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 Department of Home Affairs website, two very useful links are below.

Doctors and Nurses in Australia: Your questions answered

Click on the following links for further information…

Registration

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.

Sponsorship

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…
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And for those looking for professional assistance…
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Get an Assessment for an Australian Visa
{ 505 comments… add one }
  • Adrianna July 23, 2018, 4:39 am | Link

    Hi Bob,
    I’m a Malaysian currently residing in Singapore as a PR here. I just completed my degree from Curtin university in Singapore but my certifications are accredited by Curtin Australia, Perth, how do I go about heading over and my worries towards the paper documents as I was thinking to do the process by myself instead of going through an agent which is costly. Is it a necessary to go through ielts despite having papers ( Degree) and it’s accreditated by Australia University itself?

  • Rita.O May 15, 2018, 6:39 pm | Link

    Hey Bob, I envy you…is all I want to say.
    With all the info you have shared on your website, I have come to the realization that I am and would be stuck here in Nigeria, for a looooong time. Infact, I might live out the rest of my life just having “the idea”. I reeeeally do envy you.

    Wish you and yours all the best.

    • BobinOz May 16, 2018, 9:03 pm | Link

      Don’t give up, according to the 2016 Census, we currently have 8488 Nigerians living in Australia. If they can do it, maybe you can too? 🙂

      Good luck, Bob

  • OMOTAYO AJISOLA April 28, 2018, 5:06 pm | Link

    Hi Bob, i am a nurse from Nigeria and would like to work in Australia. Unfortunately i do not have enough money to travel down there. I would like to know if i can get sponsorship from any hospital in Australia. My qualifications are registered nurse, registered midwife and orthopaedic nurse.
    Thanks.
    Tayo.

    • BobinOz April 30, 2018, 5:00 pm | Link

      Highly unlikely I would think, particularly as, if I’m not mistaken, Nigerian nurses qualifications are not fully recognised in Australia. It is all very complicated, but I think to achieve what you are hoping to achieve would be extremely difficult.

      Check out the link in the above article about how to work as a nurse in Australia for more details.

  • sadasivam banupriya April 11, 2018, 11:33 pm | Link

    hi im a medical student in philippines i would like to know how to work in australia

    • BobinOz April 12, 2018, 8:06 pm | Link

      It’s complicated, but the links in the above article will help you to look into it.

  • Ala March 21, 2018, 9:10 pm | Link

    Dear Bob,
    I’m planning to take up Nursing higher studies in AU. However, I am confused whether to go for Bachelor’s or Master’s. I found I would be able to become a Registered Nurse after higher education in Nursing (either Bachelor of Master). BUT: is it really better to go for Master’s? I want to move to AU ASAP but Master Degree studies begin in February 2019, whereas Bachelor Degree studies begin in July this year. I heard degree is not that important as working experience. What would you suggest?
    I would appreciate your advice.
    Best regards

    • BobinOz March 22, 2018, 8:14 pm | Link

      Sorry, but I actually have no idea. I only managed to scrape together a small gathering of “O Levels”, back in the day. I wouldn’t know the difference between a Masters or a Bachelors if one slapped me round the face 🙂

      Good luck though, Bob

  • 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 🙂

      • Oladeji saheed June 9, 2018, 10:15 pm | Link

        Hello Husky, may I have your email ad.
        I am a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing, Rmental health nurse, public health nurse here in Nigeria

  • 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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