skills testing. This may need taking an English exam, but you will be excused if you have studied in specific English-speaking nations for 5 years or longer.

Registration in Recognised Overseas Country

This option is identical to the “Initial Qualification” track. However, it only applies if you are presently registered in the UK, Ireland, the United States, or Canada. In this situation, you can complete your first nursing credentials overseas, but you must demonstrate that you have worked full-time in nursing for at least the past three months in one of these countries.

Is Nursing on the MLTSSL Skilled Occupations List? 

Yes, the MLTSSL Skilled Vocations List includes the majority of specialized nursing occupations. This is a list of medium and long-term strategic skills (MLTSSL). This implies that you may typically apply for temporary and permanent visas if your occupation is on the list.

Temporary visas comprise: 

  • Temporary Graduate visa Subclass 485
  • Temporary Work (Skilled) visa or Subclass 457 
  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa or Subclass 489
  • Training visa (Occupation training stream) or Subclass 407

And, Permanent visas comprise: 

  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) – Direct Entry or Subclass 186
  • Skilled Independent visa or Subclass 189 
  • Skilled Nominated visa or Subclass 190

The Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List includes Aged Care Nurses, Critical Care Nurses, and Emergency Nurses. In addition, nurses who specialize in Mental Health and Surgery can also apply under this category. 

The vocation of Registered Nurses NEC (that means “Not Elsewhere Classified”) is the most typically used nursing specialty when seeking migration to Australia.

Is Nursing on the STSOL Skilled Occupations List? 

Yes, a few jobs are also on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). This list includes Enrolled Nurses and Nurse Managers, for example. When you apply under this category, you usually are applying for the following visa kinds. There are both temporary and permanent visas available.

Temporary visas for Nursing on the STSOL list include: 

  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa or Subclass 489
  • Training visa (Occupation training stream) or Subclass 407
  • Temporary Work (Skilled) visa or Subclass 457

And, Permanent visas include the following: 

  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) – Direct Entry or Subclass 186
  • Skilled Nominated visa or Subclass 190

What Should You Do If You don’t Meet AHPRA’s Requirements?

Suppose your credentials or experience are not recognized. In that case, you may wish to consider applying for a ‘Training visa – subclass 407’ to allow you to participate in a bridging program to develop your abilities.

What is the Difference Between ANMAC and NMBA Assessments?

The ANMAC or Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council is an independent organization that has been gazetted by the Minister for Immigration to undertake skills evaluation for migration reasons. ANMAC evaluates the abilities of IQNMs seeking to migrate to Australia through the General Skilled Migration program.

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) evaluates applications to register international nurses and midwives on behalf of the National Nurses and Midwives Board of Australia. The NMBA governs Health Practitioner Regulations National Law (National Law) as it applies in each state and territory and is responsible for making final decisions on applications.

In reviewing an applicant’s qualifications, ANMAC considers work experience, which is subsequently used to establish fitness for skilled migration. However, the NMBA can only consider an applicant’s qualifications when determining whether their qualifications are essentially equal to an Australian qualification under National Law. As a result, some candidates may be qualified for skilled migration yet fail to fulfill the NMBA’s registration requirements.

Foreign applicants must fulfill the registration requirements and qualifying criteria to qualify for registration.

How Much is the Nurse’s Salary in Australia?

The average hourly wage for Registered Nurses in Australia is among the highest in the world when compared to other countries with excellent healthcare systems. This amounts to an annual compensation of roughly $64,000 for an RN. However, this figure will vary according to the state in which you work.

There are below average salary, high salary, and low salary figures for each state, but these figures do not include the low wages for trainee nurses and the high salaries for executives.

What Type of Nurses Get Paid the Most in Australia?

These loose figures represent several nursing professions and levels of experience. As a result, The Fairwork Ombudsman provides you with guides to help you determine what kind of pay you can expect at each level of your nursing career, including Nursing Assistant salaries, Enrolled Nurse salaries, and Registered Nurse salaries.

Classification

Hourly

Weekly

Registered Nurse Level 1, Pay Point 1

$25.16

$956.20

Occupational Health Nurse – Level 1, Pay Point 1

$27.01

$1,026.30

Registered Nurse Level 5, Grade 6

$55.86

$2,122.50

Occupational Health Nurse – Level 3, Pay Point 4

$35.49

$1,348.80

Enrolled Nurse Pay Point 5

$24.74

$940.30

Enrolled Nurse pay Point 1

$23.52

$893.90

Nursing Assistant 1st Year

$21.65

$822.80

Nursing Assistant 3rd year

$22.37

$850.20

Salaries for Other Nursing Roles in Australia

With such a diverse range of tasks available to nurses, it’s no wonder that those with progressively specialized skills and expertise command the highest salary and benefits. Indeed, technical professions pay some of the highest wages in Australia, with a variety of highly trained nursing roles available in many areas of the healthcare business. Currently, the highest-paying nursing positions include:

Role

Approximate Annual Salary

Neonatal Nurses

$70k to $120k

Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

$70k to $90k

Gerontological Nurse Practitioner

$118k to $128k

Pediatric Nurse

$65k to $70k

Informatics Nurse

$77k to $136k

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

$105k to $130k

Health Policy Nurse

Up to $97k

Pain Management Nurse

Up to $121k

Nurse Educator

Up to $100k

Geriatric Nurse

$70k to $121k

Critical Care Nurse

$75k to $121k

Orthopedic Nurse

Up to $120k

Family Nurse Practitioner

$96k to $137k

Nurse Researcher

$75k to $95k

What are the Benefits of Immigrating to Australia as a Nurse?

Immigrating to Australia as a nurse is growing increasingly popular among foreigners, and it’s easy to understand why: with its sunny environment, typically laid-back culture, and high pay rates, Australia is an attractive location. Do you want to immigrate to Australia as a nurse? Nursing in Australia is an excellent way to begin your career for the following reasons…

Nurses are high in demand

According to 2014 data, Australia is anticipated to have a major shortage of nurses over the next ten years, with 85,000 less than are needed by 2025. However, because the country is attempting to attract as many nurses as possible abroad, several changes will be available to you.

Job security

The role of a nurse is stable as a result of the increasing demand for nurses caused by an aging population. This is especially appealing in an environment where many other companies can no longer guarantee such stability and are often declining.

Opportunities to progress

Nursing is a broad profession with several jobs and disciplines. Each of these branches offers the ability to advance with experience. For instance, on the clinical side of things, you may start as an Assistant in Nursing (AINs) and work your way up to the positions of Enrolled Nurse, Registered Nurse, and Nurse Practitioner.

Work in excellent conditions

Your employment will be made a lot more fulfilling with all significant health employers having contemporary facilities and cutting-edge tech and Australia having some of the best nursing standards in the world.

You can learn a range of skills

Nursing education prepares you for the profession by providing you with all of the necessary abilities, ranging from in-depth health and social science to technology and philosophy. Training will also enable you to specialize in a particular function that you are interested in, such as working in an emergency room or as a midwife. You’ll also improve your communication and social skills, which are essential while dealing with patients.

Become eligible for Employer-Sponsored Permanent Residency

Nursing is a Skilled Occupation, which means you may be qualified for permanent residency after finishing a period of employment in Australia. This is perfect if you have fallen in love with the nation and do not want to leave, as a typical working holiday visa only allows you to stay for a year.

Be at the forefront of medical science

When you come to train and nurse in Australia, you can be confident that you will be at the cutting edge of medical technology and educational facilities. In addition, qualifications from Australian institutions are highly valued globally, so you will have no trouble finding work if you opt to return to the UK.

Similar benefits as an Australian nurse

Opt to move to work as a nurse. You will receive the same advantages as an Australian nurse, such as yearly leave, superannuation, and Government Medical Insurance, which will cover 80-100 percent of medical expenditures.

An employer-funded retirement program

Employers are required by law to contribute 9% of your gross income to a retirement fund that will be available to you when you reach the age of 65. A nurse’s income is about $60,000. Therefore the fund will be worth roughly $5,400 every year, which is particularly appealing when saving for the future.

Ability to work all around the country

With a nursing shortage affecting the entire country, you will be able to choose where you wish to work. Whether it’s the bustling capitals of Melbourne and Sydney or the more isolated corners of the enormous nation, you’ll be able to discover a work environment that suits you.

Let’s Sum Up

You must register with the AHPRA to work as a nurse in Australia. However, in order to register, you must hold a recognized Australian or international qualification. In addition, you must fulfill the English requirements for nurses.

FAQ

Are nurses in high demand in Australia?

Profession planning forecasts for the nursing workforce reveal that Australia’s demand for nurses would vastly outnumber the supply in the medium to long term, with a predicted deficit of around 85,000 nurses by 2025 and 123,000 nurses by 2030 under existing conditions.

Is it possible to work as a nurse in Australia?

Australian hospitals are extremely friendly to our international colleagues, and they value the abilities and knowledge set that nurses offer from all over the world. 

Is it better to be a nurse in the UK or Australia?

When it comes to nurses per capita, Australia leads the pack with 1.59 per 100 people. The United Kingdom falls short once more, with only 1.05 per 100.

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