Categories of Nurses in AustraliaNurses in the country are categorized as Assistant in Nursing (AIN), Enrolled Nurse (EN), Endorsed Enrolled Nurse (EEN), Registered Nurse (RN), Clinical Nurse (CN), Midwife (RN Midwife) and Nurse Practitioner (NP). For the purposes of assessment for migration, let us focus on ENs, RNs and Midwives. Enrolled Nurses (EN) are those who studied 18 months to 2 year course to achieve a Diploma in Enrolled Nursing. ENs are second level nurses providing nursing care and working under the direction and supervision of the Registered nurse. ENs are responsible for their own actions and they assist in different ways including observing, measuring and recording patient stats, assisting in maintaining patient hygiene, feeding patients when necessary, assist in first aid and emergencies, educate patients on health and lifestyle and maintain safe environment. However, they are not allowed to act independently without the RN or midwives go signal. Registered Nurses (RN) studied 3 years in a University and health facility to gain a Bachelor’s degree. They have a higher level of responsibility with roles including administration, team lead or unit manager, medication administration, assessment and management of client, specialized nursing care or research undertaking. This nursing category is regulated and nurses need to register and get license to practice. RNs have more autonomy in making decisions and are responsible for “ensuring quality of the work through their involvement in teaching, competence assessment, supervision and the evaluation of clients’ outcomes.” Midwives are mostly registered nurses with additional midwifery qualification. These are professionals with appropriate “educational preparation, competence for practice and licensed under the appropriate Nursing Act to practice midwifery.” Midwives are responsible and accountable for their work in partnership with pregnant women. They give “necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and postpartum period.” They are able to conduct births and provide care for newborns and infants. Midwives care also include “preventive measures,” “promotion of normal birth,” “detection of complications,” “accessing of medical care” and “carrying out emergency measures.” Heath counselling and education for women, the family and the whole community is an important role of midwives. It involves “antenatal education, parenthood preparation, women’s health, sexual or reproductive health and child care.
Assessment for MigrationNurses and midwives who gained education and experience outside of Australia need to have their skills assessed with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council or ANMAC. Check if you pass the Revised Standards for Assessment. There are 5 assessment standards namely:
Standard 1: Applicant’s IdentityTo ensure that all qualifications match the correct names. Applicants need to submit:
Documents that provide proof of identity with photographic evidence.
Evidence to verify current professional registration and licensure.
Evidence of names to match verified qualifications such as marriage certificates or change of names certificates.
Standard 2: English LanguageCommunication is important in this occupation to make sure that nurses understand doctors’ orders, dispense medications properly and ultimately give patients get the care they deserve. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) recognizes the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Occupational English Test (OET). Applicants should score 7 in IELTS and B pass of OET for nurses. However most health professional bodies in Australia requires nurses and midwives to score a minimum of 7 in the IELTS Academic test.
Standard 3 Education and TrainingNurses and midwives should be able to display critical thinking and research skills. These skills are usually developed through higher education studies and/or involvement in a continuing education pathway. Applicants for Registered Nurse/Midwife should provide the following evidences:
Documentary evidence that support qualification and/or experience. Educational experience should be a University based Bachelor degree equivalent to a minimum of 6 full time semesters.
Midwifery Post graduate course should at least be 12-months long.
Standard 4: ExperienceDue to developments in technology, treatment, modes of care and the growing role of nurses and midwives, ANMAC requires applicants to provide evidence of recent practice.
Applicants should have a current nursing/ midwifery registration or license from country where the education qualification was from or from current country of residence.
Applicants should also have practiced within the 5 years prior to application. They should have worked in their area of practice as defined by ANMAC.
Standard 5: Fit to PracticeThis requirement is to establish the “integrity of the profession and its processes governing regulation.” The 5th standard is put in place to ensure that the public and the profession is protected from “professional misconduct or adverse outcomes” resulting from mental incapacity of nurses and midwives. Applicants are responsible to provide documents from registering body of the following:
No previous proven disciplinary proceedings against them
No restrictions resulting from mental incapacity
No restriction resulting from physical incapacity
No criminal conviction
No professional impediment, physical or mental incapacity which would prevent them from practicing in Australia
Registration and LicensureThe Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency or APHRA assess internationally qualified nurses and midwives on behalf of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia is the regulating body for nurses and midwives. APHRA also have mandatory registration standards for nurses including:
Continuing professional development registration
Criminal history registration
English Language skills
Professional indemnity insurance arrangements registration
Recency of practice