Top frequently asked questions about studying nursing in Australia
What do you need to know about studying nursing in Australia?
Nurses are the backbone of healthcare. They’re resourceful and compassionate, and they save lives every day. Studying nursing in Australia can provide you with a solid foundation to an important and in-demand career where your resilience, skills, and experience can make a difference.
We get a lot of questions about nursing degrees. Here are some answers to questions you might have about studying nursing in Australia.
What are the different types of nursing programs in Australia?
Most Canadian and American applicants are looking to become registered nurses (RNs).
If you have a bachelor’s degree in an area other than nursing, a two-year postgraduate nursing degree like a Master of Nursing will allow you to become a registered nurse.
A three- or four-year undergraduate nursing degree, like a Bachelor of Nursing, is designed for students with high school or college studies who wish to become a registered nurse.
Depending on your education background and desired career path, you can advance your skills with additional nursing specializations and training.
What do I need to study nursing in Australia?
Postgraduate nursing programs require anywhere from a 60% and above cumulative grade point average (cGPA) in your undergraduate degree, and approximately 75% cGPA and above to be considered competitive.
Undergraduate nursing programs require approximately 65% in your best 6 Grade 12 subjects, but about 75% to be considered competitive.
Proof of English language proficiency is also required for all Australian nursing programs. Depending on the university you choose, other requirements may also include certain vaccinations or the completion of specific prerequisite subjects.
Why should Canadians study nursing in Australia?
Australia has some of the highest-ranked nursing programs! In fact, 10 of Australia’s universities rank in the top 50 nursing programs in the world.
You can study and gain hands-on experience in state-of-the art classrooms and clinical simulation laboratories such as the University of Sydney’s Susan Wakil Health Building.
Australian nursing programs also have unique placements! Not only can you complete clinical placement hours in private and public hospitals, mental health services, community health centres, or schools, but you also have unique opportunities to pursue placements in rural and remote areas. Remote placements allow you to experience greater patient access, a wide range of patient conditions, small-group learning, and a sense of community. By the way… our students often note that their rural placements are the most memorable, with the most hands-on opportunities.
How much does it cost to study nursing in Australia?
Fees for studying a nursing degree in Australia can vary across programs and universities. International students typically pay between AUD$30,000 and AUD$42,000 in tuition fees per year for an undergraduate program, and between AUD$35,000 and AUD$45,000 per year for a postgraduate program.
The average international student in Australia spends approximately AUD$450 per week on living expenses, about AUD$25,000 – AUD$35,000 per year, depending on the location and spending habits. Most OzTREKK students use a combination of personal funds, student loans, and bank loans/lines of credit to fund their Australian university studies.
What kind of jobs can I get as a registered nurse?
Nursing is an incredibly diverse career path with several different specializations to work within and progress your career.
Once you become a registered nurse, you can choose to specialize in a range of areas such as midwifery, emergency nursing, pediatrics, cancer and hematology, intensive care, mental health, nursing administration, and international aid.
You can also move into research or academia, government, and management positions in the health sector to expand your career. Skills that you gain from a nursing degree are easily transferable if you decide to change specializations.
How do I become licensed as a nurse when I return to Canada?
Internationally educated nurses (IEN) who have completed their nursing education outside of Canada and are seeking registration to practice as a registered nurse must first complete the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) process, which can take roughly 9–12+ months.
NNAS provides a streamlined process for IENs’ credentials to be verified and their education compared to Canadian nursing education. Once their assessment is complete NNAS will issue an Advisory Report, which will be sent to your chosen provincial regulatory body.
The provincial nursing regulatory body has the authority to decide whether an application is successful, based on the registration criteria; therefore, it is important for all applicants to carefully review the licensing requirements of the provincial regulators where they wish to apply.
Visit our Practicing Nursing in Canada page for more detailed information.
Student tip! Get registered in Australia before you leave. Once you finish school you can be a licensed RN in Australia, and this can make the process of practicing in Canada easier.
Can I stay in Australia to practice as a nurse?
To work as a nurse or midwife in Australia, you need to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). You will also need to apply for and obtain a visa (issued by the Australian Department of Home Affairs), to allow you to work in the country.
As of now, the option is there for Canadians to work as a nurse in Australia after graduating from an Australian nursing program; however, it is important to keep in mind that this is subject to change and that Australian citizens may have priority to these positions.
If your goal is to practice as a nurse in Australia, OzTREKK encourages you to contact the NMBA and the Australian High Commission Office to discuss the process of licensing in Australia for Canadian citizens.
How do I apply for an Australian university nursing program?
OzTREKK is here to help you navigate the entire application (and acceptance!) processes. We work with 14 Australian universities offering nursing programs at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels.
Nursing is one of the most in-demand professions out there. If you want to be a part of creating a healthy future, studying a nursing degree in Australia is a great start to a rewarding and fulfilling career.
Do you have questions about studying nursing in Australia? Please contact OzTREKK’s nursing admissions officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.