Nurses who have trained and qualified in another country other than Australia have to be assessed by the Australian Nursing Council (ANC) on their overseas qualification when seeking registration in Australia. The assessment may be conducted directly through interview at the National Board’s Office or through an Australian Government office overseas (Nurse In Australia 2010).
Forms for application are always available at the ANC offices or Australian Government offices. Therefore, a qualified nurse who is interested in registering as a practitioner in the country has to obtain the application forms and complete them. After completing the application forms, the person has to submit the form together with his or her qualification documents to the Board’s office. This has to be done in person or submitted via email. A prescribed fee has to be paid while submitting the application forms and the documents.
The documents required during application include the degree, diploma or certificate that was obtained from the educational institution or hospital where the course was undertaken (Swingshift Nurses 2007). Accompanying these are transcripts and sometimes records of the education program(s) which were undertaken during training, and issued by the institution/hospital where the training took place.
These transcripts should show the details such as the theoretical content of the course, duration of the course, number of lecture hours in each unit/subject (Swingshift Nurses 2007). The transcripts should also give evidence for clinical experience in terms of number of weeks or days in every clinical area covered (Brutish Nursing 2008). Finally, they should also include the language of instruction (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency 2011 (b)).
The applicant must also submit his or her initial certificate of registration from the country where he or she had trained or attained the qualification(s). If this can not be obtained, then verification is sent to the nurse regulatory authority of the country where the training was undertaken (Swingshift Nurses 2007). The Board also sends a direct verification to the applicant’s current registration in the country where he or she last practised (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency 2011 (b)).
The applicant is also required to present his or her identity; meaning that current passport or birth certificate has to accompany the above documents. In case of name change, the applicant can provide marriage certificate or any other document that can prove the change. Finally, the applicant must also provide proof of work experience (Brutish Nursing, 2008).
After submission of these documents, the applicant requiring assessment is given a letter informing him or her of the requirements needed to qualify for the registration should the application be considered by the National Board (Swingshift Nurses 2007).
A nurse who wishes to be considered for registration, but has a non-English speaking background, has to undergo English language proficiency test. The Australian Nursing Council (ANC) ensures that applicants who had been trained in education systems in which English is not the first language demonstrate their proficiency in English (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency 2011 (a)).
The ANC only recognizes two types of English proficiency tests which are; the Occupational English Test (OET) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency 2011 (b)). In whichever test chosen by the applicant, an overall pass mark must be attained in order to be approved by the ANC.
The aim of the assessment process is to provide the applicant with an orientation to the healthcare system of the country. For an applicant to be registered, he or she must demonstrate ability to work as a registered nurse in the country.
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (a), 2011, Registration requirements. Web.
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency(b), 2011, Overseas practitioners. Web.
Brutish Nursing, 2008, Nursing in Australia & New Zealand. Web.
Nurse In Australia, 2010, National registration for nurses. Web.
Swingshift Nurses, 2007, Nurse registration information: NBV overseas applicant information. Web.