Nurses are in high demand in Australia as there is a shortage in some areas of the country, therefore visa applications for this sector usually receive priority processing.  There are generally more opportunities for nursing employment in regional, lower populated areas of Australia i.e. outside of the main cities, where there may be a skills shortage.


Australia is generally reported to have good working practices for nurses and hospitals have low nurse to patient ratios.  It is worth noting that if you are moving to Australia from the UK or another country, you may need to get used to using different medical terminology.

In order to work as a nurse in Australia, applicants must be registered with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Board – The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). A skills assessment and health examination are also required and English language considerations will also be relevant to your application. The requirements are often subject to change so make sure to check the relevant websites for up to date information.

There are many visa options open to nurses moving to Australia ranging from employer sponsored visas, skilled migration, working holiday, training and research visas and student visas.

A working holiday visa can be a good option if you are aged between 18 and 30. This visa will allow you to work for six months and stay in Australia for 12 months.

Specialist recruitment agencies such as Nurse Jobs Australia, part of Healthcare Australia and Seek  can be used to search for nursing jobs as well as applying directly to hospitals. A further useful source of information is  the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council – ANMAC .

Useful Links

Western Australia – Skilled Migration list for 2013 / 2014

Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection