Requirements of Nursing Jobs in Australia

Nursing is a rewarding career. The ability to help someone with your knowledge, skills, and empathetic behaviour is uncommon. More so because nursing courses and jobs are becoming rare in this demanding career. While you search for nursing jobs, you must know that Australia is a home for many opportunities with growing hospitals, clinics, and in-home care services.

Australia is a popular destination for nurses seeking diverse career opportunities and a high standard of living. However, to embark on a nursing career, it’s crucial to understand and fulfil the specific nursing job requirements in Australia. To be specific, these requirements are set by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and other regulatory bodies.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the critical prerequisites for nursing jobs in Australia. We will also examine whether an Australian recruitment company can help you fulfil all the nursing job requirements.

AHPRA Registration: The Gateway to Nursing in Australia

The first and foremost requirement for any nurse, whether trained domestically or internationally, is registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). AHPRA is responsible for the accreditation and registration of healthcare professionals across Australia.

To be eligible for registration, nurses must meet the following criteria:

a. Qualification Assessment:

International nurses must undergo a qualification assessment by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC). This involves submitting academic transcripts, proof of language proficiency (usually through IELTS or OET), and other relevant documentation. ANMAC evaluates whether the candidate’s qualifications match the Australian standards.

b. English Language Proficiency:

Proficiency in English is a non-negotiable requirement for nursing practice in Australia. A minimum score in an English language proficiency test, such as IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or OET (Occupational English Test), is mandatory.

Different visa subclasses may have varying English language score requirements, so you must check the specifics based on the visa you are applying for.

c. National Board Approval:

Once the qualification assessment and language proficiency requirements are met, candidates can apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), which operates under AHPRA. The NMBA assesses the application and, if satisfied, grants approval for the individual to proceed with the registration process.

Types of Registration:

AHPRA offers different types of registration based on the nurse’s qualifications. The primary categories include:

a. General Registration:

This is for nurses who have completed an approved program of study and meet the standard registration requirements. General registration allows nurses to practise in a variety of settings.

b. Specialist Registration:

For nurses with additional qualifications or experience in a specific practice area, specialist registration enables them to work in specialised roles such as mental health nursing, paediatric nursing, or aged care.

c. Non-Practicing Registration:

For those not currently practising but wishing to maintain their registration status, non-practising registration is an option. It allows individuals to return to practice when ready.

Australian Residency and Visa Requirements:

Securing the right visa is critical to working as a nurse in Australia. Common visa subclasses for nurses include the Skilled Migration Visa (subclass 189 or 190) and the employer-sponsored Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482).

Each visa subclass has its own eligibility criteria, and nurses must also meet nursing job requirements in Australia by the Department of Home Affairs.

a. Skilled Migration Visa:

For nurses seeking independent migration, the Skilled Migration Visa is an option. This pathway involves a points-based system, considering age, English language proficiency, work experience, and qualifications. A positive skills assessment from ANMAC is also required.

b. Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa:

Employer-sponsored visas, such as the TSS visa, require a job offer from an Australian employer. Employers must be approved sponsors, and the nominated occupation must be on the relevant skilled occupation list. This pathway often involves a sponsorship, nomination process, and visa application.

Professional Development and Continuing Education:

Once registered and employed, nurses in Australia are expected to engage in continuous professional development (CPD). The NMBA mandates a minimum number of CPD hours to ensure that nurses stay abreast of current practices and advancements in healthcare.

a. Professional Indemnity Insurance:

Nurses are also required to hold professional indemnity insurance to practise in Australia. This insurance protects them against legal liabilities arising from their professional practice.

Cultural Competence and Understanding Australian Healthcare:

Given its diverse population, cultural competence is crucial in providing quality healthcare in Australia. Nurses are expected to understand and respect the cultural backgrounds of their patients. This includes effective communication and consideration of cultural nuances in healthcare delivery.

Workplace Health and Safety:

Adherence to workplace health and safety standards also comes under nursing job requirements in Australia. Nurses must be familiar with and follow the policies and procedures in place at their workplace to ensure the safety of both themselves and their patients.

Ongoing Compliance with NMBA Standards:

Nurses must adhere to the professional standards set by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. This includes maintaining high professional conduct, integrity, and ethical practice.


In conclusion, embarking on a nursing career in Australia involves a multifaceted process that includes meeting AHPRA registration requirements, obtaining the appropriate visa, and adhering to professional standards and ongoing educational commitments. Understanding and fulfilling these requirements is vital to a successful and rewarding nursing career in the Australian healthcare system.

Aspiring nurses should stay informed about any updates or changes to these requirements. Seeking guidance from an Australian recruitment company and professional associations can really make a significant difference.

Find the Best Consultation with New Beginning Skills

As an Australian recruitment company, we at NewBeginningSkills help employers find the best candidates for various nursing roles. In addition, our expert recruiters will also guide job applicants in their nursing careers right from scratch. Whether you are looking for a nursing job, thinking of upskilling or finding visa application guidance, we have got everything covered.

Reach us on our website to learn more about us.