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This article detail some of the steps required to work as a nurse in Australia. More specifically, what is required to pass a skills assessment for a nurse. Nurses are in huge demand in Australia and is an occupation that is on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List. As nursing is on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List, it may be possible for overseas trained nurses to obtain a permanent work visa to Australia, without requiring a sponsor. Only registered nurses are on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List, not enrolled nurses.

Please note that a successful skills assessment does not necessarily mean you will qualify for registration as a nurse to work in Australia. Passing a skills assessment and becoming registered to work as a nurse in Australia are two separate things. Passing a skills assessment allows you to move onto the next steps of applying for general skilled migration.

To apply for general skilled migration as a nurse (permanent work visas subclass 189 or 190) to Australia, it can be broken down to 4 general steps. The first and most important step is the skills assessment. Only general information is provided below and if you are interested in finding out information specific to your situation, feel free to contact Pathway to Aus


The skills assessment is performed by ANMAC and ensures that your education and experience as a nurse reach Australian standards.

To obtain a positive skills assessment you must meet the 5 Assessment Standards:

  • Identity

The Applicant must demonstrate their identity through personal documentation

  • English ability

Must score at least 7 in all aspects of ACADEMIC IELTS or B in all bands of OET (within 2 years of the skills assessment).

  • Education

You must demonstrate that your previous education meets the standards for nursing in Australia.The minimal standard required is a university based bachelor degree equivalent to at least 6 full time semesters.

ANMAC may accept education nursing programs leading to registration from countries similar to the Australian standard including: UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, Singapore, Hong Kong and some European Union (EU) member nations. Please note just having completed a bachelor degree in nursing does not mean you will meet the educational requirement. Only ANMAC can determine if your education meets the Australian standards.

If a nurse did not complete their studies in a country which ANMAC believes is not similar to Australian standard then, the nurse may be able to go through Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)  and find out what needs to be done to become registered or licensed to work in Australia. AHRPA is the organisation responsible for registering nurses to work in Australia. If you are not registered with AHPRA, you cannot work in Australia.

Overseas trained nurses may be required to undertake a bridging program (a short nursing course conducted in Australia) before they become registered in Australia. Once an applicant becomes registered through AHPRA they may then be able to apply for a modified or full skills assessment with ANMAC as they hold a current Australian or New Zealand registration.

  • Professional Experience

The Applicant must show that they hold a current registration/license as a nurse in their home country and have practiced as a nurse within the 5 years before application.

  • Fit to Practice

The Applicant must show that they are a fit and proper person with integrity. The nurse must demonstrate that they have no outstanding disciplinary proceedings against them and also no previous criminal convictions   Approximate Processing time: ANMAC currently lists the standard processing time for a full skills assessment as 12 weeks.   Skills Assessment charge: $900 AUD

  • Provided you pass a skills assessment and have adequate points to apply in general skilled migration you may then be able to proceed with the applying for a general skilled migration visa.


  • If you cannot get enough points to pass a skills assessment, you may still be eligible for other employer sponsored visas including 457 or 187 regional sponsored. To do this, you will need to be registered with AHPRA and have an employer that is willing to sponsor your visa.


Pathway to Aus can assist you all parts of the nurse migration including:

  • Skills Assessment
  • Expression of Interest
  • Lodging Visa Application and
  • Including family members on the visa application.

If you have any questions or are interested in migrating as a nurse to Australia, feel free to contact Pathway to Aus: E: [email protected] P: +61 7 55 265 900 or comment or Enquire below

Work as a nurse in Australia was last modified: July 26th, 2018 by Nick Yock