Sunday, November 20, 2011

How to Become a Nurse in Australia

It has been six months of working here in Australia as a Registered Nurse Division 1. I am enjoying every minute of it. It was worth all the risks, sacrifices and money that I underwent to be a nurse here. I am thankful for all the people that helped me. I love my job and will continue to serve the sick and the needy. I would like to share also my success to those who would like to be a nurse down under. The following are the step by step process to become a nurse in Australia especially coming from the Philippines. It is also the same if you are from other countries except for some difference of names.

How to Register as a Nurse in Australia


Ø Registration for Nurse Practitioner in Australia is governed by rules and regulations of the following agencies/Board. All information can be found at the following websites:

o Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency – APHRA (

o Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (

Ø Application Guide: All Nurses


o New grad Filipino nurse wanting to work in Australia/New Zealand Part 2 - Nursing for Nurses


1) Years or Nursing Experience Required: at least 3 months as a registered nurse

2) English Proficiency: Register for IELTS Exam.

a. Minimum requirement is a score of 7 in each of 4 components (listening, reading, writing, and speaking). Thus, you may need to prepare thoroughly for this Exam.

b. Testing Dates and Centres are available at



c. IELTS Exam Costs about PHP10,000

d. Results of IELTS Exam shall be available after a month from exam date.

e. Arrange result of the test to be mailed to AHPRA Nursing and Midwifery Board.

3) Apply for registration application AHPRA Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

a. Please see attached Go to FORMS and download Application for general registration (graduated or trained overseas) as a Registered Nurse, Enrolled Nurse or Midwife - AGOS-04

b. Specify which AHPRA office or state in Australia you want to send the application.

c. All documents must be certified true copy. Do not send any original documents.

d. Supply other requirements such as arranging for PRC to send the Verification of License to AHPRA

e. Pay the correct amount of money using a credit card.

f. Wait for three to six months for the outcome of the application, they will contact you via e-mail or snail mail.

4) Outcome of the Application:

a. If approved, you will be required to take the nursing bridging program for overseas nurses. They will give you a list of the nursing schools across Australia.

5) Application for Nursing Bridging Program or Initial Registration for Overseas Nurses accredited by APHRA.

a. Contact accredited schools and inquire about school intake and fees. Most school’s tuition fees are approximately AUD 10,000 to 13,000

b. The Bridging Program has a duration of 2, 3, to 6 months. You may start to look for a school while waiting for your IELTS or APHRA Acceptance Results/

c. Please see attached “Nursing Program of Study – Provider Contacts” for list of accredited schools in Australia in AHPRA website

d. Once you have selected which school to enrol, you should submit all the required documents needed by the school. Each school has its own specific list of requirements. Better check them for accuracy.

e. Schools usually reply fast, once you have forwarded the complete requirements to them.

f. The school will issue a Letter of Conditional Acceptance, which you need to pay the Downpayment for the tuition to make the Acceptance unconditional.

g. Once you have accepted the school, you will need to inform APHRA of your school choice for the Bridging Program.

Note: You have to arrange your own accommodation in Australia. You can ask the school if they offer some assistance. Best option is to stay with your relatives in Australia.

6) Apply for Visa

a. Check requirements here:

b. Lodge your visa either as student, business or tourist visa. It depends on the school’s suggestion of which visa. All these three will allow you to take the bridging program in Australia.

c. Minimum funds to show the immigration is AUD 1500 for each month throughout your duration of stay in Australia. This must be in your account for at least 3 months.

d. Once you have your visa, buy your plane ticket which costs around AUD 700 to 1000, and also buy your health insurance to cover your stay in Australia which costs around AUD 120 or more depending on your health insurance cover.

7) APHRA License

a. Once you have completed the program, your school will forward your grades to APHRA for issuance of APHRA License.

b. The APHRA License will now allow you to practice in Australia as a Registered Nurse, and your name will appear in the APHRA website as an RN. However, licensure and immigration is different. However, you still need a proper visa such as working visa to allow you to stay and work for a period of time in Australia. You need to find an employer to sponsor you on a working visa subclass 457.

8) Job Hunting

a. Apply online in various hospitals in Australia. If you opt to stay in the Philippines, interview shall be done via telephone or skype.

b. However, it is faster that you go back to Australia and get interviewed in person.

Note: All Application and Registration can be done Online. Payment is also done via credit card payment. Getting information on the above steps involves a lot of researching over the internet. Be sure to read all instructions thoroughly.

Good luck!