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Travel Nursing in Australia

Are you thinking about traveling to the Land Down Under? This can be a lengthy process. If you plan to relocate within the next year, you’ll need to get started right away. And we’ll give you the info on how to change your latitude.

Australia has their own registration process

Nurses register through the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Each state capital city has their own offices. But while this registration process is similar to the licensure process from state to state in the United States, the AHPRA places additional requirements and fees for overseas nurses.

Additional requirements for the AHPRA

  • Verification of employment from your current job
  • Certification of work experience for the past five years
  • Certification of your licenses from all states the nurse has been licensed in the past five years
  • Employer letters of recommendation (and there are specific info you’ll need on each letter)
    • Length of time you worked for the organization
    • Whether you worked full time or part time
    • And it must be on the company’s letterhead
  • Any AHPRA paperwork must be notarized
  • A resume or curriculum vitae (CV) with your signature on each page

Five years of experience

As you can tell from the above list, you’ll have to have at least five years of nursing experience in order to travel nurse in Australia. And keep in mind that mailing anything to Australia takes time, so allot plenty of time for all that paperwork to reach the AHPRA and for it to get processed.

You’ll have to take the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Exam

You should take this exam in advance of applying for your work visa, so it’ll make that process a lot easier. Basically, the IELTS proves that you understand and speak English. You can seek an exemption if you’re from Canada, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, or New Zealand, but you still need to provide evidence of your education being taught in English.

Before you get upset about this requirement, keep in mind that nurses from New Zealand have to provide the same info and they’re just off Australia’s east coast.

You can transfer your registration to New Zealand

If you want the full Australia/New Zealand experience, you can have it. As a registered nurse in Australia you can transfer your credentials to New Zealand. This process is similar to transferring your licenses from state to state.

Fees, fees, and more fees

There are fees associated with a nurse applications in Australia. The AHPRA doesn’t have an exact figure for these fees, but currently the fee runs about $580 AU. You can query the AHPRA by logging onto their site:

Get your passport ready

It never hurts to have a functional passport at the ready. This process can take a while too and costs money. It’s best to eliminate as many of these costs as possible and get a passport sooner rather than later.

Make sure you read any paperwork from the AHPRA carefully. This is a long and detailed process, and you don’t want to slip up somewhere, but should you go through this process, you’ll find the experience of a lifetime.


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