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Anne’s journey to Australia as an International Nurse

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Anne is a Filipino nurse who graduated from a nursing school in the Philippines and appeared for the board exam and got registered as a nurse in the Philippines. Anne had been lucky to find a job in a small hospital in the Philippines and has now been working as a nurse for the past 9 months. This job has been a blessing for her because she is now able to earn a decent living and support her large family, including her parents and her three younger siblings. Many of Anne’s friends who are also nurses have moved to Australia for better prospects of life. Anne’s sister who is a permanent resident in Australia wants her to come to Australia as there are many job opportunities for nurses according to an online report published by Health Workforce Australia, HW 2025- Volume 1 & 2. (https://www.hwa.gov.au/our-work/build-capacity/australias-future-health-workforce-hw2025). This report talks about the shortages of Registered and Enrolled nurses in Australia in areas such as Acute Care, Emergency, Aged Care and Mental Health.

Given the fact that Anne does not have much knowledge about registration and work opportunities in Australia, she calls her friend, Rachel, in Australia who is working as an Enrolled Nurse, to seek some advice. Rachel advises Anne about the job opportunities in her Aged Care facility and many other Aged Care facilities that are in desperate need of professional Enrolled Nurses for their elderly and fragile patients. Rachel also advises Anne that Aged Care facilities are looking to recruit Enrolled Nurses as their recruitment strategy for workforce planning.

There is a huge aging population in Australia who need care and it is anticipated that Australia would have a shortfall of approximately 10,000 Enrolled Nurses within the next 10 years. The general employment conditions which include the remuneration and other benefits like leave, overtime, and other incentives are also attractive and would provide Anne an opportunity to grow in her career as an Enrolled Nurse and support her large family back in the Philippines.

Anne discusses these facts with her family and her sister in Australia. The family can see a bright future for Anne in Australia and they all support her to apply for registration as an Enrolled Nurse. She contacts her sister and friend, Rachel in Australia to get the process started. Rachel recommends that the process is slightly lengthy and would involve the following steps:

  • Submitting an application to ‘Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency’ (AHPRA) for her qualification assessment
  • Meeting the English Language requirements by undertaking an IELTS test and scoring 7.0 or above in each of the four modules (reading, listening, speaking & writing) OR taking OET test with at least a band sore of B in each of the four bands
  • Undertaking a Nursing & Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) approved study program leading to registration, in most cases a bridging program accredited by Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) also called as Entry Program for Internationally Qualified (EPIQ) Nurses
  • Upon completion of the EPIQ program, Anne will be eligible to seek Enrolled Nurse registration with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
  • After registering as an Enrolled Nurse, Anne can apply for positions advertised in various Aged Care facilities or Hospitals.

Once Anne has secured a job as an Enrolled Nurse, she can continue gaining valuable healthcare experience in Australia and upgrading her skills through various professional development activities organised within the healthcare facility or she can opt to undertake management or business studies so that she can apply for senior managerial positions in few years’ time, within her organisation or outside of her organisation.

Enrolled Nurse Skill shortages can provide some unparalleled benefits to Anne, such as a brighter future in Australia, the potential to earn substantial income to support her large family in the Philippines, and a rewarding career with growth opportunities.

Disclaimer: All names mentioned in the article are imaginary and have no resemblance to anyone whatsoever. Any resemblance to actual persons is entirely coincidental.
International Nurses can discuss their eligibility and career opportunities with the author Vik Sharma at info@lawsoncollege.edu.au

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