Application to nurse in Australia
So the dreaded word when preparing for your journey to nurse in Australia is… AHPRA! Please do not fear as I am going to try and breakdown the application form to make it as easy as possible to complete. As trust me the stress and tears I have spent trying to complete it literally took me to the edge of saying ‘is this really worth it’.
Bare with me on this blog as it is going to be a long and possibly boring one, but hopefully full of useful information to help make the process as easy as possible.
Firstly, make sure that you download the correct application form that is suitable for yourself. The application form that I am going to take you through is the AGOS-40 for internationally qualified nurses and midwives. You will find this application form on the AHPRA official website. *Please be mindful that the AHPRA requirements might change and that it is crucial you check their official website for any changes and up to date info* I fully recommend that you print off two copies of the form, one for practice and the other as your official document.
Select the box that describes your current registration status in your home country. For example I put a cross in the ‘registered nurse’ box.
This is your name as it appears on your official document (passport, birth certificate…) and will be the name that will appear on the public register.
If you have ever been known by another name, or are providing documents in another name, you must attach a certified copy of a Standard Marriage Certificate, Change of Name Certificate or Deed Poll.
You will need to provide a certified copy of the ID page of your passport as evidence of your name and date of birth
So this is where it becomes slightly confusing and people start to panic… but fear not I’ve got you boo!
If you are applying from OUTSIDE Australia (e.g England), you can select ‘yes’ here. Therefore meaning that you will only need to meet the minimum identity requirements of attaching a certified copy of the ID page on your passport. When you arrive in Australia you will need to provide further proof of identity to finalise your application. But at this stage all you need to do is provide a certified copy of your passport ID page. You can now move onto SECTION D.
You do not need to complete this if you answered ‘yes’ to question 4.
I left the ‘business and after hours’ blank. Please note an overseas number does not fit in the ‘mobile’ box provided, so you will need to write your numbers small enough to fit in the space that has been provided. Don’t worry too much about this, the answers to this section can be easily changed online once you are registered.
Write the address where you currently live, for example I used my address in England.
You can answer ‘yes’ to this question as you will not have an Australian principal place of practice at the time of you AHPRA application.
Select the box ‘my residential address’, or write in ‘other’ to provide a different mailing address where you would like to receive correspondence from AHPRA.
The answer to this question should be ‘no’. Please note if you have answered yes then you will need to fill out a different form.
If you have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing then this is the only qualification you will need to provide. Insert the details in the top box.
If your current registration is based on a diploma or other qualification and you have done a ‘top-up’ degree in nursing then you will need to put the ‘top-up’ details in the top box and your original qualification in the bottom box.
The next part of this question asks for you to attach a certified copy of your academic qualifications that you have listed. For example, I photocopied my degree certificate and a breakdown of my results and had them certified.
Your answer for this question should be ‘no’. However, if you have previously held registration as a nurse/midwife in Australia then you will need to fill out a different application form.
If you have been registered in your home country before applying then your answer will be ‘yes’.
This question relates to your current nursing registration in your home country. Insert the name of your country where you currently hold registration (e.g. England)
Period of registration – If you are still currently registered either write ‘ongoing’ or the future expiry date of your current licence (most likely your yearly renewal date). I found this information by logging into my NMC account – I wrote the date I gained registration and the expiry date of my registration.
The second part of this question involves you needing to arrange for an original Certificate of Good Standing or Certificate of Registration Status to be forwarded directly from any registration authority that you have been registered with. *Note* please make sure they send it to the same office you are sending your application to.
Please note this will cost you £34
For this section you must attach:
- A statement of service from all your employers from the past five years, and
- A signed and dated curriculum vitae
Your statement of service must:
- Include all your nursing employers for the past five years
- Be on the employer’s letterhead
- Provide the dates of employment
- Describe the role in which you were employed e.g. registered nurse
- Whether you were working full time or part time hours
- Be signed by a manager e.g. Director of Nursing, Unit manager or HR manager.
Your curriculum vitae must:
- Adhere to AHPRA standard format. Click here
- Detail any gaps in your practice history of more than three months from the date you obtained your qualification
- Be in chronological order
- Be signed and dated with the statement ‘this curriculum vitae is true and correct as at (insert date).’
- Be the original signed curriculum vitae
Here you must declare of any criminal history in Australia. For most applications your answer here will be ‘no’.
Again, for most applicants the answer will be ‘no’.
Now this question tricks most people out but the answer to this question will be YES.
Prior to sending your AHRPA application, all applicants must first apply for an International Criminal History Check (ICHC) via AHPRA’s approved vendors.
I used Fit2Work which cost me £101.87
Once completed Fit2Work will send you a reference page which you must print and send with your application.
This question drove me crazy! So take a nice deep breath, grab a brew and a choccy biccy or six and you will be good to go.
If you have been educated in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, USA, Ireland or UK then you can choose either Primary language pathway or the Extended education pathway.
For both of these pathways you will need to provide evidence that you were taught and assessed solely in English. You will need to request your academic transcripts from your University to be sent directly to AHRPA. *Note* please make sure they send them to the same address that you will be sending your application to. Please ensure when requesting your university transcripts that they attach a letter to confirm that you were ‘taught and assessed solely in English’ if your transcripts do not include this information.
I sent an email direct to my university to obtain my transcripts. This cost me £30. I also made sure on my email that the information they send will include:
- A full log of modules completed
- The course was taught and assessed solely in English
- Confirm the start and end date of the course
- Theory and practice hours
- Results for each modules
- Specify that I studied pharmocokinetics and pharmocodynamics
- Specify evidence of medicines management
- Proof of drug calculations exam
Your university should be used to supplying all the information required by AHPRA – but I would double and triple check that they include all of this information as you do not want to have to send off any additional information as this will slow your application down.
If you do not meet either of these pathways you will be required to complete an approved English language test and proceed to Question 20
You must now complete this table if you are following either the Primary language pathway or the Extended education pathway. Please find below two examples of how to complete the table that you can find using this link
At this point you do not need evidence from your primary and secondary schooling however AHPRA request this on a random audit basis and they will contact you and tell you what to do if this is required.
Now you can proceed to Question 23 woohoo *dances around house*
For most applicants, the answer to this question will be ‘yes’.
If you are (or will be) employed by a nursing agency or employer, and you only work for them your employer is likely to have PII arrangements that provide appropriate cover for your practice, and the risks involved in your work.
For example – I will be joining Healthcare Australia agency and they cover you for PII.
If you graduated more than 2 years ago then select ‘yes’ and go to the next question.
If you graduated less than 2 years ago then select ‘no’ and skip to question 26.
For most applicants, the answer will be the first option
Question 26 to 31
Simple yes or no questions. If you answer yes to any of the questions then you must declare and attach all details.
NOW GO AND TREAT YOURSELF AS YOU HAVE FINISHED ALL QUESTIONS!!! I suggest at this point you go and grab the rest of the packet of choccy biccys that you required for question 19 and demolish the lot, you earned it!
Third party authorisation – this refers to whether you want anyone else to be able to act on your behalf. If you would like to authorise a third party, you will need to attach a separate form (AGAF-40).
If you are happy to handle all correspondence by yourself, you do not need to worry about this section.
Make sure you read over your application thoroughly several times and make sure you have answered everything correctly. I would suggest going through it with a family member or friend.
Once you are happy and have read over the fine print in this section, then you can sign in the blue box provided.
The total fee of $740 is due when you submit your application. Please not the cost has increased recently from 10th September 2018.
*Note* the application fee and overseas assessment fee are non-refundable. If your application is rejected, all you will get back is the registration fee.
It is also worth being aware that the registration period runs from 1st June to 31st May. If your application is made between 1st April and 31st May you will be registered for the upcoming registration period that begins on 1 June. This means that your registration fee will cover a period of at least 12 months.
However, if you application is received and processed on 31st March, your registration fee will only cover the remainder of that year, so around 2 months of registration until you will need to pay the registration fee again.
Checklist – Make sure that all the additional documentation has been attached or arranged as processing will not start until all your documents have been received.
- Certified copy of your passport
- Certificate of Good Standing (COGS) – requested from your registration board
- Statement of Service from your employer’s in the past five years
- Transcripts requested from your University
- Certified copy of your degree certificate
All international qualified applications are processed in Sydney. You are still able to send it to another office, however your application will be scanned and sent to the Sydney office anyway. Regardless of where you send your application, you are able to present at ANY AHPRA OFFICE to verify your identity.
*AHPRA process can take anywhere from 3-6 months to process. Once approved in principle you have 3 months to activate registration in person at the AHPRA office in Australia. So make sure you plan when to send your application. But remember to start gathering your information as early as possible as completing your application is a lengthy process*
Once you have been approved in principle you will receive an Eligibility/In principle letter from AHRPA advising you to attend one of their offices in Australia to finalise your registration. As mentioned above you have only 3 months to do this. After presenting it can take up to 10 working days for AHPRA to issue your registration number. To present in person you must take with you:
- AHRPA eligibility/in principle letter
- Evidence of your residential address in Australia – this can be in the form of a bank statement or a property lease or tenancy agreement. *Note* a bank statement will be quicker to obtain on arrival
- Copy of your visa
- A statutory declaration form signed and dated if your ICHC/COGS has expired
Now take a deep breath, I can assure you it will all be worth it!