Becoming a Registered Nurse in Australia from Overseas



I love to share this to you, as a Registered Nurse myself I know the frustrations when I was applying to be a Registered Nurse in Australia, now my country of Citizenship. There are hurdles and I tell you, you will go through a lot of process and requires dose of patience, and persistence but promise you it’s all worth it 😉

Apart from High Annual Income, once registered, you are a priority in getting your permanent residence because of shortage of Nurses in Australia, ability to enhance your Nursing Skills in worlds “Best Practice” health facilities, high quality of life, improve your life expectancy and health, live a happy, fulfilling, peaceful life and be in “the world’s dream destination”. So let me take you to the process in making those dreams into reality.

First Qualification You Need to Have

Before you even gather all your documents make sure you can and would need to pass the English exam, there are 3 exams that you could take, You need to achieve the required minimum scores in one of
the following English language tests and meet the requirements for test results specified in this standard:

  • 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).
  • OET with a minimum score of B in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing and speaking).
  • PTE Academic with a minimum overall score of 65 and a minimum score of 65 in each of the four communicative skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking).
  • TOEFL iBT with a minimum total score of 94 and the following minimum score in each section of the test: 24 for listening 
,24 for reading 
,27 for writing, and 
23 for speaking.

Gather All Your Documents

The next thing you need to provide while preparing for your English exam are the documents needed, which are listed at the AHPRA (click on this for documents needed) website where you can find all the documents you need to procure and guidelines in providing the right documentation.

After you have completed your documentation you will have to await response from AHPRA and you will receive a letter of refusal for Registration and be referred to enroll at either ACN (Australian College of Nursing) or ETEA (Employment Training and Education Australia) to complete the bridging course, once approved they will send you a letter of documents needed to complete prior enrolment. Some Countries would not need to do a bridging course, this can be verify at AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) website.

Other Alternative 

I have interviewed some Registered Nurses from overseas that have gotten their qualification here in Australia just recently and another way to get your qualification is to apply for a student visa related to a Nursing degree and from here you can apply while studying, they would accommodate/prioritise your application base on your experience overseas as a Registered Nurse, and if you have relatives that are currently residing here in Australia.

I recommend that you apply independently, using an agency will only cost you more money, as your application will all be dependent on your qualifications and documents anyway. Incidentally, you will need about $10000 or more for enrolling to complete the bridging course. If you have any questions feel free to comment below, I hope this helps you 🙂

5 thoughts on “Becoming a Registered Nurse in Australia from Overseas

  1. Yria

    Hello there, Kristine!

    Thank you so much for this blog. I am looking into making my way to Australia and have recently become more determined to do it myself. Agencies cost way too much. I am planning to take the IELTS again soon. I heard that the 3-month bridging programs are harder to get into nowadays as they will soon be changed to 2-year long programs. If this is true, any tips on how I can better get a shot at the remaining schools offering the 3-month bridging programs? Any school you know in particular? I am aiming for Melbourne.


    1. Hello Yria,
      Sorry for the late response as I’ve been away. They still offer the bridging course at this time you can check out the AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) Website:
      They consider much of the applicants qualifications and experience, I suggest you apply in a remote area for fast approval, also in terms of school its better to wait for the AHPRA’s approval first as they will be the one recommending which school you will need to enrol for bridging. Any other questions let me know.


      1. Yria

        Hello again, Kristine!
        Thank you so much for your reply! I was not expecting to get a reply anymore until I looked back to clean up my inbox and saw the notification for this one! It is wonderful to hear from you! It’s like you lit inspiration back again into me, you know? I will sure have a lot of questions for you so expect me to be in this section often! Hope you won’t get tired of me! LOL.

        I will check out the link you sent me. Is $10,000 still the estimated cost for the bridging course to this date? I realize I have to save up faster and more seriously.


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