To become a Registered Nurse in Australia you need to complete a 3-year Bachelor of Nursing, which is available at most Australian universities.

You must finish your university-based Bachelor of Nursing program in order to work as an RN. A nursing degree combines theoretical, clinical rotations in a variety of settings, with simulated lab work. Applying to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia is the first step in becoming registered to practice as an RN.


Australia, officially known as the Commonwealth of Australia, is the largest country in Oceania and consists of the mainland, the island of Tasmania, and other smaller islands. It is the 6th largest country in the world by landmass with its capital being Canberra and Sydney, its largest city. As the driest inhabited place, it has varying levels of rainfall and is prone to drought.

It is the 54th most populous nation in the world, with about 30% of its population being immigrants, the largest in the world. The official language is English, making communication easy among the people. Its people are one of the most educated, multilingual, and multicultural, worldwide.

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How to become a nurse in Australia


In March 2020, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) together with the Nurses and Midwives Board Australia (NMBA) changed the qualification and process to become registered as a nurse in Australia if qualified overseas. Depending on which country a nurse is registered with, the AHPRA has put in new criteria to be met.

This Pathway involves 5 stages:

SELF CHECK: This is done to be sure your degree is recognized, accredited and at the same level with the Australian bachelor’s degree. Based on the information provided, you will be allocated into one of the following streams:

Stream A [Register with conditions for supervised practice]

Stream B [OBA]: Most developing countries including Nigeria, fall into this stream.
Stream C [Upgrade qualification through additional study]
For self-check assessment, log on to

CREATE AN ACCOUNT WITH APHRA: Upon creating an account, AHPRA will then assess your qualification based on the information you have provided on the Self-check.
The overview of the steps will then be outlined for you and a case number will be provided.

Pay the IQNM (Internationally Qualified Nurse & Midwives) Assessment Fee of $640 which is non-refundable if you have not satisfied the registration requirements. You
will need to pay this to progress through the assessment stages. You are given 90days from creating your account to pay for the IQNM assessment.

Orientation Part 1 – Once you pay your IQNM assessment fee, you will be able to access this online module which takes about an hour to complete and you are given 90 days to complete Orientation Part 1. You must complete the online module to progress any further in the IQNM assessment process.

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PORTFOLIO: Official documentation to your qualification in relation to nursing must be uploaded into your portfolio. You need the following:

  • a. a copy of course certificate awarded.
  • b. a copy of the academic transcript.
  • c. evidence of any change of name and proof of identity.
  • d. a copy of the original certificate of registration from the original regulatory authority.
  • e. Note that all the copies must be certified. In addition, for all languages other than English, translated copies must be provided.

NCLEX AUSTRALIA AND OSCE: The RN MCQ examination is 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.

Once you have registered with Pearson VUE to sit the NCLEX-RN and AHPRA has made you eligible, Pearson VUE sends an Authorization To Test (ATT) e-mail to the you which contains your unique ID number and an authorization number that you must have in order to schedule their examination sitting. Each ATT e-mail is valid for a designated time period.

The NMBA’s designated ATT validity period is 90 calendar days. Results will be release by AHPRA within (6) weeks of the examination sitting date.

OSCE (Objective Structure Clinical Exam) – The RN OSCE exam consists of 10 stations (or clinical scenarios) that have been developed to test candidates against the NMBA Registered Nurse Standards for Practice. The OSCE is set at the entry to practice level that is expected of a Registered Nurse in Australia. An individual will have to travel on a short stay to write OSCE. Cost of OSCE is 4000 AUD.

REGISTRATION (4-6 weeks): Congratulations if you’ve reached this part! We are cheering you on. A registration form will be filled on APHRA website and will be submitted back with supporting documents.

  • Official documentation for all qualifications;
  • • copy of course certificate awarded (e.g degree)
  • • copy of the academic transcript
  • Evidence of any change of name
  • Proof of identity

A statement of service from your employers covering the past five years or 450 working hours.

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A signed and dated curriculum vitae that describes your full practice history and any training undertaken.

IEILTS (Minimum of 7 in all the modules).
Health and criminal history check.
Application fee of 500 AUD.

You can submit your application for registration and supporting documentation by post at
the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency ( AhPra ) Office in victoria
GPO Box 9958
VIC 3001


Once registered as a nurse with AHPRA, you will need to then secure a VISA to work and live in Australia. There are different types of visa available for Registered Nurses qualified

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

If you are not sponsored by an employer, you can pursue a VISA under the General Skilled migration (GSM) provisions of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.


Australia is one of the best countries in terms of remuneration, given tax consideration. The salary of a nurse in Australia depends on factors such as location (each state offers
different pay rate), the sector type (public or private sector), type of contract, experience, education, and position.

A new graduate’s (Level 1) salary ranges from 61,138 AUD to 91,607 AUD i.e. 33 AUD/hour – 45 AUD/hour. In addition, there is a 15% increment for every afternoon shift, 35% for
night shift, 50% on Saturdays, 75% on Sundays and almost 100% on public holidays.


The quality of life is good as the cost of living in respect to your expenses is relatively cheap and tax returns make the taxation easier with time. The following are also the things Stand to gain.

  • Good security.
  • One of the best healthcare systems in the world.
  • Good educational system.
  • Citizenship is quite fast and takes about 4 years


Usually, your first job is unlikely to be in the cities but generally, their cities are fun, nice, and beautiful with good schools for your kids and safe neighbourhoods to choose from.


Racism is the same as with most western coutries, however its not over there.

The people are generally friendly, chatty, and helpful to strangers and all in general. It’s an EngLish speaking country, so the language barrier isn’t there. Be a respectable member of society and it would be reciprocated. Also, remember that the police are your friend.


Abdullahi Suleiman a Certified Registered Nurse based in Nigeria, an Entrepreneur and Also a Blogger, passionate about Community Development and Cosmetic Nursing

1 Comment

  1. How can I go about my application to work in Australia as a nurse.
    I am a registered nurse in Nigeria, have work experience of 1year.

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