FAQs

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Browse our comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions below.

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Work visa and Sponsorships

Can an employer sponsor me for a work visa?

Yes, we have employers who can sponsor eligible applicants on work visas.

What is an eligible applicant?

 Generally:

  1. They are Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) registered nurses.
  2. Two years work experience as Registered Nurse anywhere in the world.
  3. Need an approved sponsor(Australian employer)  to work in Australian.

What is an approved sponsor?

It is an Australian employer who is registered by Department of Home Affairs ( immigration department ) .

How do I find and an approved sponsor to employ me on a work visa?

Nursing Careers Australian work with large number of employers to sponsor overseas nurses.In past we have sponsored over 1000 overseas nurse with 30 approved sponsors.

What other documents do I need to provide?

Once accepted,  we will send you checklist of documents you need to provide. Such as Education, work experience, registration, passport etc.

What is the process of applying for the work visa?

The steps to lodge a visa application :

  1.     We determine the eligibility for sponsorship
  2.     We interview the applicant to find out the nurse and selection criteria of the employer
  3.     We organize and nurse is interviewed by employer.
  4.     If accepted, We provide a quote of professional service fee.
  5.     We lodge Nomination on behalf of the employer .
  6.     We lodge Application on behalf of the applicant .

What is the Employer Nomination ?

Nomination is seeking the approval for an overseas Registered Nurse to fill a position in employer healthcare facility.

What information does Immigration department requires in a Nomination?

The following information:

  1.     Name of the occupation; Registered Nurse
  2.     Employers details
  3. Employer financial ability to sponsor
  4. Location of employment
  5. Proposed base salary of position
  6. Contract of Employment. Terms and conditions
  7. Method of determining salary
  8.     Is the salary equivalent to a Australian Citizen or Resident with the same qualification and experience
  9. Evidence the employer has advertised the position in Australia to suitable Australian Citizen or Resident with equivalent qualification and experience.
  10. Name of nominee (applicant and dependents)
  11.     Evidence that our agency has been appointed to submit the nomination.
  12.     Nominee’s current visa status ( if applicable)
  13. Genuine and full-time position (38 hours/week)
  14.     Task and duties performed by the applicant.
  15. Visa type/Stream
  16. Applicant meeting English language requirement
  17. Evidence of applicant registration, experience and degrees.

What information does Immigration department requires for visa application?

The following information:

  1.     Work experience
  2.     Education/ Qualification
  3.     Registration
  4.     Dependents
  5.     Marriage (If applicable)

When can I get Permanent Residency?

There are various ways to achieve Permanent Residency in Australia. Employer sponsored and Independent. Employer sponsored Permanent Residency is achieved faster than the other pathways

What category of visa is provided by the employers?

Each employer has different policy on sponsoring overseas nurse. Depending on the location and employer you can be sponsored on either of these visas; Subclass 482, Subclass 494 or Subclass 186.

Will employer hire me if I have AHPRA registration in process?

As per government requirements you need to hold valid AHPRA nurse registration certificate to be eligible for sponsorship by the employer.

Documentation Required in Applying for Registration

What is a Practicing License?

An annual practicing licence is a document issued by the nursing and midwifery regulatory authority after payment of renewal of registration fee, is renewed annually

Who can certify documents?

Listed below are the only people who can certify documents submitted to the ANMC:

  •         Legal Practitioner
  •         Justice of the Peace
  •         Peace Commissioner
  •         Commissioner of Oaths
  •         Commissioner of Declarations
  •         Notary Public
  •         Judge
  •         Magistrate
  •         Person legally designated to sign documents from an embassy or consulate
  •         When certifying documents, the above person needs to include the following statement on each document;

“I certify that this is a true copy of the original document which I have seen.”

Signature: Date:

Contact Address: Phone number:

Official stamp or seal if available with address and phone number.

It is suggested that the person who certifies your application form is the same person who certifies all of your documents.

What is a ‘Verification’ of Registration?

A Verification of Registration is a letter confirming registration and good standing of a nurse or midwife.

It is provided by the organisation responsible for the registration of nurses and midwives in your country.

Verifications must be sent directly to the AHPRA to whom you are applying.

Copies of verifications sent by you, or your agent will not be accepted.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

What are the requirements for English Language in Australian Nursing Registration?

Each state has marginally different English language requirements.

However the general rule is;

  •         International English Testing System (IELTS)
  •         Academic Overall Score: 7.0
  •         Band Scores: Speaking,Writing ,Reading,Listening 7.0
  •         Occupational English Test (OET)
  •         Pass at “B” level in each of 4 components
  •         Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic )
  •         Pass at “65” in each of 4 components
  •         An English language test may not be required where an applicant’s nursing or midwifery course was undertaken in :
  •         New Zealand
  •         United Kingdom
  •         Ireland
  •         United States

·         Selected areas of Canada

Relocation after Registration & Visa Approval

How to become a Registered Nurse in Australia?

Becoming an overseas-qualified nurse working in Australia, depends on a number of important factors, including:

  •     The country where you undertook your nursing education
  •     The nursing college/university you attended
  •     Your nursing qualifications and experience
  •     Your English Proficiency Level (Academic IELTS individual band scores of 7.0 or OET B in every band.
  •     first step is to complete a self assessment check on  Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) website. Click here for more info.

Once I am accepted for registration, what is the next step?

Approval of your application for registration may be conditional, that is you will be required to satisfy several conditions before you are given an Authority to Practice.

Why is time so important in applying for Australian nurse registration?

The Australian requirements for overseas nurses are changing frequently, and always becoming more difficult for overseas nurses to achieve.

As an example Australian Nurses Board changed the following;

  • No longer accept Diplomas in Nursing awarded in most countries.
  • Will only accept BSc degrees from recognised universities.
  • Have changed the English requirement to 7.0 in every band.
  • Nursing cannot undertake Bridging courses to gain registration in Australia.

Not applying quickly, or being delayed in your application, may cost you the opportunity to ever become an Australian nurse.

If I apply for registration will I be guaranteed registration?

Success in registering with a Australian Nursing Board will depend on how well you meet the standards above.

No one can guarantee you registration until the Australian Nurses Board assesses your identity, education and registration documents.

Barriers to registration include;

  •     Failure to establish your true identity with government sourced documents
  •     Ceremonial marriage certificates, birth certificates in a language other than English are some examples of documents not accepted.
  •     Changing names, abbreviating names, without government documentation support is a significant problem.
  •     Inadequate documents used as proof of nursing education, registration, English language ability.
  • Failure of Australian authorities to recognise your nursing school or degree.

How do the Nurses Boards of Australia decide if they will register me?

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) assessment criteria is bases in below factors. Contact us to seek clarification for your circumstances

  •     The country where you undertook your nursing education
  •     The nursing college/university you attended
  •     Your nursing qualifications and experience
  • Your English Proficiency Level (Academic IELTS individual band scores of 7.0 or OET B in every band

What is the basic information required by AHPRA to apply for registration?

For overseas nurses, registration can be a process based on verification of documents, such as:

  •         Your identity: Passport & Birth Certificate
  •         Your Nursing Education: Bachelor of Nursing or BSc in Nursing
  •         Evidence of Registration as a Nurse in your home country
  •         Your Nursing work experience
  •         English Language proficiency: IELTS 7.0 all modules
  •         Evidence that you have undertaken Continuing Professional Development (CPD) within the last 12-months

What is the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC)?

 The ANMAC is a peak body established in 1992 to facilitate a national approach to nursing and midwifery regulation.

The ANMAC works with state and territory Nursing and Midwifery Regulatory Authorities (NMRA) in evolving standards for statutory nursing and midwifery regulation.

The ANMAC does not have the power to register nurses.

Is registration as a nurse in Australia necessary?

Every nurse and midwife is required to obtain registration and maintain a current practicing licence (authority to practice) in order to work in Australia as a Registered Nurse /Registered Midwife.

In Australia, registration is granted by each individual state and territory Nursing and Midwifery Regulatory Authority (NMRA).

To register you will need to contact the Nursing and Midwifery Regulatory Authority/Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) in the state/territory in which you would intend to live and work or Nursing Careers Australia, and we will advise you.

Does NCA sponsor me financially ?

No, we do not provide financial support

Question 2

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Australian Nurse Registration process

What is the interim model of assessment for IQNMs?

Prior to the start of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme in 2010, the assessment of IQNMs was undertaken by the state and territory boards. In 2010, Ahpra developed a national model for the assessment for IQNMs. Following a review of assessment processes, the NMBA developed an interim model of assessment for IQNMs which has been in place since 2014. The interim model was based on eight qualification assessment criteria and resulted in a more equitable and consistent assessment of IQNM applications.

The NMBA has moved to a permanent approach in the assessment of IQNMs. Changes under the new model include a reduction in the assessment criteria from eight to three, which took effect in January 2019.

This change streamlines the assessment process; however, the outcomes from assessments remain the same as under the previous eight criteria.

In March 2020, the NMBA transitioned to an outcomes-based assessment (OBA) for IQNMs who hold a qualification that is relevant but not substantially equivalent or based on similar competencies to an Australian approved qualification (and who demontrate they meet the mandatory registration standards). This replaced the need for new referrals to bridging programs.
The NMBA undertook an extensive research project to explore the factors and requirements to establish an OBA which made recommendations that:

● the overall assessment process includes both a cognitive and behavioural component
● the cognitive assessment must be passed before the behavioural component is attempted, and
● an orientation program is established to orientate nurses and midwives to working in the Australian healthcare context.

What is the new model of assessment for IQNMs?

The new model of assessment includes:

  •       the online Self-check for all IQNMs
  •       an orientation program for all IQNMs who are advised to continue with the assessment process, and
  •       an OBA for some IQNMs.

Self-check

The assessment of qualifications continues to be against three criteria.

All IQNMs need to submit their qualification information at Self-check. IQNMs will then be advised of the steps (assessment stages) they must successfully complete before being eligible to apply for registration.

After Self-check, IQNMs who are assessed as holding a qualification that is substantially equivalent or based on similar competencies to an Australian approved qualification (and who can demonstrate they meet the mandatory registration standards), will be eligible to apply for registration following completion of Orientation Part 1. (See Orientation program below for more information). These IQNMs will progress in the process as Stream A candidates.

IQNMs who are assessed as holding a qualification that is relevant but not substantially equivalent or based on similar competencies to an Australian approved qualification (and who can demonstrate they meet the mandatory registration standards), will be required to successfully complete an outcomes-based assessment (OBA) prior to being eligible to apply for registration. These IQNMs will progress in the process as Stream B candidates.

 IQNMs that do not hold a relevant qualification (under section 53 of the National Law) or do not meet the required assessment criteria will need to upgrade their qualification in Australia before being eligible to apply for registration. Their qualification can be upgraded in Australia (through completion of an NMBA approved program of study) or any other country of choice providing the qualification meets the qualification assessment criteria. These IQNMs will be assigned to Stream C.

Orientation program

All IQNMs who are advised to proceed in the IQNM assessment process will need to complete the orientation program in order to be registered in Australia. Please see the Orientation Part 1 and Part 2 fact sheet for more information. There are two parts to the orientation program.

What is the OSCE?

 The Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) is a clinical exam to assess the candidate’s knowledge, skills and competence at the graduate-level nurse or midwife from an Australian NMBA-approved program of study.

https://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/Accreditation/IQNM/Examination/Objective-structured-clinical-exam.aspx

Who needs to complete the OSCE?

Stream B candidates – Candidates (who have successfully completed the Orientation Part 1, Portfolio and MCQ exam stages) must pass the OSCE before they are eligible to apply for registration in Australia.

There are separate OSCEs for IQNMs intending to register in Australia as a registered nurse (RN), enrolled nurse (EN), or midwife.

How should I prepare for the OSCE?

Answer:

The NMBA does not run preparation programs for the MCQ exams or the OSCEs. However, if you contact us we can organize coaching class with our education partners.

All OSCE candidates should ensure they are well prepared before sitting the exam. This may include revising nursing or midwifery theory and practice and becoming familiar with the format of regulatory OSCEs. The content in Orientation Part 1 contains information about practice in the Australian healthcare context.

It is recommended that candidates read the relevant handbook (soon to be published) and the relevant NMBA standards for practice.

How frequently are exams held?

The NMBA and Ahpra continue to schedule OSCEs as possible given the ongoing challenges with government restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are two further exam days scheduled in November 2021 and given the likelihood of government restrictions easing and border openings late in the year, the NMBA and Ahpra hope to increase the number of OSCE days early in 2022.

Can I complete the OSCE online or in another state?

No, the OSCE is an in-person clinical assessment held in Adelaide. The OSCE is completed in a clinical simulation environment to ensure that IQNMs can meet the standard of practice expected in Australia. This is a matter of public safety and ensures a rigorous evidence-based assessment of clinical skills

We acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the delivery of some components of the OBA pathway, including access to Australia and South Australia, which is controlled by Australian governments.

Is registration as a nurse in Australia necessary?Does the Self check cover applicants from New Zealand (under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement Act)?

Yes, the Self-check provides advice for applicants from New Zealand, who are eligible under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act.

Do all IQNM's still need to meet the NMBA's mandatory registration standards?

Yes. All IQNM’s will need to provide evidence of meeting the NMBA mandatory registration standards.

What are the fees for IQNMs?

There is no fee to use the Self-check.

After completing the Self-check, all IQNMs who are advised to proceed in the IQNM assessment process will need to pay a non-refundable assessment fee of $640 AUD. This fee contributes towards Ahpra’s costs in checking IQNM documentation provided, and for the IQNM to undertake their orientation.

IQNMs who are referred to the OBA will need to pay specific OBA fees which are outlined below. (See question ‘How much are the fees for the OBA and where can I sit the exams?’).

All IQNMs who are eligible for registration and meet the mandatory registration standards will need to pay a registration fee and application fee in order to be registered. The current application fee of $300 AUD and registration fee of $175 AUD continues to apply.

What is the OBA?

The OBA is a two-stage assessment process: a multiple-choice question exam (MCQ) and an objective structured clinical exam. IQNMs must pass the first stage before moving to the next stage.

Stage one is a cognitive assessment, which is a computer-based MCQ exam. IQNMs must pass the exam to move to part two of the OBA.

Stage two is a behavioural assessment in the form of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). The OSCE has been developed to assess that an IQNM demonstrates the knowledge, skills and competence of a graduate level Australian nurse or midwife.

Who is the OBA for?

The OBA is the assessment process for IQNMs who wish to register in Australia and who are assessed as holding relevant but not substantially equivalent qualifications (and who demonstrate they meet the mandatory registration standards).

If I get a referral to the OBA, when will I be able to start the process and how long will it take to complete?

IQNMs who hold a current referral to a bridging program can contact Ahpra to request a referral to the OBA instead. IQNMs should contact the Registration Officer named in their referral letter. bridging program referral letter were issued prior to March 2020.

What if I have already started a bridging course?

IQNMs who have already started a bridging course should continue to complete the program.

How much are the fees for the OBA and where can I set the exams?

Cost and locations for the MCQ exam

The MCQ exam is computer-based and is delivered at dedicated test centres. There will be separate exams for IQNMs seeking registration as a registered nurse, enrolled nurse or midwife:

  •       Registered nurses will sit the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) develops and administers the NCLEX-RN through Pearson VUE test centres located in most countries.
  •       Midwives will sit an MCQ exam managed by the NMBA, which will be delivered through Aspeq test centres in most countries.
  •       Information for on the enrolled nurse MCQ exam will be published soon.

Note: IQNMs must be authorized by Ahpra to sit the MCQ exams.

Fees for the MCQ exams are set by the providers and paid directly to them. At the time of publishing, the following fees apply:

  •       For registered nurses, the NCLEX-RN registration fee is $200 USD, plus an additional international scheduling fee of $150 USD ($350 USD in total).
  •       For midwives, the fee is $165 NZD, plus a possible fee for overseas venues.
  •       Enrolled nurse exam fees will be published soon.

Cost and locations for the OSCE

IQNMs who have been referred to the OBA must pass the MCQ exam before they can attempt the OSCE.

The OSCE is managed by Ahpra and is delivered at the Adelaide Health Simulation in Adelaide, South Australia.

The fee for sitting the OSCE is $4,000 AUD. The OSCE fee replaces previous bridging program fees from private providers. This fee pays for Ahpra’s costs in running and maintaining the OSCE. Ahpra and the NMBA are funded only by fees, which must cover all costs of assessing IQNMs for registration in Australia.

Does Adelaide Health Simulation, the NMBA or Ahpra offer preparatory courses for the OSCE?

No. OSCE preparatory courses are not provided by Adelaide Health Simulation, the NMBA or Ahpra.

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I like everything about this country – the people, the living conditions, the culture – and I’m very thankful for Nursing Careers Australia in helping me find a great job so quickly.

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I like everything about this country – the people, the living conditions, the culture – and I’m very thankful for Nursing Careers Australia in helping me find a great job so quickly.

Shankur from Kerala

I like everything about this country – the people, the living conditions, the culture – and I’m very thankful for Nursing Careers Australia in helping me find a great job so quickly.

Shankur from Kerala