How to Get a Job As a Nurse in Australia

Nurses, doctors and dentists in Australia.

It is true to say that there is a shortage of nurses, doctors and indeed, dentists here in Australia. So how easy is it for those from the medical professions to qualify for Permanent Residency (PR) or an Employer Sponsored nurse Workers Visa?

The popular belief is that it is very easy indeed, but you should bear in mind that there are criteria that have to be met.

  • Your age.
  • Your ability to speak the English language.
  • Your current qualifications and the country in which you obtained them.
  • Your qualifications will need to be assessed by the relevant authority here in Australia.
  • Upon successful assessment, you will need to obtain registration (see more information about this further below) with one of the state or territory nursing registration boards.
  • If you are a GP, you can get more help on my page How to Get a Job As a Doctor in Australia.

I have deliberately been non-specific about these criteria they are subject to change by the Australian Government. For that reason, the best source for up-to-date information is the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration & Border Control (DIBP) website, two very useful links are below.

Doctors and Nurses in Australia: Your questions answered

Click on the following links for further information…


The registration of Internationally Qualified Nurses and Midwives is handled by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. They have a downloadable PDF which can help you with this process. You can get this document from their page called Registration and Endorsement, but there is also a good deal more helpful information on their website, so do have a good look around.


Please see my page about job sponsorships.

More useful links:

The following posts from my blog may be of interest.

Important: Please read before commenting…

And for those looking for professional assistance…

Open a bank account in Australia
{ 494 comments… add one }
  • Jay Chilton March 4, 2018, 6:08 am | Link

    Hi Bob, I am mental health nurse with 6 years experience, from England. I am just on the pathway of gaining the Oz nursing registration. I would love to shoot off to Australia as soon as I gain the registration but I don’t have a visa. If I apply for skilled migration visa, the waiting time is terribly long and I am losing my will to live in the UK any longer! I would like to gain a job offer as soon as I land.Is there any visa I could apply for when I am already in Oz with a job offer? I am 33 years old with 5 year old son. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you x

    • BobinOz March 5, 2018, 6:30 pm | Link

      Sorry Jay but I just can’t answer these kinds of questions about visas, please read the two important notices at the bottom of the above article.

  • Ella February 11, 2018, 8:44 pm | Link

    Hi bob! I am currently an ObGy clinic Nurse working in Saudi arabia for less than 3 years. Can i migrate from saudi to australia right away? If yes, what are the requirements i need to comply? Do you have any idea how much money will I invest for the processing?

  • Tinu Paul November 28, 2017, 2:59 am | Link

    Hi Sir
    I’m a staff nurse from India.Actually I have nearly 4 yrs of experience.For the last two years I was working in Saudi Arabia.Because of some reasons I did not have the Saudi Counsil Licence Card; the registration of Saudi Arabia.Else every documents I have.Can I have chance to work in Australia??

  • Sly November 15, 2017, 10:46 pm | Link

    I’m a Diploma Registered General Nurse in Ghana and I would like to work in Australia please any advice or guidelines for me

  • suchismita November 9, 2017, 1:07 am | Link

    I m a gnm nurse having 7 yrs experience doing govt job…I want to get job n Australia as nurse.. tell me the process

  • Stella October 3, 2017, 6:55 pm | Link

    Iam a registered midwife and I have 10 years working experiences and I love to work in Australia and still complete my nursing education in Australia. Please I want to know if it is possible to get a job there as a midwife and what exams can I take to qualify me to work there.

    • BobinOz October 5, 2017, 9:06 pm | Link

      I’m afraid this isn’t something I’m able to guide you through Stella, it’s actually quite a complicated process and I don’t know how it works. The links in the above article are there to help you though, good luck, Bob

    • Sam February 10, 2018, 8:02 pm | Link

      Hi Stella, I’m based in Melbourne Australia. Studying nursing at the moment. Please email me if you have any queries [email protected]

  • Hansika July 21, 2017, 5:23 pm | Link

    Hi Mr Bob..I have completed three yrs nursing diploma at school of nursing Colombo Sri Lanka.. I have 3 months experience in neurotrauma icu in national hiapital sri lanka..I like to work in Australia and complete my higher studies there and want to be a registered nurse.. can u plz advise me regarding how to do that in a correct way..

    • BobinOz July 21, 2017, 7:41 pm | Link

      If only I knew how to help you, but I don’t, it’s very complicated. Please click on the link ‘I am a nurse. How can I work in Australia?’ in the above article, that should get you started.

    • Husky September 8, 2017, 11:40 pm | Link

      Hi! You must complete a Diploma in Nursing through any TAFE offering that course. Afterwards you can apply for registration and work as a registered nurse and complete the papers to apply for skilled migration visa which leads to PR. Your Sri Lankan qualification might not be valid in Australia so I think you need to first apply for a student visa to Australia and try to do the nursing diploma which is two years. Do this first then get registered as a nurse. After that you can apply for a skilled migration visa 🙂 Be careful of visa agents, sometimes they give you the wrong information as they want to keep you paying money to them for their help. I work in aged care and I have seen many of my international friends get PR after becoming registered nurses. It is MUCH more difficult to get PR through a job such as IT, engineering, business etc because there is so much competition with Australian citizens and too many people apply for these jobs. There is a shortage of nurses so definitely take advantage of this situation. Hope it works out for you 🙂

  • Rashid Ahmad July 17, 2017, 3:19 am | Link

    I want nursing job in Australia I have 5 years experience

  • Aswathy May 1, 2017, 4:01 am | Link

    Hi sir
    i am a nurse in india . I am planning to work 2 yrs in lndia.Because I want an experience certificate. Could u please tell me how can I work in Australua after this??

    • BobinOz May 2, 2017, 6:57 pm | Link

      It’s very complicated, that’s why I have a link in the above article to help, you need to click on that for more information. Look for where it says ‘I am a nurse. How can I work in Australia?’

      • Kenneth mutwiri kirimi May 24, 2017, 8:01 am | Link

        hi am Kenneth from Kenya
        …am a nurse two years experience …I wish to work in Australia ..please help

        • Husky September 8, 2017, 11:43 pm | Link

          Kenneth please read my comment above about the steps to take

  • Betsheba March 22, 2017, 8:19 pm | Link

    Hi Bob, am a registered nurse from Kenya and I have a 4 months working experience. Could you please help on how I can move to Australia and secure a registered nursing job

    • BobinOz March 23, 2017, 8:19 pm | Link

      All the help I can give is in the above article, you need to click through on the nurses link and look into this for yourself. Your biggest hurdle is to get registered to be able to work as a nurse in Australia, I believe some qualifications gained in certain countries are just not recognised here. That’s why you need to speak to the registration authority about your situation.

  • Aniket March 15, 2017, 10:30 pm | Link

    Hi bob, could you please tell me, i am a dentist and being working for two years as well. I am from india. What is the best way to migrate to australia

    • BobinOz March 16, 2017, 6:15 pm | Link

      Like anybody, to migrate to Australia you would need a visa. If you’re not sure how to proceed, you should really speak to a MARA registered migration agent, they can help. My page about Visas will help you find one.

  • Vijay Kumar Singla March 15, 2017, 8:30 pm | Link

    My son is Mbbs. Living in Mount Waverley. On provisional PR. How can he get job and succeed eventually.

    • BobinOz March 15, 2017, 11:59 pm | Link

      Same as in any country. 1) impress at interview and the land the job 2) work really hard at it, go above and beyond.

      Success will follow.

      I am, of course, assuming that as your son has been given PR, then he is already qualified to work in his profession here in Australia. If he isn’t, then he needs to get registered as soon as possible, the links above will help.

  • Lisa March 14, 2017, 7:33 am | Link

    Hi Bob, I am a registered nurse in the uk, wanting to move to Australia with my husband and 3 children. We have been looking at Queensland and hospitals in that location. We have been finding your website really useful. I was wondering if you know whether it is best to register with Australian nursing council first before applying for skilled migration visa or visa first? Thanks.

    • BobinOz March 14, 2017, 9:32 pm | Link

      Hi Lisa and thanks, glad my website has been useful. I wish I could answer your question, but I don’t really know the correct answer. If it’s possible to register with the Australian nursing council first, that’s probably the best thing to do. It wouldn’t be much fun getting here on some kind of visa and then not getting registered and not being able to work.

      Unfortunately though, I don’t know the best way for you to go, but I would suggest you speak to a MARA registered migration agent for help if you are unsure, they know the rules and they will be able to help you. Good luck, Bob

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