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Essential Requirements for Nigerian Nurses Wishing to Work in Australia

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Nigerian Nurses

Australia is one of the best countries where you can practice your profession as a Nurse. In fact, one study revealed it as the 5th best country to practice nursing in the world alongside other countries like Canada, Norway, UK and the USA.

As a Registered Nurse in Australia, you can expect to earn an average salary of about AU$61,000 annually. That is a lot of money when you convert it to Naira. Australia also has a lot of benefits for its workforce and it’s a very peaceful country where you can expect to enjoy your time working there.

To work as a Nurse in Australia, there are a few requirements you would need to meet. This article is a step-by-step guide to help you meet all the necessary conditions and get a visa to live and work in Australia as a Nurse.

Step 1: Proof of Identity

You would need your birth certificate and international passport as proof of identity and age. People who are aged 50 and less are usually favored over age groups so make sure you are not more than 50 years old.

Step 2: English Language Proficiency

The official language spoken in Australia is English Language so you have to take and pass the International English Language Testing System Examination (IELTS). The test comprises of four different categories to test your English Language Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing Skills and you would be expected to score a minimum of seven points in each of the components.

The Occupation English Test (OET) is also accepted but you must score either an A or a B in each of the four components as well.

Step 3: Meet the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Education Standards

Before you can qualify as a Nurse to practice in Australia, you have to meet the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Education (ANMAC) standards through an individual assessment of your skills by the board.

To get your skills assessed by ANMAC, you would need to follow these steps:

  1. Get a certified true copy of the following documents:
  • Colored copy of the bio-data page of your passport.
  • Colored copy of any change of name documents (e.g. marriage certificates).
  • Colored Copy of your educational certificates (BSc. and any other certificates with dates of completion clearly shown.)
  • Any other professional registration certificate.
  • Professional references from an employer whom you have worked with for at least three months. You must have a total work experience of at least 5 years to qualify.

Gather the colored copies of all these documents and head over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja to get your documents certified. You should go with the original documents and the photocopies you wish to certify, along with passport-sized photographs. You would be charged per page and the charges are around N500 per page.

As soon as you get all your documents certified, fill the skills assessment application form online and submit. Then wait for information from ANMAC. You would be required to pay $600 as assessment fees.

Within a few weeks, you would receive a Letter of Determination from the board informing you if you are suitable for migration or not. It is only after you receive this Letter of Determination that you can begin your visa application process.

You must note that you cannot apply for a visa to work in Australia if you receive a letter of rejection from the board. In this case, you might have to apply for a short-term visa to Australia and then take a transition course in nursing to help improve your qualification so that you can reapply.

If you do this, you would be able to increase your chances of getting a positive assessment as well as a Permanent Residency Visa to work in Australia as a Nurse.

Step 4: Register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)

When you complete the steps outlined above and receive your positive letter of determination, you can apply with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) by following this link. All health practitioners in Australia must be registered under this board to be able to practice in Australia.

To pass this stage, you must not have undergone any disciplinary action during your career as a nurse, you must not have any criminal history and you must be physically and mentally fit to work as a nurse in Australia.

Step 5: Start Your Visa Application Process

If you receive a positive letter of determination from ANMAC and you have been registered by the AHPRA, it means that you qualify to work as a Nurse in Australia but it is not a visa or a guarantee that you would be issued a visa. You still need to apply for a visa to enable you travel to Australia to work as a Nurse.

There are two pathways you can follow to get a visa easily:

Get a Sponsor: This means that you would have to get an employer who is willing to offer you a job to work in Australia before you begin your visa application process. There are three types of visas you can apply for if you have a sponsor:

  • Employer Nomination Scheme (Permanent Residency Visa): This type of visa requires that you get an employer in Australia (hospital, clinics, nursing homes) who is willing to offer you a job and nominate you for a visa to work in Australia as a Nurse.
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme: For this one, you would have to be nominated by the government of a region in Australia to work as a nurse in that region.
  • Temporary Business Visa: An approved Australian business can also sponsor you for this visa if they cannot find a qualified Australian citizen or resident to take up this position.

You can get employers to sponsor you by checking Australian job boards such as APS Jobs, Seek, Gumtree, Jobsdb, Careerjet, Australian Jobsearch, Xpat Jobs, My Health Career, Jobs.com.au, Jobseeker, Indeed, LinkedIn, Simply Hired Australia and Glass Door or get an agent to help you find such employment opportunities but you should be aware that this would cost you a lot of money.

As soon as you successfully get a sponsor, they would be able to guide you on the best type of visa to apply for and how to go about the application process.

Apply Under the General Skilled Migration Program

If you are unable to get a sponsor, you can apply for a visa under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) Skillselect program.

If you didn’t get a favorable letter of determination from ANMAC, all hope is not lost as you can still get an Occupational Trainee Visa or a Business Short Stay Visa (Visa Subclass 456) to allow you travel to Australia to acquire more skills and experience that would allow you to qualify to work as a nurse in Australia.