How to Become a Registered Nurse in Australia

Nurses in Australia are educated much like in the U.S.
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Nurses are in great demand in Australia as well as the U.S. In fact, as of 2011, the Australian government has put nursing on its "critical skills shortage list," meaning eased immigration requirements plus educational incentives for students taking up nursing as a career. Australia has two tiers of nurses -- enrolled nurses who are roughly equivalent to American licensed practical nurses or vocational nurses -- and registered nurses who have earned a bachelor of nursing degree.

    Step 1

    Earn a bachelor of nursing degree. Australia will accept nurses with bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degrees or other equivalent foreign nursing degrees. Coursework includes physiology, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, nursing practice, ethics and law.

    Step 2

    Complete your nursing internship or supervised practice. Nursing students spend several weeks in rotations working with experienced nurses in their last semester or two of nursing school.

    Step 3

    Register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Until 2010, individual states and territories regulated registration of most health practitioners, but with the new national scheme, there is only a single national registration agency that works with the various professional boards.


    • The Australian government offers scholarships for nursing students. The Royal College of Nursing, Australia is the administrator for a number of nursing and midwifery scholarships funded by the Department of Health and Aging. Undergraduate and postgraduate nursing study scholarships and fellowships are available.


    • The Australian government is encouraging the immigration of foreign nurses by reducing the immigration red tape burden, facilitating registration and offering permanent residency.

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