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 }
  • Sarah dyke March 4, 2017, 4:13 am |

    Hi bob, fab website-really helpful

    I’m am a registered nurse in the UK and just about to qualify as a Health Visitor, Husband is currently serving in the RAF as an engineer, we are looking along with our 9yr old daughter and two Staffordshire bull terrier dogs to relocate to Oz-looking in to Adelaide for better lifestyle etc..

    Would you recommend a good time to go, and Adelaide prosperous for job opportunities? I’m not sure whether a sponsorship for us both would be better?


    Sarah 🙂 ✈️☀️

    • BobinOz March 5, 2017, 10:17 pm |

      Thanks Sarah, glad to hear you like my website.

      Have a look at my page about Adelaide and have a read of the comments, there’s lots of talk about the work situation there, and it’s mostly not good. Funnily enough though, I think there are opportunities for nurses, so you may be okay.

      The time to do it though, in my view, is as soon as possible. Your daughter is 9 now and the older she gets the harder it would be to convince her to make the move. Ideally you need to get this done before she starts senior school.

      It takes a year or more to sort things out, so if I were you I’d start the ball rolling now. Good luck, Bob

  • Abilasha sharma February 14, 2017, 5:24 pm |

    Hi Bob, This is abilasha,a bsc nursing graduate from india having 6 years of work experience in government hospital and currently pursuing Msc nursing sponsered by the government itself.I would like to work in australia.what all do i need to process with?

  • Moreblessing Kuchenga February 2, 2017, 5:46 am |

    Hi Bob my name is Moreblessing , I am a care giver for the seniors, is it possible for me to migrate to Australia on this profession and what are the requirements. Thank you

  • mercy January 29, 2017, 8:33 pm |

    pls am a nurse midwife from Nigeria his can I apply for job in Australia and are there chances for me

  • Nancy January 25, 2017, 5:37 pm |

    Hai Bob,
    I am Nancy, I am completed GNM nursing from India. I wish to do nursing in Australia. Is there any problem to migrate for GNM nursing Students? Can you Help me to find out what are the procedures to go Australia.

    • BobinOz January 27, 2017, 5:16 pm |

      No, sorry, I cannot help you with this Nancy, you would need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent for help as it says above, see Migration agents. You might also find the links above are helpful as well.

  • KETCHEN HENRY January 16, 2017, 5:22 am |

    Hi Bob, please i am a Cameroonian and I just completed my studies in marketing management with a bachelor degree of technology. Please i wish to move to Australia for studies. I need your assistance. Thanks from KETCHEN HENRY

  • Jill January 13, 2017, 2:17 am |

    Is it best to sign up with an agency in UK before moving to Australia or should I find employment myself?

    Thanks Jill

    • BobinOz January 13, 2017, 4:27 pm |

      Always worth looking into trying to secure work before you get here, whether that be a UK agency or even an agency here in Australia. The most important thing though, I would think, is making sure you have the right to work here as a nurse when you do get here by successfully completing the registration process.

      Links in the article above can help you with that. Good luck, Bob

      • Jill January 17, 2017, 4:31 am |


        Also I don’t know if anyone’s asked this yet but you wouldn’t happen to know, roughly, cost of a permanent working visa (independent) for 1 person. I know someone that is moving over soon and it’s costing £3600 for her, hubby and kids.

        Thanks Jill

        • Jill January 17, 2017, 4:39 am |

          Can I also ask about sponsorship. Does it need to be employer or family that sponsor someone. I’ve got friends of the family that live in Melbourne, not blood related but I call them uncle and aunt as always kept in touch over the years. They immigrated from U.K. 38 years ago, Could they sponsor me? Also my “cousin” Michelle was born in Australia, could she sponsor me?

          • BobinOz January 18, 2017, 12:33 am |

            The prices of each of the visa types, and there are lots of them, are all listed by the Australian Government online. You can find out how to look into each of them and what they cost by watching the video on my page about Visas.

            As for who can sponsor you, you would need to talk to a MARA registered migration about that, see Would I Qualify?

  • Syed January 4, 2017, 9:29 pm |

    Hi Bob, I am a General Practitioner and applying for 186 VISA (Temporary Resident Transition stream). Can you please guide me, which IELTS test should I give (Academic or General) and 5 in each band is enough or I need a higher band. Thanks

    • BobinOz January 5, 2017, 8:24 pm |

      You would need to speak to a MARA migration agent about your situation, I can’t help. Please read my important notices at the bottom of the above article.

  • Samira December 10, 2016, 3:50 am |

    I have a BScN from Kenya just graduated. Wish to migrate to aust. How hard or easy is it for me to get a job there. And what if I migrated to do masters there, would that increase my chance of getting a job in australia, after acquiring MSN in the country?

  • Tanya tucker November 25, 2016, 2:57 am |

    Hi bob , I qualify as a mental health nurse in August. I wish to move to oz with my partner & daughter. I lived on the Gold Coast about 7-8 years ago however, today I am looking for a more family oriented part of oz . And guidance of the best way to apply ?

    • BobinOz November 25, 2016, 9:26 pm |

      I can’t really give you any guidance on this, but I do think you need to try and find a good recruitment company that specialise in nurses, there are a few of them around. You may need to get a couple of years work experience under your belt, although I don’t know that for sure.

      That’s all I know, I’m afraid, but good luck, Bob

  • Fatokun Hannah November 7, 2016, 6:20 pm |

    My name is Ann, i have completed my diploma in nursing in Nigeria and i want to migrate to Australia to work and to commence my in nursing, please what can i do to be qualified for the job and schooling. Please reply

  • Rani November 4, 2016, 11:36 pm |

    Greetings from Jordan. My name is rani battah am from Jordan I 39 age am married. I have 3 kids I love to live their. I work at movenpick hotel as assistant F& Beverage. I have experience 19 years in hotel

  • abale mongo monica November 4, 2016, 2:06 am |

    good evening am abale mongo monica i did a diploma in general nursing and midwifery from india my course go done this year 2016 feb amd am really intersted to work there

  • Sandy September 5, 2016, 1:24 pm |

    Hi! I am a nurse practitioner who is considering Australia. I am confident I can get a sponsored job offer. I need to bring my 21 year old son who is dependent on me. How likely is that?

    • BobinOz September 5, 2016, 5:26 pm |

      My understanding is that if you can prove that dependency then you would be able to include your 21-year-old son in your application. How dependency is defined though and how you prove it, I really don’t know, so under these circumstances I would strongly recommend you consult with a MARA registered migration agent to help you with your application.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Jaspreet kaur August 12, 2016, 2:27 am |

    Hi am jaspreet i finised nursing in 2015 from india after dat am doing job in DMC hospital i got 7 band in ielts i want go to aus plz help in dat case before it i want knw the RN test so plz tell me about this

    • ashton August 12, 2016, 8:59 am |
    • sally October 1, 2016, 8:41 pm |

      Hi jaspreet
      when u apply with Australian nursing board and if they are happy with ur qualification u will get a letter to do a bridging programme in a college in Sydney (3months).U will attend college for 5 weeks then clinical placement in any hospital they choose for 1month.Theory and tests are easy…..clinical placement in hosp will help with orientation to Australian hospital system.u will have one preceptor test where u show ur skills in the ward and last day final clinical assessment where again u will prove ur skills in an 8hr long shift in the hospital.Uwill work along with a nurse and its easy…..Bridging course is easy….don’t worry at all…apply now

    • anil October 10, 2016, 5:03 pm |

      i am international consultant,i have job offers from ireland &australia,no mobile no is removed by admin

      • BobinOz October 10, 2016, 6:19 pm |

        If you are an international consultant, please contact me direct (see link in footer) to provide me with the full details of your business so that I can verify you are legitimate. I have to check this as otherwise how do we know you are genuine?

        Anybody can have a mobile phone number.

        Many thanks, Bob

  • Marao August 11, 2016, 5:46 pm |

    Hi bob
    Im a surgical trainee doctor from Pakistan currently residing in saudia. Me n my husband (telecom engineer) have completed immigration to australia. Now before moving to aussie i want to know how would i go about getting/applying for job in australia either as gp in DMWs or a surgical resident in main cities. What are the portals, and recruiting authorities and whats the best way to contact them or get the best response. Your help will b realy appreciated

    • BobinOz August 11, 2016, 9:15 pm |

      You need to check out my page about Doctors in Australia, you will find lots of useful links and portals which will help you with this. Good luck, Bob

      • Maria August 14, 2016, 8:33 pm |

        Hi! I am interested to work in Australia, I am presently working in the Middle East, can you please send me requirements.. Thank you.

        • BobinOz August 15, 2016, 6:18 pm |

          The information you need is in the above article, you need to click through on the links and read.

    • jipsi September 24, 2016, 10:08 pm |

      Hi Bob,
      I am nurse from India.I have completed my Bsc nursing.I want to migrate to Australia and my husband is a doctor here.I have been advised by an agent here that if I do Bsc for 2 yrs in Australia I would get registered directly to nursing board of Australia and have 2 yr stay back.
      My question is that,do we get enrolled once we complete the course?
      Will I be eligible for PR once I finish the course n get a job.

      • sally October 1, 2016, 8:49 pm |

        I have friends who have done the same once u study bsc nursing in Australia u will get registered as a nurse but u will have to apply as new graduate in the hospital where there is tough competition as many of them passing out each yr.If u cant succeed in getting new grad course u can enrol in nurse banks in hospital where they will send you wherever there is vacancy.or u can choose to work with an agency.It is very difficult to get sponshorship nowadays.if u pass out as a bsc nurse that doesnot mean that u get PR.Any hosp has to sponsor or u have to apply separately which might take years to get.One family I know from india are waiting since 2yrs.she is working as a full time nurse They are still with 457 visa.u can try here but don’t expect anything easy as so many migrants are here it is very difficult process and can be stressfull.gud luck

        • precious October 11, 2016, 3:43 pm |

          It’s not difficult to get PR after two years of study once you meet the criteria. I graduated June 2016 and scored 70 points based on age, English score,regional area study etc. Skills assessment was a breeze as well as PR. It’s only expensive. 3600AUD. You just need to start putting your paperwork together early before your student visa expires I.e IELTS, health examination etc In that case you qualify for post study visa if you studied fulltime for at least 92 weeks. This will give you enough time to process skills assessment. All my colleagues in similar situations got PR as well. Unless the applicant and partner are close to or 50 or didnt meet the health rewuirement.I’m under 30 and was granted PR along with my husband and 2 kids. I didn’t use any agent too.

  • ellie hancock August 6, 2016, 12:06 am |

    Great article! Very encouraging and informative for newly qualified nurses such as myself. I have have recently received a offer to become a community mental health nurse in the AU and I could potentially be starting soon so articles like these are great!

  • Paul July 27, 2016, 7:14 am |

    Hi Bob,

  • Danny Lucas July 15, 2016, 5:54 am |

    Hi Bob, my wife is from Kosovo and she works in Saudi Arabia for 12 years and promoted as head nurse, she got ilets on 2014 at average of 6, is there possibility to migrate with whole family is aussie.

    • BobinOz July 15, 2016, 5:24 pm |

      I couldn’t answer that one Danny, you would need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent about your options. Please read the two important notices at the foot of the above article. Cheers, Bob

  • Phyllis Adabi Owusu-Nsiah July 4, 2016, 11:32 am |

    hi sir
    am nurse from Ghana like to work in your country and i want you to help me
    thank you

  • Bini June 29, 2016, 4:09 am |

    I worked for 3 years in Karnataka state but did Tamil Nadu state nursing council registration 1 year before
    Is my experience valid?
    Can I apply for Australia migration? Am I eligible

  • Saki June 28, 2016, 6:04 pm |

    my mother is a senior nurse in Bangladesh…she has 15 years of experience working in we want to migrate in Australia…can my mother get nursing job in Australia??
    plzz tell me details…if she can what is the process?? and if she cant what will be needed to get a job at nursing sector in Australia??? it would be very kind help if u let me know about this

  • Subi June 19, 2016, 6:49 pm |

    I like to work in australia.lloves it

  • Ahmer raza maish June 4, 2016, 3:15 pm |

    I wana work in Australia any. Work

  • manpreet May 31, 2016, 2:17 am |

    I have just done my bsc.nursing degree & now I want to move to Australia .so,wts the basic criteria for doing further study in Australia for validation of your degree?

    • BobinOz May 31, 2016, 7:55 pm |

      It’s a complicated process and not one I can help you with, but the links in the above article will help you to do your research.

  • Dr shaista raza May 15, 2016, 9:11 pm |


  • kirstie April 25, 2016, 10:28 am |

    loving all your information its been a great help. I have always said since being a kid I want to move to Australia. I had my daughter young (18) she is now 6. I qualified as a mental health nurse September 2015 and have been in my current post in the UK since. My partner is currently studying business management at university and is due to finish January 2017. I was just wondering if capital and savings is needed to move to Australia with a nursing degree? Also if I got a permanent post out in Australia how easy would it be for my partner to come over with me with us not being married?
    Thanks, Hope to here from you soon 🙂

    • BobinOz April 25, 2016, 5:58 pm |

      Hi Kirstie

      Thanks, glad you like it.

      Moving to Australia isn’t cheap, so you will need some capital, but if you are asking me how much you need to satisfy the visa acceptance process, I really don’t know. As for your partner, it depends exactly what you mean by partner, Google “Fact Sheet 35 – Australian immigration de facto rules” for more information.

      If you are unsure about anything to do with this process, I strongly advise that you speak to a MARA registered migration agent. Good luck, Bob

  • jesmin April 24, 2016, 4:08 pm |

    hi,i’m jesmin . i’m from Bangladesh.recently i completed my graduation in nursing andpost graduation in public health.i have 5 yrs experience working in can i get a job in australia.pls help me.

  • Sneha April 22, 2016, 11:29 pm |

    Hi Bob..thank you fa ya reply… Ya Information is very useful…
    I would like to know that how much years experience I need to work in Australia hospital.. I wanna know abt permanent visa

    • BobinOz April 25, 2016, 3:50 pm |

      Then you would need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent about that. Good luck, Bob

  • Sneha April 21, 2016, 4:11 pm |

    Hi , i have completed bsc nursing degree in india., and registered as RN RM. Now am working in delhi Medanta the medicity hospital. I would like to study the diploma Australia.
    Please can you tell me much year experience I need. and please let me know the details about student visa and OET / IELTS.

  • Theresa moras April 10, 2016, 11:45 pm |

    Hi Bob
    I’m a registered nurse working in Kenya with experience of more than 6yrs, will you connect me to a hospital that needs a nurse on full-time.

    • BobinOz April 11, 2016, 8:25 pm |

      No, I can’t help you get a job here, you need to work at that for yourself. The information in my article above should help you. Good luck, Bob

  • omenka chukwuemeka March 15, 2016, 2:34 pm |

    How can wife who is a trained Nigeria with RN,RM, and diploma i Public health relocate to Australia here to join me?

    • BobinOz March 15, 2016, 4:52 pm |

      There is a link in the above article which will help you investigate that, it’s not something I can help you with personally. Good luck, Bob

  • Scott February 12, 2016, 11:09 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    This is a great website! Very useful indeed. Do you know how easy it would be to get a job as a Paramedic in Australia?

    Cheers, Scott

    • BobinOz February 15, 2016, 4:16 pm |

      Thanks Scott. I don’t know how easy it would be to get a job here as a paramedic, I do think you will need to ensure your qualifications are recognised here and you will also need to get registration to work here.

      If you can get all that in place, I’d be surprised if you couldn’t find a job here, and if you agreed to live somewhere regional, that’s outside of the big major cities in designated regional areas, that may open more doors for you. If in doubt, speak to a MARA registered migration agent. Cheers, Bob

  • Bex February 6, 2016, 6:09 am |

    What needs to come first, registering with AHPRA or getting a sponsored job? Ideally I would get sponsored and then register but just want to know if they would want you to be registered before you apply or not.
    Also once you’re registered with AHPRA, do you need to renew this each year? Can it last for as long as you keep renewing it?

    • BobinOz February 8, 2016, 3:14 pm |

      Sorry Bex but this isn’t something I’m qualified to advise on. I think you would be better off speaking directly to AHPRA or a recruitment specialist. Good luck, Bob

  • Anu January 12, 2016, 12:07 pm |

    Hai I have completed bsc Nursing 3rd year,and now would like to work in australia.and I need good salary also.any opportunity is there or no?

    • BobinOz January 12, 2016, 8:39 pm |

      Maybe, but no guarantees. Firstly you would need to ensure that you are licensed/registered and qualified to practice here in Australia and secondly you would need to secure a job for yourself.

      This page gives you advice on how to do that, but I couldn’t possibly calculate your chances of success.

  • Jenifer December 29, 2015, 12:45 am |

    I am studying Bsc Nursing 2nd year and I would like to work in Australia.Could you please tell me about the hospitals that would be good to work…and also about that salary..

    • BobinOz December 30, 2015, 9:53 pm |

      Sorry but this isn’t something I can help with, I just don’t have this kind of information. Good luck though, Bob

    • sumit May 11, 2016, 5:44 pm |

      if anybody need job for nursing to austrlia who completed ielts mail me Email address removed by admin

      • BobinOz May 11, 2016, 5:51 pm |

        I have removed the above posters email address and I strongly advise anybody who has received it as a notification in their email to not get in touch. Gmail accounts are not traceable, you have no idea who you are contacting or what they are up to.

        I suggest anybody looking for work only deals with reputable recruitment agencies and be very wary of anybody who promises a job and asks you to pay some money to make it happen.

        Many thanks, Bob

  • gurpreet ghuman December 24, 2015, 5:55 pm |

    I have complete my gnm in India now I have do diploma in early childhood care.Can I do job in hospital as a nurse in Australia please tell me

  • Most.Delwara Begum November 19, 2015, 4:25 pm |

    I am a nurse.I have completed MPH.I have experience 12 years.can I apply in Australia? How will get IELTS score.

    • BobinOz November 27, 2015, 8:17 pm |

      By taking the IELTS exam. That’s the only question I can answer, you would need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent to find out whether you have any options to apply.

  • Fanuel Chare October 23, 2015, 2:36 am |

    How possible is it to get someone who can help me to get to Australia and maybe will refund later

    • BobinOz October 23, 2015, 7:41 pm |

      No, not possible, not by any way I know of.

  • neriman faesal October 11, 2015, 5:40 am |

    can help please

  • Ramandeep kaur October 8, 2015, 6:45 pm |

    I have recently get all over five in academic Ilets and I am a rgisterd nurse in India with two experience how can I get job in australia

    • Sukhdeep (Sid) Sandhu November 18, 2015, 12:51 pm |

      Hi Ramandeep,
      It is not possible in Nursing atleast as you need to score of 7 in each or other pathways which are really long study options in any English speaking countries.

  • Rajesh September 18, 2015, 10:20 pm |

    Am from India,i completed in Microbiology in 2011 in Indian recognized am as microbiologist in pathological am looking to migrate to
    australia but i don’t know how please give me suggestion

    • Sid November 18, 2015, 12:58 pm |

      It can be done provided you get good IELTS.

      • Peter August 17, 2016, 3:09 pm |

        It would be very difficult because Microbiologist is not on the sol list as far as I know. You should check it to confirm.

  • drali August 20, 2015, 2:58 am |

    homeopathic doctors are eligible for PR or not?

  • Ramandeep kaur August 17, 2015, 8:13 am |

    Hii l am Raman l have completed my gnm before two and recently get five bnd in Ilets please reply me how can l get job in australia

  • Wendy August 17, 2015, 12:53 am |

    Iam a nurse, at the age of 51 is it too late to emigrate to Austrlia?

    • BobinOz August 17, 2015, 8:28 pm |

      I moved when I was 49, wasn’t too late for me, I don’t think you are ever physically too old to move. If you’re asking whether you’ve left it too late to get a visa though, that’s a different question and one only a MARA registered migration agent can answer for you.

      Good luck, Bob

    • Mathu October 3, 2015, 8:28 pm |

      I am 53 years old nurse I would like to work in Australia how to apply for it

  • kamal August 10, 2015, 10:11 am |

    i am jordanian doctor ,finished faculty of medicine in Russia 1993 worked as GP until 6/2003 ,got 4years training Program in Anesthisia and intensive care in hospital,s of MOH.finished successfuly ,uptodate i am working as Anesthetist.

  • ankita August 2, 2015, 5:15 am |

    dear sir,I am ankita patel,age-28 years,Master of science in microbiology and B.ed ( bachelor of. education) ,biology and science teachet,married,have 4 years old son,husband 33 years old,MSC. microbiology,MBA,working in MNC as Quality assurance department as assistant manager.we want to apply for PR,plz help and advice us for proceed.

  • BobinOz July 26, 2015, 11:48 pm |

    Any of you looking to come to Australia to work as a nurse should click on the link in the above article where it says “I am a nurse. How can I work in Australia?” for more information.

    All your questions will be answered there.

    Good luck, Bob

    • jithin September 25, 2015, 8:06 pm |

      hii.. i have a doubt.. which part of Australia offer more nurses sponsorship? Perth or Melbourne

  • joan chepkemoi July 26, 2015, 8:08 am |

    I am kenyan lady, aged 23 pursing Bachelor of science Nursing in kenya.i am in my final year and i am supposed to graduate in December. i would love to work in Australia. In kenya after graduation i am supposed to go for 1 year intern paid though and sit for licensing exam by Nursing Council of kenya.upon graduation i am awarded my degree with Transcripts. what do i need to qualify for a job there? especially after graduation?

  • Harishankar July 15, 2015, 7:18 pm |

    Hii .. I have completed my B.Sc nursing from india ,& got RNRM from INC.
    I wish to migrate to Australia. Please can you give me advise . Reply please

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