Here is a selection of some of our most common questions we get asked by our working holiday nurses to help you find out more about nursing in Australia. However, if you have a question that is not on the list below then please do get in touch with the team and they will be able to help. No question is too silly and it probably won’t be the first time it’s been asked!
1. What do I need to work in Australia as a nurse?
2. When should I apply for AHPRA?
3. How early can I apply for AHPRA?
4. I currently hold registration in New Zealand, is the process the same?
5. Is there an age limit to work in Australia as a nurse?
6. What fees will I need to pay before I get to Australia?
7. Will I be required to sit an English Test? Such as an International English Language Testing System (IELTS)?
8. I’d like to travel and nurse around Australia – can Healthcare Australia accommodate this?
9. I’d really like to travel and nurse in Australia, but I’m travelling by myself and feeling unsure about it all.
10. What is Regional, Rural and Remote nursing?
11. Useful links
To practise as a health professional in Australia, whether it’s as a nurse, doctor or allied health professional, you will need to be registered with AHPRA – Australia’s Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. You will also need a valid visa that gives you the right to work in Australia or hold a New Zealand Passport. Healthcare Australia’s international team can guide and discuss with you with how to apply for AHPRA and also what your visa options are. Healthcare Australia don’t charge applicants fees, it’s all part of our friendly service.
You should allow plenty of time to gather the necessary documentation and also complete the application form. An AHPRA (Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) application is quite complex and requires various pieces of information from different sources. The application process differs depending on your profession. For Nursing, it’s a paper work application process and the average application takes approximately 3 – 4 months to process. It may be quicker or may take a lot longer, it depends how comprehensive and complete your application is. Our international team can offer “do’s and don’ts” for a complete comprehensive application. We advise that you speak to them before you complete your application.
It depends on your travel plans. For Nursing, after your application has been assessed and approved, you then are considered to be approved in principle. You then have 12 months to attend an AHPRA office from the date of your approval letter to activate your registration. The more time you allow for you AHPRA application the better, we see quite often people misjudging the time and arriving in Australia without being able to practice.
If you hold registration in New Zealand, you may be able to apply under the Trans-Tasman agreement rather than applying as an international applicant. The Trans-Tasman process is a much quicker process.
There is no age limit for a nurse applying to AHPRA but different visas have different age limits. There is no maximum employment age to work in Australia either.
There will be fees payable for your Visa and as you will be working in the healthcare industry you will also need a medical for the visa which will also be a cost. There are also fees for AHPRA and these vary depending on your profession.
This depends not only on the registration you are applying for but also the visa you are applying for. For Nursing, not everyone is required to sit an English Test for AHPRA. Whether you need to sit an exam is determined by where and how you were educated. You may need it for a visa, but not all visas required an English Language Test. Contact the HCA international teams to see what your circumstances require.
Healthcare Australia is a national agency with 14 offices across Australia and also a Regional, Rural and Remote team. We have every part of Australia covered and you only need to register once with Healthcare Australia as we will then transfer your file to where you are travelling and nursing. There is no need to reapply again, you only need to satisfy the local states requirements which our HCA staff can guide you with.
Thousands of nurses have travelled and worked with Healthcare Australia before or used them to find permanent nursing positions. Our international team can put you in touch with a forum of Nurses who have either already completed their adventure, currently on their travels or still in the preparation stage. On the Working Holiday Nurses Facebook group you will be able to share tips and seek advice and get real information from others who are walking the same path. Also our dedicated and experienced international team can also provide assistance where needed.
Working in locations beyond the metro areas can open up great nursing career opportunities and be extremely rewarding, allowing you to experience a different side of the Australian culture. You have the chance to truly make a difference by helping to improve the health and lives of Australians living in rural and remote areas. Above all, as a Remote Area Nurse (RAN) you’ll work with very different cultures and experience a unique lifestyle in some of Australia’s most beautiful and iconic places.
Contracts can vary in length from a few weeks to a few months, contact HCA’s Regional, Rural and Remote team today to find out more!