This is important information for internationally qualified nurses and midwives (IQNMs) who have been referred to an NMBA-approved bridging program.
Registration applications posted to Ahpra between 1 October 2019 and 21 February 2020 by IQNMs who hold relevant but not substantially equivalent qualifications (and who meet the mandatory registration standards) were given the choice to be referred to an NMBA-approved bridging program or to the NMBA’s outcomes-based assessment (OBA) which comprises the multiple-choice question (MCQ) exam and the Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE).
In addition, from 1 October 2019, IQNMs who held a current referral to a bridging program were able to contact Ahpra to request a referral to the OBA instead.
The new model of assessment for IQNMs launched on 2 March 2020. Referral to bridging programs have therefore ended. All IQNMs seeking registration with the NMBA must now complete the Self-check to be advised of the assessment stages that must be successfully complete to be eligible to apply for registration (See Completing the Self-check for more information).
A bridging program is a program of study approved by the NMBA that enables internationally qualified nurses and midwives who do not qualify for registration under section 53(b) of the National Law to meet the requirements under section 53(c) by completing further study and assessment against the NMBA’s standards for practice. To be eligible, international applicants must be referred to a bridging program by the NMBA.
Applicants who do not wish to undertake a bridging program can either participate in the NMBA’s OBA, or upgrade their current nursing or midwifery qualification either in Australia or overseas. If you upgrade your qualification outside Australia, you must make sure that the country you are upgrading in meets the accreditation requirements of criterion 2.
All NMBA-approved bridging programs for registered nurses are listed under Approved programs of study. Entry to a bridging program of study for registration first requires a letter of referral from the NMBA.
Bridging programs are offered by independent education providers. The pricing and availability of the programs are determined by the education provider, not the NMBA.
All NMBA-approved bridging programs for midwives are listed under Approved programs of study. Entry to a bridging program of study for registration first requires a letter of referral from the NMBA.
Although there are a number of approved bridging programs for midwives, none of these are currently being offered by education providers.
Until NMBA-approved bridging programs for midwives are offered by education providers, midwives can upgrade their qualifications by:
All NMBA-approved bridging programs for enrolled nurses are listed under Approved programs of study. Entry to a bridging program of study for registration first requires a letter of referral from the NMBA.
Education providers who run bridging programs determine the cost of each program. The NMBA approves programs and providers but does not determine the cost of the programs.
Education providers who run bridging programs determine the location of each program. The NMBA approves programs and providers but does not determine the availability of the programs.
Once the NMBA refers you to a bridging program, we will close your application. After you successfully complete a NMBA-approved bridging program, you are then eligible to make a new application for registration. This means a new application form with relevant fees and documentation.
You will only need to resubmit any documentation that has expired. As we will still have record of your previous documentation, you can refer to it without needing to resubmit it.
The NMBA will assess any future application you make based on the legislative requirements and registration standards in place at the time that your application is received, such as the successful completion of a NMBA-approved program of study.
We strongly advise that you check the NMBA website for the latest information prior to lodging your new application. You can find more information about the registration standards, criminal history checks and the application process for international applicants on the Ahpra and NMBA websites.
We also recommend that you include a cover letter with your application that states that you are making a new application after successfully completing a bridging program.
Required documentation: post-bridging
Some applicants may need to provide additional information:
Upon review of the submitted documentation, you may be requested to provide additional documentation.
All documentary evidence must meet the Ahpra certification requirements.
You will only be registered if you have successfully completed the NMBA-approved bridging program and meet all the NMBA’s other registration requirements.
If you complete a bridging program that is not approved by the NMBA, your application for registration will be refused.
If you complete a bridging program and have not first been assessed and referred by the NMBA, you may be refused registration even if you have successfully completed the bridging program. This is because the program of study may not cover specific requirements that you need to be eligible for registration as a nurse or midwife.