how to study nursing in australia
Research the nursing school you are interested in.
If you’re interested in studying nursing in Australia, the first step is research. When you’re looking for a nursing school to study at, it’s important not to let your excitement about studying abroad cloud your judgment: it’s imperative that you do some thorough research into the course and institute you plan on choosing in order to get the best possible result from your experience. The following are all things you should keep in mind when researching a course provider:
- Is this course provider legitimate? You can check this by seeing if they have been accredited by the Australian government.
- Is this course accredited? A good place to check is on the National Register of Vocational Education and Training (NVETR). If a nursing course isn’t on there, stay away!
- Where is this school located? It’s important that wherever you go to study nursing in Australia is close enough to hospitals or other medical care providers so that during placements and internships, it won’t be too far for student nurses.
Prepare your documentation.
To apply for a nursing program, you will need to provide certified copies of your documents. The institution will also require them to be in English.
To prove your identity, you may need to provide one or more of the following:
- Current passport
- Birth certificate (or extract)
- Citizenship certificate.
Your English language proficiency will have to be proved by providing your results from an approved test such as TOEFL, IELTS Academic, PTE Academic or OET (Occupational English Test). You might also be able to show English proficiency through prior study or work experience if those studies were in English and it was in an English-speaking country. It’s important to note that these options are not available at all universities; check on the university’s website before applying.
Be aware of the additional requirements for your state.
You will need to contact the state authorities to find out what the requirements are. In Western Australia, this means contacting the Department of Health. If you are living or studying in Queensland or Northern Territory, then you are required to apply for a blue card, which ensures that all nursing students with working with children have a background check.
Be prepared to pay higher than average tuition fees, as International students are not subsidized by the Australian Government.
You should be prepared to pay higher than average tuition fees, as International students are not subsidized by the Australian Government. The cost of your degree will vary depending on the institution and location you choose to study in. It is therefore worth comparing the costs to other countries in the region. You can find out more about tuition fees by contacting your preferred University or TAFE.
It is often possible to supplement your income by working part-time while studying and there are also scholarships available from some institutions so it is important that you research this carefully as well. There are additional expenses for living in Australia, but these can be kept low by finding economical accommodation and living a sensible lifestyle.
Understand that most nursing programs in Australia are full time and will take 3-4 years to complete.
Nursing courses in Australia vary in length from one year for a graduate certificate to eight years for a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Most undergraduate nursing programs are three or four years long, but other types of nursing study can take as long as eight years. The Australian College of Nursing has an excellent guide to what you can expect from different programs.
A typical three-year course will involve theoretical learning, such as lectures and discussions, augmented by practical experience gained through workplace placements. Nursing degrees require students to complete a number of academic units (usually called ‘subjects’) within their course, which may include (depending on your specific program): communication, clinical decision making, pharmacology, anatomy & physiology and microbiology.
Most programs also include practical units that require the completion of a certain number of hours spent working in hospitals and other health care facilities. These work placements provide invaluable real-world experience that cannot be gained within the classroom setting and will help you become an attractive job candidate after graduation.*
Apply for a student visa once you have been accepted into your chosen course.
Once you have been accepted into your chosen course, you will need to apply for a student visa. The Australian government sets out the requirements for international students in this guide (https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Stud/More/Student-visas-for-Australia).
Research the living costs in the city you choose – the cost of living varies from city to city.
As with all countries, the cost of living in Australia varies from city to city. Before you decide where to study, research the average living costs in each major city.
The Australian Government provides some useful information on its website:
- Sydney: AUD 800-900 per month
- Melbourne: AUD 750-1,000 per month
- Brisbane: AUD 700-950 per month
Bear in mind that if you are from a developing country, your expenses will be higher because you will need more money to cover basic items such as food and clothing. It is important to have enough money to support yourself for the whole period of your stay.
Ask about scholarships before you apply.
There are many great scholarships available across Australia to help students meet the costs of studying. Before you apply, make sure you understand the criteria for the scholarship and contact the university to check that you meet the eligibility requirements.
Some scholarships are exclusively for international students or for those from a particular country. Scholarships may also be offered based on financial need or may be awarded as an incentive, such as for academic merit. Check with your chosen university about what scholarships are available before applying
You can study nursing in Australia if you prepare properly for it.
There are many good reasons for getting your nursing degree in Australia. A few of them:
- Nursing is a growing career field with an expected 45,000 job openings in the next five years.
- As baby boomers retire and more people require healthcare, there’s an increasing need for nurses to meet the rising demand.
- Jobs are available in rural areas as well as cities.
- There’s a great deal of diversity in the work that nurses do, including research, policy analysis, management and health promotion.