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…


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…

Visa Assessment Service
{ 517 comments… add one }
  • Alina December 4, 2019, 7:08 am |

    My daughter is a Registered Nurse(Bachelor of science in nursing) from Kenya. Can she get a job in Austrilia?

  • celine cicyl michael June 19, 2019, 5:25 pm |

    up to what age we can apply for Australian nurse.

    • BobinOz June 21, 2019, 7:29 pm |

      If you are hoping that it leads to some kind of permanent residency/citizenship, then I believe you must apply before you reach 45.

      Best advice though is to speak to a MARA registered migration agent about your situation, they can have a much better look at your situation and assess your chances.

  • Kennedy Gitari April 5, 2019, 4:39 am |

    Hello sir, am a bachelor’s of science in nursing holder working with the Government of Kenya ministry of Health and Medical services licensed under nursing council of Kenya wishing to work in Australia…whats the process kindly?

    • BobinOz April 5, 2019, 5:00 pm |

      The process is complicated, and not one I can help with. Click on the link above in the article that starts with “I am a nurse” and you will find lots of helpful information.

  • Sajith dilshan January 31, 2019, 4:11 am |

    sir.. I have completed my A/l exam. I followed my A/L exam under the biological science strem..i have good result..i have credit pass for biology and chemistry and i have ordinary pass for physics.. now i want to be a australian male nurse.. how i do it now.. what is the way of it and what are the steps??

  • Nithin October 24, 2018, 6:51 pm |

    Hello sir I want to know what all are the procedure to come Australia . I am from India and i am a bsc nurse.Actully I need a nursing job in Australia .Can you please tell me the all procedures to get RN

    • BobinOz October 26, 2018, 5:12 pm |

      It’s a very complicated process, I couldn’t possibly help you with it, but the links in the above article are there to help you.

  • Juliet October 13, 2018, 5:55 pm |

    Hi Bob, nice job you’re doing. Please am a health promotion officer and have already applied for nomination by Queensland. Which cities are the best in terms of job opportunities and accommodations, because am married with 3 children.

    • BobinOz October 15, 2018, 7:43 pm |

      I don’t know which cities will offer you the most job opportunities, but I do know that there is a huge difference in living costs, particularly accommodation, in our major cities.

      In my view, if you can get work in Queensland, you will have a much better quality of life than if you were to work in the more expensive Sydney or Melbourne. At the moment, Brisbane is offering best value out of our top four cities.

  • Uche August 4, 2018, 4:30 am |

    Hi Bob,
    First I want to commend you for your kind guidance to nurses, secondly, I would like to present my concerns to you. I am nurse trained and registered in Nigeria but also registered in Ireland.
    Although I trained in Nigeria, I also was a BSc (Hons) Nursing from a UK university, I want to know if I am eligible for the full assessment with ANMAC.
    Thirdly, I cant seem to get a reference from my current employer in Ireland, can I get one from my previous employer in Nigeria, I will be glad if you direct me please. Thank you very much.

    • BobinOz August 6, 2018, 7:24 pm |

      I wish I could help, but I’m afraid the process of getting assessed by ANMAC is way beyond me. The only help I can give is through the links above. Hopefully you will find them helpful.

      I would have thought getting a reference from your current employer in Ireland would have been quite important, but again, I don’t know, but hopefully you will be able to find someone who can answer that as well. Good luck, Bob

  • Adrianna July 23, 2018, 4:39 am |

    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?

    • BobinOz July 23, 2018, 6:44 pm |

      Sorry, this isn’t something I can help you with Adrianna, only MARA registered migration agents are able to advise on these sort of things, and I’m not one.

      Of course, you can do everything yourself, you don’t need an agent, but what it means is that you would need to go through all the information available on government websites, the links above will help, and work out exactly what you need to do.

      Good luck with it though, Bob

  • Rita.O May 15, 2018, 6:39 pm |

    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 |

      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 |

    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.

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

      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 |

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

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

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

  • Ala March 21, 2018, 9:10 pm |

    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 |

      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 |

    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 |

      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 |

    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 |

    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 |

    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 |

    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 |

    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 |

      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 |

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

  • Hansika July 21, 2017, 5:23 pm |

    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 |

      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 |

      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 |

        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 |

    I want nursing job in Australia I have 5 years experience

  • Aswathy May 1, 2017, 4:01 am |

    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 |

      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 |

        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 |

          Kenneth please read my comment above about the steps to take

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

    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 |

      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 |

    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 |

      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 |

    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 |

      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 |

    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 |

      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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