Your Nursing pathway to Australian Migration

You may have heard that becoming a Nurse can be an easy pathway to living and working in Australia? Whilst this may be true, it is perhaps not as quick and easy as maybe you are hoping for. Australia has a migration points system.

Your points will be based on your age, qualifications, English language ability, experience, along with a number of other deciding factors. If you lack work experience in Nursing, studying in Australia is your option to becoming a Permanent Resident and to later on becoming an Australian citizen.

There are a few requirements that you will need to satisfy to migrate to Australia as a nurse. Australia has a step 3 migration process:

1. You must hold a recognized Nursing qualification.

2. You must obtain a positive Australian skills assessment for Registered Nurses.

3. You must lodge an expression of interest (EOI) and wait for an Invitation from the Department of Home Affairs or State Government before you are eligible to apply for the Visa.

Permanent Resident Pathway

After completing at least 2 years of studies in a university in Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, you will be eligible to apply for a 485 visa (post-study work) with unlimited work rights. However, if you undertook and completed at least 2 years of study in a ‘Regional Area’ such as the Gold Coast and Adelaide, you can be eligible for an additional 1 or 2 years of the 485 Visa (a total of 3 or 4 years). After the 485 visa (post-study work), you will likely have great potential to become a permanent resident with visa options for Subclass 189 or 190.

For 189 and 190 visa subclasses, you need to have a minimum of 65 points under the Skilled Migration Point Test. The more points you are able to secure, the higher the chance for you to apply for a 189/190 Visa. For the 190 visa, you need to have a state/territory nomination; you do not however require a nomination for a 189 subclass visa.

In Financial Year 2020-21, Registered Nurses received the highest quota (17,859 places) among hundreds of skilled occupations in Australia. Also, under the current COVID-19 pandemic season, most states and territories in Australia prioritize the State Nomination (190 and 491 Visa) for Registered Nurses.

Would you like to know more about the PR Pathway to become a Registered Nurse? Please contact our Registered Migration Agent for a Free Eligibility Check!

Careers and Outcomes

Nursing offers employment opportunities in Australia and overseas, in general and specialist areas such as emergency, pediatrics or mental health, and in other areas including community health, in-home care, school health, alcohol and drug dependence, and the armed services.

Average Salary of Registered Nurse in Australia:

The average hourly pay for a Registered Nurse (RN) is $33.52 (Annual Salary: $64,734). Generally, your salary will be increased with each increasing year of experience.

If you would like to know more about specific nursing programs or specific universities qualifications, please feel free to fill out the below Enquiry Form, our professional staff will contact you as soon as possible.

Study Nursing in Australia

Your very first step must be to a gain a formal Nursing qualification. Studying nursing in Australia  is the safest and easiest way to get that Australian recognized qualification. You will also gain a valuable 15 points for obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Australia plus another 5 points for studying at least 2 years in an Australian university.

Do you have a nursing degree in your home country but have no work experience? Then studying Nursing will be the best course to undertake. You can stay and work in Australia while you are studying your degree.

You may not necessarily need a Nursing degree in your country to become an Australian registered Nurse. However, there are some differences if you do already hold a bachelor’s degree. Here are the study options that you can choose from:


1. Study a Diploma of Nursing + Bachelor of Nursing = 3 or 3.5 years

You can study a Diploma of Nursing at TAFE or other colleges and then enter the 2nd year of a Bachelor of Nursing at any University of your choice (some of our key partners include Griffith University and Queensland University of Technology). Whilst undertaking a Diploma, you will build basic knowledge and skills in becoming a Registered Nurse, and you will also take part in placements (these can be paid or unpaid). Placements will prepare you for your Bachelor studies and career. After completing your Diploma, you can register and work as an Enrolled Nurse.

An Enrolled Nurse is a supervised second level nurse and will be working under the supervision of a Registered Nurse.


2. Study Bachelor of Nursing = 3 years

A second option is that you can start studying at the University of your preference right away on a 3-year Bachelor degree. There are also Regional area universities including University of the Sunshine Coast, University of Southern Queensland, Central Queensland University, Flinders University, University of South Australia, Charles Darwin University, which will give you an extra 5 points for your Skilled Migration Points Test.


3. Study Bachelor (Graduate Entry) = 2 years

This option is for you if you already have a Bachelor’s Degree in any field. You will need to check the requirements for each University, some of the Universities offer a 2-Year Graduate Entry qualification; these Universities include QUT, USC, Flinders, and UTS


4. Study Master of Nursing = 2 years

This option is for you if you want to study Nursing at a Master’s degree level or for additional registration purposes. Some universities that offer Master of Nursing include QUT, The University of Queensland, Monash University, and The University of Adelaide. With this program, you can clinically specialize in your preferred area such as Intensive Care Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Aged Care Nursing, Critical Care, and Emergency Nursing.


Estimated Tuition Fees to study Nursing in Australia: $36,000 per year.


During your studies, you can work up to 40 hours / fortnight (i.e. 20 hours / week). There are a lot of job opportunities in Australia’s health-related industry. However, do not take this as a guarantee that you will easily find a job as conditions are a little challenging at this time. You also need to check for the availability of any position offered in your area.

From 2021, all schools in Australia providing Nursing degrees will require applicants to have an IELTS 7.0 in all four bands or equivalent before commencing their Nursing studies.

Contact our professional Education Counsellors if you are interested in studying nursing in Australia!


To obtain a Skilled Visa such as Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa, 190 Skilled Nominated Visa or 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa, a positive Skills Assessment for your nominated occupation is compulsory.

Once you graduate and obtain your Nursing qualification, there are just TWO STEPS that you must undertake to obtain a positive skill assessment for a further visa.


First Step: Become an Australian Registered Nurse with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) by:

Passing the Australian Federal (AFP) Police Check

  • Passing the English language skills test

  • IELTS: Achieve a 7.0 in all sections of the test (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in one sitting. N.B. You can do a maximum of two test sittings in 6 months, given you have achieved a minimum overall score of 7 in each sitting, AND you have achieved a minimum score of 7 in each component across the two sittings, AND you have no score below 6.5 in any section.


Please Note: the English language skills test is not limited to IELTS alone. You can also take PTE, TOEFL and OET (for Nursing only).

Other English Language Equivalencies include:

  • PTE: Minimum score of 65 total AND each section (listening, reading, writing and speaking)

  • TOEFL: Minimum total score of 94 with a minimum score of 24 for listening and reading, 27 for writing; and 23 for speaking.

  • OET (for Nursing only): Minimum score of B in each section (listening, reading, writing and speaking).

  • Successfully completing a Bachelor of Nursing

  • Also, you only need to pay $175 (as of 2020-2021) for the Nursing registration fee to AHPRA.


Second Step: To pass the skill assessment with Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC), you need to:

  • Register as a Registered Nurse in Australia. Please see the first step.

  • Successfully graduate from the nursing-related tertiary qualification

  • Pass the health examination

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