How To Become A Registered Nurse In Australia From Overseas: A Complete Guide

Choosing to work as a nurse in Australia is a big deal not only because Nursing is a highly sought-after job in Australia but also, because the salaries nurses in Australia are paid are very mouthwatering. Imagine the annual full-time salary of a nurse in Australia being around 65,000 Australian dollars. So, if you are thinking of how to become a Registered Nurse in Australia from overseas, this article is for you because you will get every relevant information that can help you navigate this nursing path as an international student in Australia.

How To Become A Registered Nurse In Australia From Overseas

The steps outlined in this article will begin from the most essential thing you need to know about working as a nurse in Australia.

English Proficiency

As one who is thinking of how to work as a nurse in Australia, your English knowledge should be the first thing on the cards. How well can you write or speak in the English language even though there are nuances in the Australian English? Generally, if you can communicate in basic English, this is good enough.

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In fact, this will have to reflect in your IELTS score, which shouldn’t be less than a 7. But, before we run off, in Australia, there are two categories of nurses. One is the enrolled nurse, and the other? A registered nurse.

Who is a registered nurse in Australia?

A registered nurse is a nurse that has finished an undergraduate degree in Nursing at any Australian university. The job of a registered nurse is among the jobs recognized in the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills list (MLSSL). By implication, the registered nurse role is a highbrow profession in Australia.

What are the responsibilities of a registered nurse?

The primary role of a registered nurse is to create and change a patient’s health plan depending on the patient’s peculiarities. Asides from this, a registered nurse in Australia works in liaison with other health professionals in coordinating patients’ healthcare. These registered nurses also evaluate, strategize and implement an healthcare plan in line with the standard nursing practice.

Registered nurses in Australia provide treatments and therapies if necessary while following through on the patient’s response to them. As a registered nurse in Australia, you must answer the family and friends of patients about their treatment and care. This would mean that you are also supervising the work of enrolled nurses and health care workers.

How to become a Registered Nurse in Australia from Overseas

It would be best if you had at least earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing in either Australia or overseas to become a registered nurse. This is very compulsory. However, the Bachelor’s degree in Nursing you were awarded abroad is only valid after you have taken the Bridging/IRON course. This program would take you between three and six months, and the cost is between AUD8,000 and AUD14,000.

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This course, among the other relevant documents must be completed before you can register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).

Just so you don’t get things muddled up, we will outline the steps it takes to become a registered nurse in Australia from Overseas.

  • Presentation of ID cards and criminal records.
  • Proof of English Proficiency with a score of less than 6.5 or 7 in academic IELTS.
  • Letter of determination by AHPRA.
  • Bridging/IRON course certificate.
  • Proof of work experience as a nurse abroad.
  • Proof of AHPRA registration.
  • Employment in a hospital or healthcare center with a sponsor Visa and the chances of getting a skilled Visa.

Who is an Enrolled Nurse?

An enrolled nurse in Australia is a health professional who has finished, at minimum, a diploma in Nursing. They are the first port of call for patients in any healthcare facility. This role highlights their importance in the healthcare system even though they play a subsidiary role to registered nurses in the hospital environment.

What are the responsibilities of an enrolled nurse?

As an enrolled nurse in Australia, you are to work under the supervision of a registered nurse. Apart from assisting registered nurses, enrolled nurses in Australia also prepare and implement treatment care according to standard health practices. Enrolled nurses provide medical advice and training to the parents of infants.

As touching this same infant, bathing, changing, and feeding infant is one of the standout responsibilities enrolled nurses in Australia carry out.

How to become an enrolled nurse in Australia

It is necessary that for you to become an enrolled nurse in Australia, you must have finished a Nursing diploma. To complete this particular diploma, you would have to take a two-year VET course which anyone is at least 18 years old and also holds an upper secondary school diploma is eligible to take.

Requirements to become a Nurse in Australia

Apart from an excellent academic IELTS score of 7, you must have at least three years of work experience in your home country. Also, you must have taken some medical tests like blood tests and chest x-rays. While to work as a nurse in Australia, it is only fitting that you must have been registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, AHPRA.

Nonetheless, there are skillset you need to develop as a nurse in Australia or anywhere in the world. For instance, as a nurse you should be big on communication. Patients are easily ticked off when the nurses they meet don’t know enough to speak warmly to them. Moreso, nurses need to learn how to take the initiative especially in emergencies when the patient’s life is at stake.

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Perhaps, another skill nurses need to learn as they work is willingness to work without supervision and also the willingness work in a team. Certain situations might call for one or the other, or possibly even both.


If we are honest, the road to working as a nurse in Australia can be a long and frustrating one especially when you consider the amount of money that goes into funding your education. But, in the end, the immediate employment and high salaries are enough respite for all the initial troubles. Even more, there are projections that in the coming years, the demand for nurse will rise.

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