Get Permanent Residency as Registered Nurse in Australia
With the global pandemic Covid 19, the need for Nurses has been greater than ever before.
The whole world is facing a shortage of nurses and so is Australia.
Figures from the Migration Report of the Department of Home Affair show that Registered Nurses are among the top 3 occupations that have been granted Australian Permanent Residency.
In the first quarter of Migration program year 2022-2023, Registered Nurses are still one of the high demand skilled occupations in Australia, not to mention the highest demand for now.
There is no doubt, those Nursing courses in Australia are constantly running out of spots because of its popularity in easily getting Skilled Visa 190 or Skilled independent visa 189.
We are discussing here some information about what different types of nursing professions are available, how to get skill assessment and how to get Australian PR if you are a Nurse by profession.
Qualification to complete as a Registered Nurse
The basic qualifications and level of degrees for Nurses in Australia can be:
- Diploma in Nursing
- Bachelor of Nursing
After completing a Diploma in Nursing from Australia, you may get registered as an Enrolled Nurse or a Mothercraft Nurse.
After completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Australia, you may get registered as a Nurse Practitioner or also called a Registered Nurse
Once you have completed a Diploma in Nursing, you may get entry to practice registered nurse programs via an enrolled nurse pathway in one of the Universities.
An Enrolled Nursing graduate needs to provide to the Registered Nurse education provider:
- successful course completion
- Evidence that they have made an application to the NMBA for registration
- successful registration with the NMBA by the relevant University census date
After getting registered as a Nurse Practitioner, you may study further to get specialization for eg.
254412 Registered Nurse (Aged Care)
254413 Registered Nurse (Child and Family Health)
254414 Registered Nurse (Community Health)
254415 Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency)
254416 Registered Nurse (Developmental Disability)
254417 Registered Nurse (Disability and Rehabilitation)
254418 Registered Nurse (Medical)
254421 Registered Nurse (Medical Practice)
254422 Registered Nurse (Mental Health)
254423 Registered Nurse (Perioperative)
254424 Registered Nurse (Surgical)
254425 Registered Nurse (Paediatrics)
There is a special assessment model for Internationally qualified Nurses and Midwifes (IQNMs) in Australia.
They can undergo either of the two options before being able to get registration in Australia:
- Complete a Bridging Course – this is available only for internationally qualified nurses who have been were required by the National Board prior to 2 March 2020 to undertake a bridging program following an assessment of their qualifications. These IQNMs will have relevant valid documentation permitting completion of an approved bridging program.
- Take the outcomes-based-assessment (OBA) - All internationally qualified nurses and midwives wishing to seek registration in Australia as an EN, RN or Midwife after 2 March 2020, must go through this pathway.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is the assessing body that registers applications from internationally-qualified nurses and midwives makes sure the nurses are trained and qualified suitably for registration within Australia.
English Language requirements for Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia:
Successful completion of at least five (5) years (full-time equivalent) of continuous education taught and assessed solely in English, in a recognized country, which includes qualifications in the relevant professional discipline. Recognised countries are:
- New Zealand
- The Republic of Ireland
- South Africa
- The United Kingdom
- The United States of America
An English test result equivalent to IELTS (academic module) with a minimum overall score of 7 and a minimum score of 7 in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing and speaking).
They do accept English test results from a maximum of two test sittings in a six-month period only if:
- you achieve a minimum overall score of 7 in each sitting, and
- you achieve a minimum score of 7 in each component across the two sittings, and
- no score in any component of the test is below 6.5
After getting registered with AHPRA, you can then get a skill assessment from ANMAC.
ANMAC has 3 different types of skill assessment:
- Modified skills Assessment
If you hold registration as a registered nurse, enrolled nurse or midwife in Australia and/or New Zealand and your name appears on Ahpra’s online public Register of practitioners.
- Modified PLUS skills assessment
If you do not hold current registration in Australia and/or New Zealand but have a 'Notice of in-principle approval of registration subject to proof of identity' letter from Aphra.
- Full skills assessment
If you are a registered nurse in the Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States and also have a minimum Bachelor of Nursing qualification from that country OR If you are a registered midwife from Canada, the United Kingdom or Ireland and have a minimum Bachelor of Midwifery qualification from that country.
We have seen that Nurse is one of the professions which is very sought after at this time. Most of the states are providing state nominations to Nurses.
If you are a Nurse and are looking for Permanent Residency of Australia, this is a very good time to apply for one of the GSM visas.
Sources: NMBA, AHPRA, ANMAC
What Permanent Residency Visa options are available for International Nursing students?
Most popular occupations are in the medium and long-term Strategic Skilled List.
Those have maximum options for a Permanent Residency pathway in Australia either in a skilled visa program or employer sponsorship.
Registered Nurse is one of them.
Post-pandemic Covid-19, Australia is facing a severe skills shortage in the health system. There are thousands of available vacancies in Australia now to help support different clinical areas.
Especially in regional states and territories, Hospitals and Healthcare firms are crying out for Nurses.
Lots of them are working overtime.
Australia is trying its best to invite and grant many visas for registered nurses in the last few years to help address the shortage.
Registered Nurse occupation is in the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List, which is eligible for visa 189
This visa allows applicants to live in Australia permanently with their eligible family members.
This is a points-based visa where applicants only need to calculate their EOI points and lodge EOI on the DHA System.
Then you need to wait for the official invitation from the Department of Home Affairs to apply for the Skilled Independent Visa 189.
Registered Nurse occupation is in the occupation lists of all states/territories. You have more options to apply for visa subclass 190 or 491 state nominations.
These are also called skilled nominated visas or state nominated visas in Australia.
To be invited for those visas, you need to be nominated by a state or territory in Australia.
190 visa is a state nominated visa and it is a permanent resident
491 visa is the skilled regional visa which only nominated people who are willing to live and work in regional areas of Australia.
491 visa is a temporary visa that allows holders to live in regional Australia for up to 5 years and has a pathway to PR 191 Visa once certain requirements are met.
Registered Nurse occupation is listed in MLTSSL so there is the pathway for Australian PR with employer-sponsored visas like 482, and 494 and goes to 186,187 or 191 Visa.
The employer-sponsored visas are less popular for registered nurses as it requires nomination approval from employers and agreement to sponsor workers.
The PR Pathway for employer-sponsored visa normally takes a minimum 3-4 years from Temporary Visas 482, 494 to Permanent Residency Visa subclass 186,191.
Registered Nurse career overview in Australia
Average weekly pay: AUD 1,909.
Registered Nurse is in very strong demand in Australia.
What to prepare to get Australian PR as Registered Nurse?
To practice as a Nurse in Australia, you need to register with AHPRA.
You can apply for registration 12 weeks prior to your course completion.
After getting registration with AHPRA, you can now start to apply for a skill assessment as a registered nurse with ANMAC.
Skill Assessment is compulsory for most skilled visas application.
There is no work experience required for a Registered Nurse. Other occupations need at least 3 months.
IELTS 7.0 or equivalent is required for Registered Nurse to apply for registration and Skill Assessment.
Calculate Expression of Interest points
Make sure you carry a higher than 65 points for 189, 50 points for 190 and 50 points for 491 visa nomination.
You can calculate the points here.
Choose the right location to study
As in the blog topic of "Where to study in Australia for PR", there are certain incentives that a regional state can give skilled migrants which can make a lot differences from a metro state like Victoria or NSW.
Skilled Visa 491 or 190 in NSW and Victoria seems to be more difficult to get for some certain occupations.
However, Registered Nurse has larger advantage than other occupations because of its skills shortage.
To be safe, choosing a regional area to study and work as a Registered Nurse is a better decision in the long term.