nursing and beyond

Australian Health services are provided by a variety of organizations and health professionals, including medical practitioners, nurses, allied and other health professionals, hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and government and non-government agencies. Together, they deliver a wide range of services, from public health and preventive services in the community, to primary health care, emergency health services, hospital-based treatment in public and private hospitals and rehabilitation and palliative care.

These health services are supported by many other agencies. For example: research and statistical bodies provide information for disease prevention, detection, monitoring, diagnosis, treatment, care and associated policy; consumer and advocacy groups contribute to public debate and policy development; and universities and health services (among others) contribute to the training of health professionals. Voluntary and community organizations and agencies also make important contributions, including raising money for health services and research, running educational and health promotion programs, coordinating voluntary care, and funding and delivering a range of health services.


In a report published by Health Workforce Australia in March 2012, a shortage of over 100,000 nurses including 80,000 registered nurses was predicted by the year 2025. In the conclusion of the report, the HWA explains: “For nurses, given the size of the projected workforce shortages presented in this report, HWA will conduct an economic analysis to quantify the cost to allow an assessment of the relative affordability of the modelled scenarios to close the projected gap.” Governments, Higher Education and Training, Professions and Employers are also identified as key players in the process of addressing future challenges.


Although both the Federal and State governments in Australia have been trying to attract more candidates to join the Nursing education programs including lowering standards for university entry for BSc Nursing programs compared to International students Australia is facing a huge shortage of nurses both Registered and Enrolled. Given the dire situation which COVID-19 has forced upon the healthcare system and the challenges faced by the aged care system as highlighted by the preliminary findings of the Royal Commission on Aged care this shortage is only going to be accentuated and will need to be met by attracting high quality nursing talent from overseas.

Points to remember for International qualified nurses when considering Australia as a destination

  1. Australian health system is recognised as one of the best in the world and International nurses will gain world class experience by practising in Australia.
  2. Australian nurses are amongst the best paid in the world.
  3. Australia is a great place to live and raise a family. Safe, welcoming and affordable.
  4. Australian nurse registration is recognised internationally paving the way for a global career.

Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

In its interim report, the Commission identified, has a pattern of neglect surrounding aged care that has left services fragmented, unsupported and underfunded. It has highlighted a need for significant reform to improve the quality of aged care and ensure older Australians have access to quality care.

Workforce pressure is expected to persist in the sector as demand for workers grow significantly faster than economy wide employment growth. This will induce wages to rise faster in this sector than the broader economy to attract qualified staff.  

Royal Commission report into aged care prepared by Deloitte highlights the increased focus on the aged care sector and a clear move towards raising the standards of qualification and staffing in the sector. Certain key aspects of the report are as follows.

The report says the additional funding would go towards a wide range of reforms including:

  • Mandatory four-star staffing levels in aged care homes
  • Mandatory Certificate III training for personal care workers and a national personal care worker register
  • Uncapping the number of Home Care Packages
  • Improved access to GPs, psychologists, dentists, and rehabilitation

However, the new system would require 30,000 new full-time equivalent jobs to be filled – or higher given many workers are part-time or casual – plus another 50,000 workers just to meet growing demand. The number of FTE Registered Nurses in the system would need to be doubled – from 22,000 in 2020 to almost 41,000 in 2030 and over 58,000 by 2050.

To attract staff, the paper recommends raising pay rates to be the equivalent of hospitals with a 5.5% a year increase – more than double the economy-wide average – for nurses and other skilled jobs in aged care. The skilled migration program for workers with aged care skills would also be significantly expanded.

New Assessment Model for Internationally Qualified Nurses

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) has announced a new assessment model for the registration of internationally qualified nurses and midwives. An Outcomes-Based Assessment (OBA) pathway has been introduced to replace the old bridging program for nurses who do not possess substantially equivalent qualifications. The idea behind this initiative is to put together a fast track process which ensures that overseas nurses with international qualifications can undertake a streamlined process of assessing their qualifications, work experience and English language competency before undergoing a swift yet transparent OBA process.

The OBA includes both cognitive and behavioral components. It is mandatory to pass the cognitive assessment before the behavioral component is attempted. Cognitive assessment will be computer-based multiple choice questionnaire (MCQ). To attempt MCQ, the candidate must undergo the NCLEX-RN test. The behavioral assessment is in the form of an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Subsequently, the candidate must undergo an orientation program prior to registration with AHPRA. This concerned with the Australian healthcare context.

Regional Push

The Government is encouraging skilled workers to move to regional areas to fill the skill shortage gap and to provide regional areas with more skilled migrants and easing congestion in the bigger cities. It’s advantageous to work in a regional area, for a couple of reasons

  • On a points-based system, candidates are for additional points by working in regional areas
  • Regional visas have priority processing
  • Exemption from the minimum salary required ($53,900) on the new 494 and 491 visas in DAMA

What is DAMA?

It’s a formal agreement between the government and the regional authority to boost skilled workers in specified regional areas. The benefit of working in a DAMA region is that you don’t need to comply with the minimum annual salary of $53,900 (known as the TSMIT – Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold), which makes it slightly easier to apply for the pathway to permanent residency. Under DAMA, you need to be sponsored by the regional area. DAMA agreements currently are available in Northern Territory, South Australia and selected areas in Victoria and Western Australia.

Exploring a pathway to permanent residency after nursing

The following nursing occupations are in Australia’s skilled occupation list, and thus provide an avenue to explore to gain permanent residency in Australia. 

Enrolled Nurse     

Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)

Mothercraft Nurse

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) ROL

Nurse Educator

Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)

Nurse Manager

Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)

Nurse Practitioner

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

Nurse Researcher

Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)

Registered Nurse (Aged Care)

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

Registered Nurse (Child and Family Health)

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

Registered Nurse (Community Health)

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

Registered Nurse (Critical care and Emergency)

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

Registered Nurse (Developmental Disability)

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

Registered Nurse (Disability and Rehabilitation)

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

Registered Nurse (Medical Practice)

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

Registered Nurse (Medical)

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

Registered Nurse (Mental Health)

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

Registered Nurse (Paediatrics)

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

Registered Nurse (Perioperative)

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

Registered Nurse (Surgical)

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

Veterinary Nurse

Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)

Program Background

The International Youth Organization is already involved in assisting international youths to find work opportunities and experiences worldwide and works with many multinational companies. They are also involved in this program in Australia (Global Talent Program), however not in the nursing specialization, and that is why they have aligned with Key 2 Care / Key 2 Learning to promote this new exclusive program. The Global Talent Program has been operating for many years and the Key 2 Care Nursing Program is an extension of the Global Talent Program for overseas nurses. This program allows for nurses to apply for their spouses to join them once they get to Australia.

Key add on in this program is the delivery of a Certificate III in Individual support which is topped up with additional value-added training in critical high demand areas such as:

  1. Dementia care
  2. Mental health
  3. Substance abuse
  4. Palliative care


Providing young qualified international nurses, the certification and opportunity to live and work in Australia in the aged care system and supplement their knowledge and skills by providing inputs in leadership, management and other in demand critical care subject areas for a period of no more than 12 months.


Rightstep Migration in close consultation with its partners and other stakeholders, service providers in Australia will set the program in motion from December 14th, 2020 with the commencement of online delivery of theoretical elements of the Certificate III program as per the course plan.

Documentation and other processes will commence immediately in preparation for visa filing subject to border opening announcement. This is however subject to Government of Australia guidelines and approvals which are currently awaited.

Phase 1 – Documents submission and commencement of Certificate III program

Phase 2 – Document scrutiny, legal opinion, collating sponsorship documentation and visa filing

Phase 3 – Visa decision, preparation for start of practical/work program and travel to Australia

Phase 4 – Start practical sessions and work placement, identify an 11-month employment option.

Phase 5 – Commence paid work deployment and generic/sector specific training elements


  1. BSc Nurses with one year of post qualification and post registration experience
  2. Age no more than 30 years as of 1st June 2021
  3. IELTS of overall 5.5 with no band less than 5.5 in Academic stream

Timelines for fee payments



Fees in AUD

Rightstep Migration Deliverables

Candidate responsibility

Phase 1

December 2020


Cert III program

Undergo online learning

Phase 2

Border opening


Visa filing process

Provide authentic docs

Phase 3

Visa approval


Practical/Work placement

Undergo Australian leg


  • Nursing degree and academic transcripts (Checking whether school and year 12 needed)
  • Passport copies (All pages)
  • Nursing council registration of home country
  • IELTS Score (Scores received either in 2019 or 2020, if NA need one before March 2021)
  • Completed CV/profile in prescribed format and work experience proof
  • Any additional professional awards, certifications, citations etc.


Understand the nature of the program, its goals and expected outcomes and communicate accordingly to prospective candidates

Provide accurate information whenever called upon and submit only authentic documents, testimonials etc. on time.

Ensure payments as per the payment schedule and acknowledge it is non-refundable

Understand visa process and that outcome cannot be guaranteed at any stage

Ensure nurses undergo the online elements of the Cert III program as prescribed by K2L

  Show commitment in letter and spirit to the program in-charge and undergo all elements properly


Rightstep Migration will make the visa application on behalf of the nurse, utilizing the services of accredited and experienced migration agents and lawyers who are proficient in this area in close conjuncture with the sponsor. All efforts will be made by Rightstep Migration and its partners in Australia to secure the visa but under no circumstances can the outcome be guaranteed by RightStep Migration.

Get in touch with us to know more about the process and information.

© 2021 Rightstep Migration. All rights reserved.
Free Assessment