I am an overseas registered nurse, and I want to become a registered nurse in Australia. How can I achieve this?
Jun 25

I am an overseas registered nurse, and I want to become a registered nurse in Australia. How can I achieve this?

Jun 25

There are two options available for international registered nurses to gain Australian Nursing registration:

Option 1 – Study an undergraduate or a postgraduate course leading to nursing registration in Australia.

The first option is to study a course that leads to nursing registration in Australia. International students holding a bachelor qualification from their home country can choose to study another Bachelor in Nursing course or do a Master of Nursing course. Depending upon the course’s length, it can take up to three years to complete the nursing course with an investment of AUD 80,000 – AUD 100,000. It will take another few months to apply for the registration. 

Option 2 – Apply to become an Australian Registered Nurse based on your overseas qualification and experience. 

The second and easier option is to apply for Australian nursing registration based on the overseas nursing qualification and work experience. By following this process, international nurses can get the Australian Nursing registration in as less as six months. 

Here’s how it is possible. 

In 2019, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) transitioned to an outcomes-based assessment (OBA) system to assess internationally qualified nurses holding nursing qualification relevant to Australian degrees. It replaces the old assessment model and reduces the previous eight assessment criteria to now only three criteria.

The new assessment model includes completing a self-check, attending an orientation, and taking NCLEX and OSCE exams which form the Outcomes-Based Assessment (OBA). The following is a step-by-step process for easier understanding:

Step 1: Self-check and pay IQNNM

The first step is to complete aa free online self-assessment check. A non-refundable deposit of AUD 640 needs to be paid to AHPRA to check the documentation and attend the orientation. 

Step 2: Attend the orientation

The orientation covers information on the entire OBA process, Australian working environment and working as a registered nurse in Australia.

Step 3: Portfolio development

Certified identification document (passport), Australian visa, overseas nursing qualification and proof of address are uploaded to complete the portfolio. 

Step 4: OBA preparation classes

This is the most crucial part of the process. To better prepare for the NCLEX and OSCE examinations, we highly recommended international nurses to take the preparatory courses. The course will help build confidence with the NCLEX strategies and strengthen critical thinking skills with online interactive sessions. 

Being one of the sought after provider for the OBA course, we offer intakes every month so you can start your preparation at your preferred time. The total preparatory course duration is 12-13 weeks with the following schedule:

Module I – NCLEX-RN Preparation 8-10 weeks (Online Classes)
Module II- OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination)Preparation Three weeks (Blend of Online and face to face)

The preparation course cost us AUD 5,500.

Step 5: MCQ Exam (NCLEX for registered nurses)

A computer-based exam, National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), is administered by the National Council State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) through Pearson VUE test centres. The total cost for appearing in this exam is AUD 526.

Step 6: Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

Students can attempt the OSCE only when they pass the NCLEX exam. Currently, this test is delivered at the Adelaide Health Simulation in Adelaide, South Australia. The fee for sitting the OSCE test is AUD 4,000. 

Step 7: Apply for registration 

Once a student clears both NCLEX and OSCE tests, s/he can apply for the registration with AHPRA and NMBA. 

The cost involved in the process

Below is the breakdown of the total expected cost

Self Check AUD 640
OBA preparatory course AUD 5,500
NCLEX fee AUD 526
OSCE fee AUD 4,000
Total AUD 10,666


Comparing the total investment required in terms of time and money, OBA is the best pathway to gain your Australian Nursing Registration. To clear your NCLEX and OSCE exams in the first attempt, join our OBA preparatory course taught by the industry’s experienced tutors.