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Canadian Nurse Interested in Australia

cdnauz cdnauz (New) New


I am a Canadian nursing student (graduating May 2013) interested in working and living in Australia. It has been my goal for several years now to work/live in Australia and I have a few questions. My ideal location to live in Australia would be QLD.

First some background info on myself:

I am a 21 year old nursing student enrolled in a top Canadian University in an accelerated BScN program. The educational prerequisites for the accelerated program was a previous university degree with specific science courses (physiology, statistics, biochemistry, etc). The accelerated program is 2 years and I will be graduating in May 2013 with a Bachelors of Science in nursing, as fully qualified RN (after I take my qualifying exam). I have also have a previously earned bachelor's of science degree in biological science.

My plan has been to work in Canada for 2 years as an RN before working in Australia. However, is it necessary that I have previous work experience in Canada, or would I still be able to be qualified in Australia to work as an RN without it?

Another question is, since I am Canadian, I am able to apply for a 1 year work visa. Would it be easiest to, upon graduation, seek accreditation from the AHPRA then apply for the 1 year working visa? Then I could find an employer to hire (and sponsor me) for a longer term (possibly permanent) visa. I feel that this may be the best option, as I will be able to meet employers face to face and therefore have a better shot at obtaining a job. Would this be an acceptable route to living/working in Australia as a nurse?

Also, there are many companies that assist in (for a fee) relocating foreign nurses to Australia and organizing their visa and work placements. Are these companies a waste of money, or is it manageable to work through acquiring international visas and nursing accreditation on one's own?

Last question: Since my degree is an accelerated one, will this have any bearing on acquiring accreditation in Australia?

Sorry for the wall of text, but if anyone has any insight into how to begin the process of immigrating from Canada to Australia as a nurse please let me know! I visited Australia a couple of years ago, and ever since I have been dreaming of coming back.

Thank you so much.

You'll love Australia! I'm a British Nurse and made the move 10 years ago, firstly to Sydney in New South Wales and now to the Gold Coast in Queensland.

I'm not sure if you're aware of it, but the Gold coast gets a brand new tertiary hospital due to open in April 2013 and Queensland Health are about to start a recruitment drive to obtain about (sorry aboot :-) ) 200 Nurses.

If you can get an agency to help with your accreditation, sponsorship visa and recruitment I would recommend it. Try and go for an agency that won't charge a fee, to you (they charge a finders fee to the hospital). The application process can otherwise seem a bit daunting.

Even if you can't find an agency and that ascent to accreditation and sponsorship looks a little steep, go for it. Plenty of people do it on there own. First get your accreditation from AHPRA. Having it under your belt will look very good on a job application. Most hospitals in Australia are very happy to sponsor your visa. It costs them money though so may try and get you into a contract that secures a partnership with a penalty should you not stay. Not good if you end up wanting to leave and work elsewhere. They will also probably insist on you having private health cover because as your sponsors they would otherwise be responsible for all your healthcare if you became sick or injured.

On a work visa, you would of course get that freedom to work wherever your heart might take you but its worth remembering that you won't be able to work anywhere for longer than three months. Depressing if you just found your dream job and made great friends. Perhaps you should look into obtaining Permanent Residency. It's what I have. It lets you live here indefinitely and you can work wherever you like. And oh... your accelerated degree won't be a problem.

This is an amazing country and Queensland is probably the best state. The Gold Coast is a great place to live and the new University Hospital looks like it's going to be a great place to work.

Hope this is a bit of help. Good luck.

Have a look at the website Welcome to the Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH)

In the last 2 years Australian Universities have supplied more graduates than there were positions for graduate nurses in the health system. Therefore it would be better to get experience before applying to work in Australia.


Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 1 years experience.

I realize this is over a year since you posted now but if you have questions I'm happy to help. The process is beyond tedious and I am going through it now. Sent my application after over a month of collecting data then once it went through they asked for even more things beyond the initial application form. You could apply for places to relocate you but I don't know of anyone who has done this. There's tons of nursing agencies here who pay well but choose wisely. I can't work here yet because of the stupidly complicated application process & they are still demanding more details from me. But in my experience so far there's jobs to be applied for. Some places like I know the Children's Hospital seem to encourage intl applicants. No idea where you're at now but I HIGHLY recommend having experience beforehand which I think you would have by now. Anyways feel free to message me if you have questions about the application process. If you download the intl application form on the AHPRA website you'll see what I mean & what kinds of things you need. Not fun but it is truly a beautiful place to live & work! I'm here primarily for school (masters) but hope to work soon if they ever let me do so :)

Hi, my name is Francois. I am a RN from Quebec and am starting the application process to work in Australia. OMG. This is way more complex then I tough. Could someone help me with the different steps, perharps somebody whOs done it already.

I have a bachelor in Nursing and 1 year of internal med + 6 months of E.R. + 4 months of volunteer medical work in Africa and India.

Thank you for your help!


Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 32 years experience.

Starting point would be the AHPRA website

Hi ! my boyfriend and I would like help in the process. It's the first time i heard about agencies


I just came across your post and would love for you to give me some details and advice on travelling in australia... I am graduating in 2018 from a Canadian University and will have my bachelor of Science in Nursing. I aspire to move to Australia as soon as I can. What is the process like and what do I need to do? If you have the time I would love to correspond by email : ab868872@dal.ca

Hope to hear from you!


@abmac Does your nursing school have a study abroad program? If so, do they have placements in Australia that you can participate in? The university of Saskatchewan nursing college has a 5-week clinical experience exchange program with a university in Australia. It seems like a great opportunity to learn about nursing in Australia before making a decision to move there as a nurse.

For those who have gone through the AHPRA application process, just working on the skills section for my resume. Did you do more general skills such as:

  • Assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating nursing care for patients according to accepted nursing practice and standards
  • Working in collaboration with a multidisciplinary healthcare team to coordinate the care of patients in an acute care environment

Or more specific skills like:

  • Medication administration via oral, rectal, topical, subcutaneous, intramuscular, and intravenous routes
  • Urinary catheter insertion, care, and removal

Thanks for your advice!


To come to Australia, it is easy.

Your Registration and English is ok under mutual agreement with your Board.

You can apply directly for job under 457 visa


Go to Australian immigration site, register under 'skill select' on-line for PR, then you can find a job wherever you like.

Working Holiday is an easy way to enter and fish out the best visa for you.

QlD is tropical and good place and lot of opportunities in rural settings