Internationally qualified nurses and midwives

From 10 February 2014, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (National Board or NMBA) will use a new model to assess the qualifications of international nurses and midwives, to make sure they are substantially equivalent to Board-approved Australian nursing and midwifery qualifications.

The National Board and AHPRA have reviewed and strengthened the process in place to support the nationally consistent assessment of applications for registration from internationally qualified nurses and midwives (IQNMs).

The model will guide the National Board’s assessment of international applicants to decide if they have educational qualifications that are ‘substantially equivalent’ to a Board-approved Australian qualification. This is critical information to help the National Board decide if an international applicant is qualified to provide safe care to patients in Australia.

This model is consistent with the requirements of the National Law. It applies a set of clear expectations about the educational standards to be met by all international applicants for registration, regardless of where the study was undertaken.

The National Board has made no other changes to the standards you must meet to be eligible for registration in Australia. The new model applies only to the way the National Board will assess international qualifications.

See also:

Your qualifications must meet criteria 1 - 8 (see the links on the left hand side of this page).

Your qualification will be assessed against the current standard expected of an Australian graduate. For example, for applicants seeking registration as a registered nurse, the educational level of your qualification must be equivalent to a bachelor degree as a minimum and align with the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level 7.

The changes apply only to the assessment of your overseas qualification. You must still meet all other registration requirements, including the National Board’s registration standards.

How we will assess your application

When the National Board assesses your application we will check if you are eligible for registration. To be eligible for registration you must:

  • have a qualification assessed by us as ‘substantially equivalent’ to a Board-approved Australian qualification 
  • have met the requirements of the registration standards, and 
  • have provided the necessary supporting documentation in your application

AHPRA will shortly contact you with an update, if this has not already happened. AHPRA will tell you if you need to provide more evidence to help the National Board decide if your qualification is ‘substantially equivalent’ to a Board-approved Australian qualification.

The information below summarises what you will need to provide as evidence as part of your application.

The new application form for internationally qualified nurses and midwives asks you to provide certain documents as supporting evidence. These are detailed on the form.

The National Board views fraud extremely seriously and will carefully review the evidence you provide to support your application.

In summary, for us to assess your international qualification, you need to give us the:

  • name of the overseas education institution where you obtained your qualification and 
  • name of the qualification you obtained and 
  • qualification outcome (e.g. registered nurse, enrolled nurse or midwife) and 
  • course start and end dates and 
  • copy of course transcript/certificate certified by the education provider and then translated and 
  • copy of course/unit outlines certified by the education provider and then translated, and 
  • evidence that you meet criteria 1-8 for internationally qualified nurses and midwives (see the links on the left hand side of this page).

Is your qualification as a registered nurse, a midwife or an enrolled nurse?

Different documentation is required to assess qualifications as a registered nurse, a midwife and an enrolled nurse. Specific information for each profession can be found on the pages below:

You can lodge your application for registration, and supporting documentation, by post or in person at an AHPRA office in the state or territory in which you plan to live and work.

We do not accept applications by email because we need your original signature (not a scanned signature, for example) on the application documents.

Details of AHPRA offices, including addresses, are available under Contact us on the AHPRA website.

We have a separate, new application form for internationally qualified nurses and midwives. Please download the following form:

This form is also available under Forms on the National Board website

Applying for registration does not guarantee that you meet the standards for registration. Granting registration is a decision of the National Board.