How to get your Australian nursing license…a daunting task.

My application documents all done and ready to be sent! And now we wait…

I am having nightmarish flashbacks just thinking about how to write up this post, but I must do it…for you adventuring types out there who have wondered the same thing. And because I have a few friends who have already asked how, I can refer them to this neatly typed up post. This post specifically applies to nurses educated and licensed in the USA!

First, go to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s web page (or click the link) and download the application for Internationally Qualified Nurses (under the Forms section of the Registration and Endorsement tab). The form is the AGOS-40. http://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/Registration-and-Endorsement/Forms.aspx

Fill out all the boxes- these can get a bit confusing. It will ask for proof of identity– you just need to attach a notorized copy of your passport to the application for this section. **Once you receive confirmation of your approval for licensure (by email), you have to verify your identity in Australia in person before they issue an actual license! I have seen on some job application websites that you can still apply to places with the approval- as long as you go verify in person when you arrive there.

Next, get your qualifications in order:

– This means having your state board of nursing send a verification letter stating that you indeed are licensed as an RN in that state. They send it directly to AHPRA (the board).

– Have your university transcripts sent to you in a sealed envelope or in notorized format.

– In addition to the transcripts, you will need to contact the office of the Dean at your school of nursing and request a signed letter by the dean (or by proxy) that stated that your classes were ‘Taught and assessed in English’.You will also need a letter that breaks down your nursing classes into which classes were taught/how many credits were awarded in Theory and in Clinical hours. They also want to make sure you were taught “Aged care” (geriatrics or adult care). I also had my Dean’s assistant write a brief desciption of each class. They send this to me in sealed envelopes.

– In order to not take the english language test, you instead can verify that you were taught in English for at least 5 years. So you may also need to contact your high school Principal and request a similar letter (depending on how many years of undergrad you did). No transcripts necessary for this.

– Notorized copies of your Diploma from both university and high school.

– Write a CV (resume). Be sure to list any gaps in practice. Include each area/specialty you worked in and a description.

– Have your supervisor, or all supervisors in the last 5 years, write you a reference letter. Be sure to state whether you worked full time or not. Original signed copy is probably best.

– Let’s hope you don’t have any criminal history, because that requires quite a bit of additional paperwork that I can’t help you with.

Lastly, attach a check/credit card information for a whopping $540. Send it to the AHPRA address of the state you wish to work in- addresses are located on the application document. The license is good for all of Australia though. The license is an annual registration so if you register between April 1 to May 31, the license issued will be good until May 31 of the following year.

* The last few pages of the application have a good breakdown of what you need to attach.

I have copies of all the documents I used, if you would like I can email them to you. The whole process took me quite a while (like 2 months) to get ahold of everyone and get the necessary documents together. Once sent off, it took a couple weeks to get there and then I received an email saying they had received my application and my credit card was charged. The Board then sends a letter of your approval, and you can get your license once you are able to prove your identity in person with a passport and visa.

Hooray! My approval letter.

Hooray! My approval letter.

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3 responses to “How to get your Australian nursing license…a daunting task.

  1. I took a bridging course since I started off as an RPN (LPN equivalent in the states) to RN. I had to get verification of accreditation and school forms from 3 different educational institutions. WHAT A DRAG!!! How long did it take for you to receive your license once they emailed you saying they got your application?

  2. Theyve also changed the process. The course descriptions and clinical/theory hours need to be sent directly from the schools. They also require us them to state that pharmacology was taught and that drug administration was witnessed.

    • Hi ruby i’m in the process of applying to AHPRA for registration
      where did you find out information that course descriptions etc need to be sent? I haven’t found this info anywhere, and have your school provided all the information?

      Thanks faye

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