Update for internationally qualified nurses and midwives

31 Aug 2021

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) is aware of delays for some internationally qualified nurses and midwives seeking to be eligible to apply for registration in Australia, due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

It is an important part of the NMBA’s role to ensure all nurses and midwives who are registered in Australia meet the level of training and qualification expected by the Australian public. Our key role is to keep the public safe. 

The NMBA/Ahpra model of assessment for internationally qualified nurses and midwives (IQNMs) is an evidenced-based approach. The model meets the NMBA’s responsibility under the National Law1 to have a robust approach to the assessment of IQNMs who wish to practise in Australia. 

IQNMs who have completed a qualification that is substantially equivalent to an Australian qualification do not need to undertake the objective structured clinical exam (OSCE) before applying for registration. IQNMs who hold equivalent qualifications and meet the mandatory registration standards have continued to be granted Australian registration during the pandemic. 

IQNMs who have completed a qualification which is not substantially equivalent to an Australian qualification need to complete the outcomes-based assessment (OBA) pathway, including passing the OSCE, before applying for registration. This ensures they can meet the standard of practice expected in Australia. This is a matter of public safety.

We acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the delivery of some components of the OBA pathway, including access to Australia which is controlled by the Australian government. The NMBA will continue to provide OSCE dates for IQNMs whenever possible. An alternative to the OBA pathway for IQNMs who wish to practise in Australia and do not hold a substantially equivalent qualification, is to undertake an Australian NMBA approved program of study leading to registration. A list of these programs can be found on the Ahpra website.

The NMBA and Ahpra are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and are adapting our regulatory requirements to meet emergency health service needs and support health service delivery while continuing to protect the public. This includes working closely with all levels of government. To find out more about how we are responding to COVID-19, please visit the Ahpra website

 

1 The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law).

 
 
Page reviewed 31/08/2021