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Nursing courses in Australia

Do you love working with and helping people? Are you after a career that allows you to make a positive mark on someone’s life? Nursing could be a great fit for you. Here are some reasons why you should consider pursuing nursing and start your journey towards a successful career.

Exploring a pathway to permanent residency after nursing

You'll be happy to know that the following occupations are in Australia's skilled occupation list, and thus provides an avenue you could 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)

The Government is encouraging skilled workers to move to regional areas to fill the skill shortage gap. It's advantageous to study in a regional area, for a couple of reasons

  • On the points-based system, you would benefit from an additional 5 points by studying in a regional area
  • Regional visas have priority processing
  • If you gain work in a specified DAMA regional area, you would be exempt from the minimum salary required ($53,900) on the new 494 and 491 visas

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.

If you have questions on studying nursing in Australia or in a regional area, contact your local IDP office to arrange a free appointment.

Why study nursing?

Contribute and make a difference

It’s a great feeling to make a difference to someone’s life. Nurses help people improve lives, give comfort and provide better disease outcomes.


Nursing skills are transferable. You can move anywhere in the world and work in a variety of sectors. From the front lines in trauma care to working in public health or in a community health setting, you can choose from many specialty areas.

Nursing Job Working Hours 

Nursing offers you flexible working arrangements. Days, evenings, nights, weekends, full-time or part-time, your hours are adaptable and can vary from 4 – 12 hours.  

Stimulating work

There’s really no such thing as a typical day in the eventful life of a nurse. You’ll have numerous opportunities to learn something new every day, keeping you on your toes and motivated. Good news is you’ll not be sitting down all day, staring at a computer.

Nursing demand In Australia

Nurses will always be in demand. As the world’s population continues to grow, the shortage of skills in nursing are likely to increase even further over the next 10-15 years. The elderly population is also living longer than ever before which in turn increases the need for skilled nurses to improve patient satisfaction, enhance the quality of life and provide higher standards of care, especially in rural and remote areas.

Age is nothing but a number

It’s never too late to become a nurse. It can be a second career and many employers appreciate previous work experience in nurses who are new to the job. There are many fast track courses that allow you to accelerate your way into the workforce as an Enrolled Nurse.

Leadership and collaborative partnership opportunities in nursing

Nurses are offered many chances to team up and work with other healthcare professionals. They also get the opportunity to lead teams and organise patient’s care - planning, evaluating and implementing programs. It’s an ideal career option for those who prefer a job that provides a lot of independence, collaborative and leadership opportunities.

Countless specialties in nursing

Nurses can rotate through fields that interest them or specialise in one area. From paediatric to maternity, you’ll have a variety of specialties to choose from. If you’re seeking new experiences, you can also consider becoming a travel nurse, school nurse, camp nurse, military nurse, public health nurse and pursue unique job opportunities. If you’re not sure what area is a right fit for you, making a switch is simple once you get your nursing degree.

Why study nursing in Australia?

Australian universities are globally recognised for their courses in teaching nursing. Did you know that Australia has been identified as having 11 of the world’s top 50 institutions that teach nursing for 2022 by the QS World University Rankings.

Healthcare is one of Australia's fastest growing employment sectors and the demand for healthcare services will continue to increase, given Australia's aging population. It's no surprise that nursing is highly sought after because it offers a stable and rewarding profession. Nurses experience a strong job satisfaction from the help they provide patients.

The fields of study in nursing are diverse with nurses helping patients through the more difficult times of their lives. Skills needed are compassion, good communication, as well as the theoretical and medical practical knowledge. The benefit of studying nursing is that you can work in Australia and other parts of the world easily.

Upon completing your degree in nursing, you can join the AHPRA, the professional body for nursing in Australia. The benefits of joining such an organisation are the opportunity to network with other professionals and job opportunities. Furthermore, you receive the recognition of the qualification in your field and can continuously develop your skills and knowledge.

Nursing in Australia: Overview

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Nursing courses in Australia 

Diploma of Nursing/ Certificate IV

You can get into the workforce and learn the skills to work as an Enrolled Nurse anywhere in Australia with the Diploma of Nursing or Certificate IV of Nursing. The course will typically take 18 - 24 months to complete and equips you with the basic knowledge, competencies and skills you require to be eligible to apply for registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Authority (AHPRA) and Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. Through this course you will be able to work in a variety of nurse settings, and you can continue studying to complete a Bachelor of Nursing.

Entry requirements:

Institutions have different entry requirements, so read the course information on their website carefully and contact us if you need any advice or assistance.

Applicants generally are required to have

Bachelor of Nursing 

Bachelor of Nursing offers you the knowledge, skills and understanding you need to become a skilled and effective registered nurse in the Australian healthcare environment. It trains you to provide high-quality nursing care in multiple settings and become ethical, critical and creative thinkers.

You will also expand your skills in assessment and clinical decision-making, professional communication, cultural and diversity awareness, research and using modern technology.

Entry requirements:

Applicants generally are required to have:

Institutions have different entry requirements, so read the course information on their website carefully and contact us if you need any advice or assistance.

Master of Nursing

If you’re ready for postgraduate study and want the necessary skills to prepare you for career progression in your chosen field, in a clinical or research setting, the Master of Nursing is for you. The course is ideal for those who want to work across a broad range of specialisations and health care environments.

Entry requirements:

Master of Nursing

Applicants generally must hold an approved degree or equivalent qualification and must be registered nurses in Australia. Applicants who are registered as nurses in a country other than Australia must normally hold an approved degree or equivalent qualification.

Master of Nursing Science

Applicants must generally hold an undergraduate degree in any discipline, or equivalent, completed not more than ten years prior to the date of application; or an older undergraduate degree and either more recent graduate study that demonstrates current capacity for graduate study or five years of documented relevant work experience.

Master of Nursing Practice

This course is an entry-to-practice degree that offers a professional nursing qualification for individuals who have gained a non-nursing undergraduate degree. It is not a postgraduate degree for individuals who are already nurses and who wish to undertake study to advance their practice or who wish to pursue a research pathway.

Institutions have different entry requirements, so read the course information on their website carefully and contact us if you need any advice or assistance.

Top Universities to study Bachelor of Nursing (based on QS ranking)

University of Technology Sydney

A Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Technology in Sydney is 3 years in duration. Subjects covered off are behavioural science, physical science, ethics and subjects related to modern nursing practise.

Find out more about studying with UTS

The University of Sydney

The Bachelor of Nursing (Advanced Studies) develops a comprehensive understanding of professional nursing practice. Advanced studies underpin all elements of this program, cultivating leadership and enhancing your understanding of the international healthcare landscape.

Find out more about studying at the University of Sydney

Monash University

Monash Nursing graduates are sought after worldwide due to the quality of evidence-based teaching and clinical practice experience they receive. The Bachelor of Nursing provides students with the knowledge and clinical skills to provide high-quality nursing care.

Find out more about studying at Monash University

The University of Queensland

UQ's Bachelor of Nursing is a respected and innovative program developed in consultation with healthcare professionals. It takes a narrative and inquiry-based approach to learning and integrates lecture-based study with clinical placements in major hospitals.

Find out more about studying at UQ

Deakin University

Deakin’s Bachelor of Nursing gives you the knowledge, skills and ethical understanding you need to become a competent and successful registered nurse. This course prepares you to provide high-quality, safe, patient-centred care in a range of settings, with clinical placements starting from year 1.

Find out more about studying at Deakin University

Griffith University

When you study nursing at Griffith, you combine extensive experience with the key skills required to deliver excellent nursing care. You'll develop those skills through clinical placements that start very early in your degree and range across a variety of health services sectors, with fantastic opportunities to undertake rural, remote and overseas placements in areas of nursing practice that are of interest to you.

Find out more about studying at Griffith University

Nursing Career Opportunities

1) Nurse Researchers

Nurse researchers work in hospitals, medical clinics and research laboratories to conduct research at a nursing level. They produce and plan their own studies and seek out and examine data. These results are then reported and published. The data collected is highly sought after and is used to save lives and help other medical professionals successfully perform their job.

Connect now to find out more about Nurse Researchers’ prospects and pathways

2) Registered Nurses (Mental Health)

Mental Health Registered Nurses are highly skilled nurses who can function independently and collaboratively in advanced assessment and treatment of mental health conditions. They also have the skills and authority to diagnose conditions, order and interpret diagnostic tests, initiate referrals to medical specialists, prescribe appropriate medications and provide counselling and psychotherapy. Mental Health Registered Nurses can be found working in public, private, community and primary health care settings.

Connect now to find out more about Registered Nurses (Mental Health)

3) Registered Midwives

Registered Midwives are registered health professionals who have acquired the appropriate qualifications to practice midwifery. They work with women to give the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postnatal period. They are trained in the birthing process and deal capably with any adverse situation including seeking medical assistance when required. They can also commence emergency procedures in the absence of medical help and provide care for a newborn infant. Registered Midwives educate and provide health counselling for the woman, family and community.

Connect now to find out more about Registered Midwives

4) Registered Nurses (Anaesthetic)

Registered Nurses (Anaesthetic) are mainly responsible for administering anaesthesia before a surgical procedure. They also take care of a patient’s healthcare needs before they receive the anaesthesia. This includes discussing the possible effects of anaesthesia to the patient, observing the patient’s vital signs during the operation and managing the patient’s recovery from the anaesthesia.

Registered Nurses (Anaesthetic) work alongside surgeons, dentists, doctors and other healthcare professionals to ensure safe administering of anaesthesia to a patient.

Connect now to find out more about Registered Nurses (Anaesthetic)

5) Registered Nurses (Paediatrics)

Registered Nurses (Paediatrics) provide the specialist skills and have technical knowledge needed to care for newborns, infants and children across a range of clinical settings, including intensive care units and special care nurseries. They also give interventions, treatments and therapies such as medications, and monitor responses to treatments and care plans.

Connect now to find out more about Registered Nurses (Paediatrics)

6) Registered Nurses (Surgical)

Registered Nurses (Surgical) provide nursing care to patients with injuries and illness that require surgical intervention.

Connect now to find out more about Registered Nurses (Surgical)

7) Registered Nurses (Disability and Rehabilitation)

Registered Nurses (Disability and Rehabilitation) provide nursing care to patients recovering from injury and illness and assist and facilitate patients with disabilities to live more independently.

Connect now to find out more about Registered Nurses (Disability and Rehabilitation)

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Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I enrol in Bachelor of Nursing Course in Australia?

Each university will have their own procedures and enrolment requirements, and this can show differentiation depending on the education provider.

An International student applicant must have the following:

  • proof of English language proficiency
  • valid student visa and valid passport
  • academic transcripts and qualifications from the home country
  • students may provide work experience statement, reference letter from universities or professional registration if applicable.

What qualifications do I need to complete to be an Enrolled Nurse?

All course leading to the national registration as anurse or midwife is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). Complete a diploma qualification to enter the workforce as an Enrolled Nurse. The list of accredited programs are available form the NMBA website.

Which universities provide midwifery course in Australia?

You can study specific midwifery courses in Australia, or as a double major with nursing. See state breakdown:


Monash University: Bachelor of Nursing and Bachelor of Midwifery

Deakin College: Bachelor of Midwifery

South Australia:

University of South Australia: Bachelor of Midwifery

Flinders University: Graduate Diploma and Bachelor of Midwifery


University of Queensland: Bachelors of Midwifery

New South Wales:

Southern Cross University Sydney: Bachelors of Midwifery

Western Australia:

Edith Cowan University: Bachelor of Science (Midwifery)

Australian territories to study midwifery

Northern Territory:

Charles Darwin University: Master of Midwifery

Australian Capital Territory:

University of Canberra: Bachelor of Midwifery

I would like to work in Australia as a Nurse or midwife. What do I need to do?

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) is responsible for determining the pathway for the registration of Nurses in Australia. It’s likely you would need to undergo a bridging course to become registered in Australia.

Can I complete my Enrolled Nurse qualification part time?

Please check with your training provider or the list of courses provided by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). Most courses are generally delivered ful time but a few training providers do offer it part time.

As an Enrolled Nurse, where can I find a job?

Jobs for and Enrolled Nurse are available in the health system. In the private sector, most health services display vacancies within their service and clinical environments through their websites, under "Careers".  In the public health sector, nursing jobs are advertised on the Health Jobs website

Preparing for the workforce and interviews

Ensure you’re familiar with the key selection criteria in the advertised position.

You would normally be asked some behavioural questions on the clinical scenarios, problem solving, how you deal with practical situations, teamwork and leadership. Recruiters would also be interested to know about your training and knowledge to ensure there's a good fit between you and the role.

It’s advised to research the type of organisation you will be joining and to check if your values are aligned to theirs.

 AHPRA registration process and OBA program for internationally qualified nurses

If you’re an internationally qualified nurse, hoping to apply for registration in Australia, you should watch this to understand the registration process.


If you’re interested in studying Nursing in Australia, and need some guidance on choosing and applying for a course, don’t hesitate to submit your details or call IDP on 1800 664 700.

We can help you find the ideal course and best university, speak to us today – it’s free!

Source: Job OutlookQS Top University Rankings and Department of Home Affairs

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