The world seems to get smaller and smaller as our global economy and technology grow. One fact does not change, however; the world will always need nurses in all places, including Australia.
Initially, it is important to mention that there are two categories of nurses in Australia. Registered nurses are first-level nurses who are educated with Bachelor’s degrees or higher in a university. A three year diploma may also be considered to be equivalent. Registered nurses are licensed to practice without supervision. They assume the responsibility and accountability for all aspects of patient care. Tasks commonly performed by registered nurses are assessment, planning, and implementation of nursing care, observation and recording of patient condition, and health promotion. Specializations of registered nurses include community nurse, pediatrics nurse, acute care nurse, and aged care nurse.
Enrolled nurses are second-level nurses who provide care within specific limits. Their education is usually less than three years in associated diploma level courses in institutions of technical education. They must work under the supervision and direction of the registered nurse, but are accountable for their actions.
Licensure requirements include verification of English language competency. Individuals who were not educated in a country where English is the native language, must pass specific English language tests mandated by the Australia Nursing Council, the governing body for nurses.
If you wish to practice nursing in Australia, you must obtain an Australian Skilled Visa (permanent or temporary). This visa is the most-preferred type of visa issued, and is designed to promote emigration of skilled workers who can make an immediate contribution to society. Qualifications for this visa are quite specific. You must: 1) be under the age of forty-five when you apply; 2) demonstrate English competency; 3) possess post-secondary education and your skills must be assessed and determined to be suitable for the profession you wish to practice; 4) declare a skilled occupation which fits your skills; 5) in some circumstances prove a period of work experience; 6) have a health assessment by a doctor; and, 7) be of good character. A criminal record, if it is determined to be substantial, may prevent the visa from being issued. Examples of substantial crimes are those for which a person has been sentenced to imprisonment for twelve months or more, sentenced to prison for two or more terms with incarceration of more than two years total, and acquittal of a crime due to insanity or mental defect resulting in detention in a mental health facility.
There is a definite need for nurses in Australia with reportedly jobs available in all areas. In fact, the occupation of Registered Nurse has been listed on the Australian Migration Occupations in Demand List. Nurse applicants for visas are given additional credits which increase the likelihood that they will meet the requirements of the Australian Department of Immigration. Additional information can be obtained from the Australian Visa Bureau via their website at visabureau.com/australia.
Hopefully this information will remind us of how lucky we are to be nurses with unlimited job prospects, interesting experiences, and opportunities to make a difference all over the world!
If you are interested in working as a nurse in Australia, check out - A guide to living and working as a nurse down under.