How to Be a Registered Nurse in Australia
If you are looking at working in Australia as a nurse, then you have made an excellent career decision. Australia is a beautiful country to live and work in, and due to the present deficit of skilled nurses in the country, there will be no dearth of employment opportunities for you here.
With one of the best healthcare systems in the world, you will find that you can gain meaningful work experience as well as enhance your opportunities for seeking higher education in healthcare.
Do check out all the prerequisites, however. Read on for an overview of some information that you should know before you start the process leading to immigration and employment as a nurse in Australia!
There are some governing bodies that lay down mandates for nurses who wish to work in this country. To qualify for registration, international applicants must meet the minimum qualification benchmarks and registration standards set by these agencies.
In order to work as a nurse in Australia, you must apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). A second agency AHPRA, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, on behalf of the NMBA, assesses applications for registration from internationally qualified nurses. Again, the NMBA is governed by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, which governs each state and territory, and reviews the final decision on each application. Each state and territory in the country have its own nursing and midwifery regulatory board, which is responsible for regulating the profession.
Some nurses may also be required to apply to the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection for a visa.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) reviews and assesses the skills of internationally qualified nurses who wish to migrate to Australia under the General Skilled Migration program.
In some cases, nurses may be approved for skilled migration by the ANMAC but do not meet the registration requirements of the NMBA. This is because ANMAC considers work experience in assessing the applicant’s qualifications and uses this to judge a candidate’s suitability for skilled migration. The NMBA is only permitted to consider an applicant’s qualifications to establish whether their qualifications are equivalent to an Australian qualification. This often throws up the confusion for those nurses who want to migrate to Australia.
There are many courses that you can take to embark on your career as a Nurse in Australia. The Diploma of Nursing is a course that leads to registration and employment as an Enrolled (Division II) Nurse in Australia. Having completed this course, you can study further and gain the requisite experience to work towards a Registered Nurse (Division I) Nurse Qualification. Internationally qualified nurses may also be required to undertake the IRON Course that gets them up to date with local health care norms and current practices in the medical environment in Australia.
As a nurse, plenty of career opportunities are available across a range of health areas in the public and private sectors. You can gain full time, part time or casual employment in hospitals, clinics, healthcare institutes, and private homes or in community services. Wages and work environments will vary based on your qualifications, experience and the state or territory you are seeking to work in. You can seek jobs through a reputed nursing employment agency.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Arvin Alindogan working in Institute of Health and Nursing Australia (IHNA) is one of Australia's premier providers of quality education and training. The Institute's key areas of expertise and course delivery are nursing, health and community services such as aged care, disability support and early childhood education and care, with research and development underway into new areas such as health management and English Language studies.