Nursing Jobs In Australia For Foreigners With VISA Sponsorship Opportunities

Australia is known for having one of the strongest healthcare systems in the world. As a result, there is a high demand for qualified nurses in the country.


For foreigners, obtaining a nursing job in Australia can be a great opportunity to gain international experience while also getting exposure to cutting-edge medical practices and technology.

However, navigating the visa and sponsorship process can seem daunting.


This article provides a comprehensive overview of how to find and secure nursing roles in Australia as a foreigner requiring visa sponsorship.

Requirements for Nursing Registration in Australia

To work as a nurse in Australia, you must first fulfill the registration requirements set by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).


AHPRA regulates health professions in the country under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.

To Be eligible for registration you must:

  • Hold an approved nursing qualification and have completed a minimum of a 3-year full-time Bachelor of Nursing degree or equivalent.
  • Have recent practice experience and meet the recency of practice requirements.
  • Hold a valid English language proficiency score.
  • Meet the mandatory registration standards for criminal history, professional indemnity insurance, recency of practice, and continuing professional development.
  • Pass a national nursing exam approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

Meeting these requirements allows you to apply for registration and receive authority to practice nursing in Australia. This is mandatory before applying for nursing roles.

Pathways For General Skilled Migration Visas

Once you fulfill the registration requirements, the next step is securing the appropriate visa. There are a few possible pathways that make you eligible to live and work as a nurse in Australia:

1. Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

This permanent residency visa allows you to live and work in Australia indefinitely. To qualify, you need to meet the points-based eligibility criteria based on your skills, age, English ability, employment background etc. An advantage is that it does not require any sponsorship.

2. Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190)

This visa allows you to live and work permanently in a particular Australian state or territory that nominates you. To apply, you first need sponsorship from an employer or state/territory government. It requires a lower points score than the Skilled Independent visa.

3. Skilled Regional Provisional Visa (Subclass 491)

This provisional visa allows you to live and work in regional Australia for up to 5 years. You must be sponsored by a relative living in regional Australia or nominated by a state or territory government. It can lead to permanent residency.

Each pathway has its own criteria, and a visa agent can help determine the best option based on your circumstances.

Finding Nursing Opportunities Offering Visa Sponsorship

There are ample nursing job opportunities in Australia that provide visa sponsorship to overseas candidates. Here are some tips for finding relevant openings:

  • Check major job boards like Indeed, Seek, and LinkedIn for listings indicating visa sponsorship.
  • Look for recruitment agencies specializing in healthcare professional placement. They often have partnerships with employers willing to sponsor.
  • Search directly on hospital and healthcare facility websites, which post nursing vacancies regularly.
  • Use LinkedIn to connect with recruiters and join groups for foreign nurses in Australia to access insider job information.
  • Attend nursing recruitment fairs, conferences, and networking events in Australia. These enable you to meet recruiters and learn of unadvertised openings.
  • Check state/territory government websites for in-demand skills lists and regional opportunities providing sponsorship.

The key is persistence and utilizing all resources at your disposal. Don’t limit yourself to just job postings.

Popular Types of Nursing Jobs Offering Sponsorship In Australia

Australia’s healthcare sector is in high demand for skilled nursing professionals, and several types of nursing jobs offer sponsorship for international candidates.

Here are 7 popular types of nursing jobs that provide sponsorship, along with essential information such as salary range and other necessary details:

1. Registered Nurse (RN)

Registered Nurses are in high demand across Australia, with sponsorship opportunities available in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, aged care facilities, and community health organizations. The average salary for Registered Nurses ranges from AUD 65,000 to AUD 90,000 per year, depending on experience and location.

2. Enrolled Nurse (EN)

Enrolled Nurses play a vital role in delivering patient care under the supervision of Registered Nurses and other healthcare professionals. Sponsorship for Enrolled Nurse positions is often available in aged care facilities, hospitals, and primary care clinics. The average salary for Enrolled Nurses ranges from AUD 50,000 to AUD 70,000 per year.

3. Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioners are advanced practice nurses who hold master’s degrees and are authorized to diagnose, prescribe medications, and manage patient care independently.

Sponsorship for Nurse Practitioner roles is prevalent in hospitals, specialty clinics, and rural healthcare settings. The average salary for Nurse Practitioners ranges from AUD 100,000 to AUD 150,000 per year.

4. Critical Care Nurse

Critical Care Nurses specialize in providing intensive care to patients with life-threatening conditions in critical care units and emergency departments.

Sponsorship for Critical Care Nursing positions is often available in large tertiary hospitals and specialized medical centers. The average salary for Critical Care Nurses ranges from AUD 80,000 to AUD 110,000 per year.

5. Mental Health Nurse

Mental Health Nurses support patients experiencing mental health disorders by providing counseling, therapy, and medication management.

Sponsorship for Mental Health Nursing roles is prevalent in psychiatric hospitals, community mental health centers, and rehabilitation facilities. The average salary for Mental Health Nurses ranges from AUD 70,000 to AUD 100,000 per year.

6. Midwife

Midwives specialize in providing care to women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.

Sponsorship for Midwifery positions is available in maternity hospitals, birthing centers, and community health services. The average salary for Midwives ranges from AUD 75,000 to AUD 100,000 per year.

7. Nurse Educator

Nurse Educators are responsible for teaching and training nursing students and professional nurses in academic and clinical settings.

Sponsorship for Nurse Educator roles is prevalent in universities, healthcare institutes, and vocational training centers. The average salary for Nurse Educators ranges from AUD 80,000 to AUD 110,000 per year.

With a wide range of nursing specialties offering sponsorship opportunities, Australia provides an attractive destination for international nurses seeking rewarding careers in healthcare. Whether you’re interested in acute care, mental health, or education, there are diverse pathways to explore in Australia’s vibrant nursing sector.

5 Popular States for Nursing Jobs in the Australia

With a growing demand for healthcare professionals across the country, certain states stand out as popular destinations for nursing jobs. Let’s explore five of the top states in Australia for nursing careers:

1. New South Wales (NSW)

New South Wales, home to the vibrant city of Sydney, is a hub for healthcare services and nursing employment opportunities. With world-renowned hospitals, medical research facilities, and community healthcare centers, NSW offers diverse roles for nurses in areas such as acute care, aged care, mental health, and community nursing.

2. Victoria

Victoria, known for its cultural diversity and thriving healthcare sector, is another popular destination for nursing jobs in Australia. Melbourne, the state’s capital, hosts leading hospitals, tertiary care centers, and specialty clinics, providing ample employment prospects for nurses across various specialties and practice settings.

3. Queensland

Queensland, famous for its stunning beaches and tropical climate, is also a hotspot for nursing opportunities. Cities like Brisbane and Gold Coast are home to major healthcare facilities, including hospitals, aged care facilities, and rural healthcare services, offering rewarding roles for nurses seeking a diverse and dynamic work environment.

4. Western Australia (WA)

Western Australia, with its vast landscapes and booming economy, attracts nurses looking for both urban and remote job opportunities. Perth, the state’s capital, hosts renowned medical centers and teaching hospitals, while regional areas offer unique experiences in rural and remote healthcare settings, making WA an appealing choice for adventurous nurses.

5. South Australia (SA)

South Australia, known for its wine regions and laid-back lifestyle, also offers promising prospects for nursing careers. Adelaide, the state’s capital, features leading healthcare institutions, research centers, and specialty hospitals, providing nurses with opportunities to excel in areas such as critical care, oncology, and palliative care.

With its diverse landscape, robust healthcare infrastructure, and high standards of patient care, Australia presents a wealth of opportunities for nurses seeking fulfilling careers. Whether you prefer the bustling city life or the tranquility of regional settings, each state offers unique advantages and rewarding experiences for nursing professionals.

Essential Tips for Securing a Nursing Job in Australia

Finding visa sponsor roles is one thing, actually getting hired is another. Here are some top tips:

  • Have your qualifications officially assessed by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council to ensure they meet local standards.
  • Sit nursing registration exams like IELTS and OET as early as possible.
  • Highlight your nursing specialization, clinical skills, and experience treating diverse patient groups in your resume and interviews.
  • Obtain glowing references from previous employers highlighting your clinical capabilities.
  • Explain convincingly why you want to relocate to Australia during the interview process.
  • Be open to working in regional and rural areas where visa sponsorship is more readily available.
  • Consider short-term contract roles to get your foot in the door before transitioning to permanent positions.
  • Remain flexible and patient. The visa application and hiring processes take time to navigate.

Securing that dream nursing job in Australia is challenging yet achievable with proper preparation, persistence, and a willingness to be flexible. The demand is there – it’s up to you to put your best foot forward.

Nursing Recruitment Agencies That Assist With Visa Sponsorship

Specialized nursing recruitment agencies can prove invaluable partners in your Australian job search. They have established relationships with employers open to sponsoring from abroad.

Some top agencies include:

  • Momentum Health
  • HealthStaff Recruitment Australia
  • Healthcare Australia
  • NurseWest
  • Absolute Health Care
  • Mediserve Nursing
  • Global Health
  • HealthX

These agencies know the local labor market intimately and can match your skills and experience with suitable openings. They can guide you through every step from skills assessment and registration to visa paperwork and relocation logistics. Using a trusted recruitment partner saves tremendous time and hassle.

Tips For Transitioning To Nursing Practice in Australia

Once you’ve secured your dream nursing job in Australia, it’s time to prepare for transitioning successfully to practice there. Here are some top tips:

  • Thoroughly research the healthcare facility, their specialities, facilities, and organizational culture.
  • Read up on common procedures, medications, charting methods, technology etc. used at your new workplace to familiarize yourself.
  • Learn the specifics of clinical practice, privacy laws, workplace safety standards, and any other regulations in your Australian state/territory.
  • Understand the indigenous culture and health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Connect with fellow foreign nurses who have transitioned to exchange insights and form social support networks.
  • Attend an orientation program offered by your employer to acquaint yourself with policies and procedures.
  • Shadow experienced nurse mentors during your onboarding to learn workflows and expectations.
  • Ask questions, seek feedback, and engage in ongoing training to continually improve.
  • Finally, appreciate that transitioning to a new work culture takes patience. Stay positive!

With commitment and preparation, foreign nurses can transition smoothly into Australia’s world-class healthcare system. You will face challenges but also immense rewards as you establish yourself in this exciting new chapter of your career.

Advantages of Working as a Nurse in Australia

Australia offers nurses numerous advantages that make it an enticing destination. Firstly, nurses benefit from higher salaries – Australian nurses are among the highest paid globally. Secondly, there are opportunities to gain experience in world-class healthcare facilities using cutting-edge technology.

The strong reputation of Australia’s healthcare system also boosts a nurse’s resume and skills. Additionally, nurses have access to continuing education programs, professional development courses, and specialization opportunities. Australia also provides a high quality of life with enviable work-life balance. Nurses have access to 4 weeks annual leave, attractive base pay rates, overtime and shift penalties, childcare assistance, and superannuation contributions.

Finally, permanent residents are covered under Australia’s universal healthcare scheme. With renowned hospitals, optimal nurse-patient ratios, career growth prospects, and an outstanding lifestyle, Australia is hard to beat as a nursing destination.


Australia presents the chance for registered nurses from overseas to advance their careers while gaining exposure to new best practices. With stringent registration and visa sponsorship requirements, securing a nursing job takes effort and perseverance.

Countless opportunities across healthcare settings exist for foreign nurses who put themselves out there. By utilizing all resources available, highlighting your expertise, and being adaptable, you can realize your Australian nursing career aspirations. The process requires patience and dedication, but ultimately pays dividends in invaluable experience.

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