Nurses are one of the most popular occupations of Filipinos all around the world.
Like most developed countries, Australia needs nurses as well as midwives. They are one of the countries that provides great pay for the profession along with US, Canada, UK and Sweden. Another resource found that Australian nurses earn more than their counterparts in UK, New Zealand, and Canada ranking Australia as the 4th highest paid nurses in 2015.
However, if you plan on coming to Australia here are some things you need to know:
Categories of Nurses in Australia
Nurses in the country are categorized as Assistant in Nursing (AIN), Enrolled Nurse (EN), Endorsed Enrolled Nurse (EEN), Registered Nurse (RN), Clinical Nurse (CN), Midwife (RN Midwife) and Nurse Practitioner (NP).
For the purposes of assessment for migration, let us focus on ENs, RNs and Midwives.
Enrolled Nurses (EN) are those who studied 18 months to 2 year course to achieve a Diploma in Enrolled Nursing. ENs are second level nurses providing nursing care and working under the direction and supervision of the Registered nurse.
ENs are responsible for their own actions and they assist in different ways including observing, measuring and recording patient stats, assisting in maintaining patient hygiene, feeding patients when necessary, assist in first aid and emergencies, educate patients on health and lifestyle and maintain safe environment. However, they are not allowed to act independently without the RN or midwives go signal.
Registered Nurses (RN) studied 3 years in a University and health facility to gain a Bachelor’s degree. They have a higher level of responsibility with roles including administration, team lead or unit manager, medication administration, assessment and management of client, specialized nursing care or research undertaking.
This nursing category is regulated and nurses need to register and get license to practice.
RNs have more autonomy in making decisions and are responsible for “ensuring quality of the work through their involvement in teaching, competence assessment, supervision and the evaluation of clients’ outcomes.”
Midwives are mostly registered nurses with additional midwifery qualification. These are professionals with appropriate “educational preparation, competence for practice and licensed under the appropriate Nursing Act to practice midwifery.”
Midwives are responsible and accountable for their work in partnership with pregnant women. They give “necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and postpartum period.” They are able to conduct births and provide care for newborns and infants.
Midwives care also include “preventive measures,” “promotion of normal birth,” “detection of complications,” “accessing of medical care” and “carrying out emergency measures.”
Heath counselling and education for women, the family and the whole community is an important role of midwives. It involves “antenatal education, parenthood preparation, women’s health, sexual or reproductive health and child care.
Assessment for Migration
Nurses and midwives who gained education and experience outside of Australia need to have their skills assessed with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council or ANMAC.
Check if you pass the Revised Standards for Assessment. There are 5 assessment standards namely:
Standard 1: Applicant’s Identity
To ensure that all qualifications match the correct names. Applicants need to submit:
Documents that provide proof of identity with photographic evidence.
Evidence to verify current professional registration and licensure.
Evidence of names to match verified qualifications such as marriage certificates or change of names certificates.
Documents should be original copies or certified true copy of the original and has not expired yet.
Standard 2: English Language
Communication is important in this occupation to make sure that nurses understand doctors’ orders, dispense medications properly and ultimately give patients get the care they deserve.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) recognizes the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Occupational English Test (OET). Applicants should score 7 in IELTS and B pass of OET for nurses.
However most health professional bodies in Australia requires nurses and midwives to score a minimum of 7 in the IELTS Academic test.
Standard 3 Education and Training
Nurses and midwives should be able to display critical thinking and research skills. These skills are usually developed through higher education studies and/or involvement in a continuing education pathway.
Applicants for Registered Nurse/Midwife should provide the following evidences:
Documentary evidence that support qualification and/or experience. Educational experience should be a University based Bachelor degree equivalent to a minimum of 6 full time semesters.
Midwifery Post graduate course should at least be 12-months long.
Submit original or certified copies of Graduate certificate and transcript or syllabus of theoretical and practical content of the course.
Note that ANMAC accepts programs leading to registration from UK, Ireland, Canada, US, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the European Union for Nursing courses. While UK, Ireland and EU member nations for midwifery.
Initial qualifications taken outside of the countries mentioned above are still accepted provided that applicants can provide evidence of registration and at least 3 months full time equivalent paid work in UK, Ireland, USA and Canada for nurses and UK and Ireland for midwives.
Evidence of work experience must be in the form of employment statements and professional references.
For Enrolled Nurse submit documentary evidence to support that applicant completed at least a Diploma or an equivalent minimum length of 18 months study.
Provide original or certified copies of graduate certificate and transcript or syllabus of theoretical and practical content.
Provide recent work experience in a form of employment statements and professional references.
Registered nurses outside of Australia and New Zealand need to take a full assessment for migration purposes.
Standard 4: Experience
Due to developments in technology, treatment, modes of care and the growing role of nurses and midwives, ANMAC requires applicants to provide evidence of recent practice.
Applicants should have a current nursing/ midwifery registration or license from country where the education qualification was from or from current country of residence.
Applicants should also have practiced within the 5 years prior to application. They should have worked in their area of practice as defined by ANMAC.
Documents for evidence include certified copies of registration or license, certified employment certificates stating the number of years employed as nurse/midwife within the five years before application.
Standard 5: Fit to Practice
This requirement is to establish the “integrity of the profession and its processes governing regulation.” The 5th standard is put in place to ensure that the public and the profession is protected from “professional misconduct or adverse outcomes” resulting from mental incapacity of nurses and midwives.
Applicants are responsible to provide documents from registering body of the following:
No previous proven disciplinary proceedings against them
No restrictions resulting from mental incapacity
No restriction resulting from physical incapacity
In addition, provide declaration attesting that applicant has:
No criminal conviction
No professional impediment, physical or mental incapacity which would prevent them from practicing in Australia
If you have the right education and experience, you can proceed to submitting your documents to ANMAC. Choose your application options through this link.
On the other hand, if you found that you lack in standard 3, you can opt to study in Australia or follow stories of other people who are not suitable applicants but found a way to upgrade their skills.
The assessment process takes a minimum of 12 working weeks. After submission of documents ANMAC will review and determine the applicant’s eligibility. ANMAC will send a Letter of Determination by post after skills assessment has been completed.
A positive skills assessment does is not equivalent to a registration or license to practice as a nurse or midwife in Australia.
Registration and Licensure
The Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency or APHRA assess internationally qualified nurses and midwives on behalf of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia is the regulating body for nurses and midwives.
APHRA also have mandatory registration standards for nurses including:
Continuing professional development registration
Criminal history registration
English Language skills
Professional indemnity insurance arrangements registration
Recency of practice
For midwives provide a document as evidence for Eligible midwife registration standard.
Changes in standards will be in place by June 2016, please check APHRA and NMBA website for updates.
Australia’s reputation as one of the very few countries that was not affected by the global recession, its wealthy stature, more relaxed lifestyle and proximity to the Philippines makes it a very attractive destination for skilled Filipinos.
If you are looking to move down under as a nurse or a midwife, check the right agency websites (ANMAC, APHRA and NMBA, and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection or DIBP) to gain more knowledge on how to facilitate a positive response for your immigration.