Nursing has always been among the top choices of international students. Aside from the high salary and great benefits, pursuing a career in nursing opens many doors in different nursing fields like in the hospital, education, neonatal care specialization, community health nursing, elderly care, and much more.

If you plan to study nursing in Australia, it is a great place for education. The country is internationally recognized for specializing in nursing for its quality education. Available degrees are undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees, all of which are studied in the English language.

If you wish to work in Australia, there are high work opportunities in the country due to the shortage of healthcare workers. Most people take advantage of this opportunity to gain Australian permanent residency status. To work in the country, you must complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing and register at the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

How Much Is the Cost to Study Nursing in Australia?

For undergraduate nursing programs, the average cost of nursing in Australia for international students is around AUD 30,000 ~ AUD 40,000. But if you want to pursue postgraduate programs in nursing, your fees will drop down to AUD 10,000 ~ AUD 20,000. Since most students that graduate with a bachelor’s degree land a job, your tuition fees will be higher for undergraduate programs since this is the hardest part.

How Can International Students Become Nurses in Australia?

In order to become nurses in Australia, international applicants must apply to nursing schools in Australia and graduate with a bachelor’s degree in nursing which takes about three to four years. Even though you can continue your education for a master’s degree, you can still apply to be a registered nurse only with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

1. Know What Is Needed To Be a Nursing in Australia

If you have decided to pursue a nursing career in Australia, you have to be aware of the general qualification levels. Australia has numerous courses available to prepare students for the demand for nursing.

The first qualification level is a bachelor’s degree in nursing which is usually completed in three or four years, depending on the university and if taken full-time or part-time. Most universities and colleges offer this program with different specialization courses available. For instance, at the University of Technology Sydney, students can obtain a Bachelor of Nursing degree in three years full-time or six years part-time for 144 credit points.

After completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing, international students have the option to study nursing in Australia for their Master’s. Most universities and colleges offer different specialization courses such as Critical and Emergency Care, Mental Health Care, Palliative Care, Community Health Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing, and many more. An example of a university that offers a master’s degree is the University of Sydney.

International students can earn a Master of Nursing degree in two years full-time for 96 credit points. For further education and career advancement, students can pursue postgraduate degrees in nursing. The University of Queensland is one example where you can obtain a doctoral degree completed in three to four years full-time. Taking a doctoral degree usually requires students to have experience in research, a university degree, and an English proficiency test.

After completing any of the degrees mentioned, you can start your registration to become a registered nurse in Australia. The registration is applied at the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), including the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) where you have to adhere to the certification requirements.

2. Research Top Nursing Schools in Australia

It is important to research beforehand the school of your choice. You won’t find it hard to find a nursing school in Australia for several universities and colleges that offer this program. The school’s websites are easy to follow because it is in English and you can find all the requirements here. Each nursing school has specific criteria to meet for you to be eligible for their program.

Moreover, you have to consider the location of the school when you consider studying nursing in Australia. If the school’s location is not your priority, you can research more about the school’s curriculum and reputation. If you think the school fits your personal preferences, you can start preparing your application by obtaining the required documents.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

3. Fulfill English Requirements

Australia is an English-speaking country. Therefore, it is necessary to have enough English skills to live and study nursing in Australia. Moreover, all nursing schools usually require a certain English proficiency level as part of the course requirements. If you come from a country where English is not your native language and your previous school’s curriculum is not English-medium, you will need to present proof of English proficiency.

For instance, the University of Sydney requires an English language declaration form and an English language proficiency test with the required minimum score. The tests can be any of the following: IELTS overall score of 7; PTE Academic overall score of 68; and TOEFL iBT overall score of 96.

4. Prepare Your Finances to Study Nursing in Australia

Preparing the course requirements is the easy part. However, this will not ensure an acceptance letter from nursing schools. It is necessary to present enough income to get into a university or college in Australia and in obtaining a visa to be able to study nursing in Australia. These schools need to make sure that you can provide for yourself throughout your whole stay in the country. Preparing for the cost of tuition is also an important factor in deciding which school to apply to, whether it meets your budget or not.

The cost of tuition in Australia for international students is usually higher compared to local students. It ranges from $20,000 to $35,000 per academic year, depending on the type of school and location. For example, the cost per credit point at the University of Technology Sydney is $833, which is about $119, 952 for a total of 144 credit points.

5. Start Your Application

Before starting your application, you have to know if you are eligible to apply for the program. Most nursing schools have similar course requirements. However, it is still best to look into their website for more complete details. The most common requirements are an English certificate, a high school diploma with year 12, proof of financial documents, passport, and motivational letter.

At the University of Sydney, international students need to present a secondary education qualification or a higher education diploma, an English language proficiency certificate, and additional Inherent Requirements ideal for a nurse. These Inherent Requirements are for Communication tasks, Observation/sensory tasks, Physical tasks, Intellectual tasks, and Interpersonal and social interactions of a good nurse.

6. Apply to Nursing Schools in Australia

When you have prepared the necessary entry requirements, all you need to do is submit them to the nursing school to study nursing in Australia. If the school sees you suitable for their program, you will receive an acceptance offer letter and an electronic Confirmation of Enrollment needed for a student visa application.

For a clear overview, here is an example of the application process from Monash University. After submitting your application to them, Monash University will review the application if it is at par with their criteria. They will also check that you are a Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE), which means that your sole purpose of entry in Australia is for study purposes only.

The school may ask for additional requirements to help you get a full offer or a conditional offer. If you get accepted, the university will send an acceptance offer and help you with your student visa. You can try out Monash University’s study credit and admissions eligibility search to do a self-assessment and credit eligibility.

7. Get a Student Visa in Australia

This is your last most important step to get the chance to study nursing in Australia. You need to prepare the student visa requirements and pass the interview. To learn more about which specific visa and documents, visit the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website. But before you can apply, you need to get an electronic confirmation of enrolment (eCoE) from the university. The eCoE is given once you have paid the initial down payment for the tuition.

Generally, international students must submit a valid passport, electronic confirmation of enrolment (eCoE), an English proficiency certificate, financial proof of documents, Overseas Student Health Cover, certificate of completion of year 12 or equivalent. Lastly, to maintain the student visa while studying in Australia, you should be fully aware of the conditions expected from you such as studying full-time and not part-time, maintaining a satisfactory grade, working only part-time (maximum of 40 hours), and more. Not adhering to these conditions may result in a cancellation of your student visa.


I hope that article on how to study nursing in Australia was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students to know more information on studying abroad!