Myself and Pedro are moving to Australia and I have luckily managed to secure a job with a hospital in Melbourne before we have arrived.
As soon as I got the job, I started to apply through AHPRA for my nursing registration in Australia. I made a mistake here. I should have started to apply for my nursing registration as soon as had the idea to even apply for jobs. I sent my application off through AHPRA in April 2017 and it is now September 2017 and I am still waiting. I am lucky as we are not moving to Australia until March 2018 but it is still frustrating that it has not yet been approved as my migration officer cannot send off for my visa until my application has been accepted with AHPRA.
Anyway, enough of the moaning! I thought I would write a blog post to help any other nurses who are applying for their nursing registration in Australia. I found the AHPRA website really difficult to navigate through and there were not many blog posts that gave me the information I needed for the application and what to include in the application.
First of all, you can find the overseas nursing application here. The registration fee is currently $660. AHPRA take this money as soon as they receive your application, if your application gets declined, you will not receive a refund.
Okay so, let’s get down to what you need to include with the application form. AHPRA have apparently become very strict on what supporting evidence is sent, so it is best to make sure that you are thorough and send all of the below with your application form.
- You need evidence of all your qualifications, from school, college/sixth form and university. I sent all of my certificates off from school and university for this.
- You need to send an academic transcript from your university where you studied nursing. You can usually get this from the student services at your university for a small fee.
- You need evidence from your education institution that clearly shows you have completed medication management throughout your nursing degree. I got my university lecturer to write a letter/email outlining what I did during my degree to ensure I met my medication outcomes.
- I would also include a letter from a tutor outlining your course and unit outlines as I was asked for this as additional evidence.
- A short statement explaining any criminal convictions. If you don’t have any I just put “I can confirm that I have no criminal convictions in the U.K. or other countries”. I then put “I can confirm this statement Ian correct and acurate from this date” and signed it.
- If you have changed your name you need evidence of this.
- You need proof of your address, I sent a utility bill.
- You need to send three documents that prove your identity. There are three categories to choose from which are outlined on the application form. I sent a copy of my passport, my driving licence and my bank card.
- You need a statement of service from your employer(s) covering the past five years. This needs to state the date you started, the hours you work, how many sick days you have had, what your job role is whether you are full or part-time, the duties you have at work. It needs to be dated and signed and have a statement on it that says “this statement is accurate and correct from this date”. It also needs to be on headed paper.
- A signed and dated CV that describes full practice history and any training undertaken. For each place of work they need your job role, the address and whether it was full or part time work. It has to be signed and dated on every page and also include “This is accurate and correct from this date”. I included things on my CV like “Competent in taking bloods” “competent in administering oral, intramuscular, topical, subcutaneous, vaginal, rectum medication”. It should also include 3 references with the address, telephone numbers and email addresses.
- You need to prove that you meet the English language skills registration standard, this may mean that you need to take an English language test if English is not your first language. However, if English is your first language, you just need to send evidence of how long you went to school for, how many hours were taught in English and the names and addresses of your education institutions.
- So I paid for a police check through ACRO which cost me £50. When I was assigned a worker from AHPRA, they said this was insufficient and that I had to pay an additional £80 to have an Australian police check with fit2work. I would include this as well just to avoid the hassle of being told you need more evidence.
- As I have a job, I sent the contract from my Australian employer too.
- You need your current nursing board to send a Certificate of Good Standing or Certificate of Registration Status. In my case I had to apply through the NMC for this. I paid £35 and they sent it directly to the AHPRA office in the state I will be working in, Melbourne. With the NMC you apply online and then they send you a pack in the post with the application form, it is a really simple form to fill in.
- You need to have evidence from the university you studied nursing at that they were accredited at the time you studied. You also need evidence that the program you studied (nursing) was accredited. I sent an email to my personal tutor and the student services regarding this and they complete this for free and sent them again direct to the AHPRA office in Melbourne where I will be working. The links for both these forms the university needs to send are here and here.
- Make sure all of your documents such as identification, education certificates, bank cards etc are certified by Justice of the Peace or a Notary Public. A lot of solicitors are trained as a Notary Public. I would shop around as some charge extortionate prices. I manged to get 15 documents certified for £150. Luckily my guy had completed this before for AHPRA and he ensured it was done to their standard. You have to ensure that they are initialed on every page by the person, annotated on the last page with “I have cited the original document and certify this to be a true copy of the original” and signed. On each page it needs to list the name, date of certification and contact phone number and professional number and finally have the stamp of the authorised person.
I would recommend sending your application with tracked and signed delivery so you can ensure that it definitely makes it to Australia. Mine took around 10 days to arrive and the money went out of my bank around 2 weeks after sending it. I was then assigned an officer to deal with my case.
I had to send more evidence such as the Australian police check, but I have included everything above that needs to be sent, now that I know! I would also keep everything that you sent just in case anything gets lost and you have to resend it!
My top tip when applying for your nursing registration with AHPRA, is to start gathering all of the supporting evidence early. As soon as you know that you’re definitely going to be moving to Australia to work, gather the evidence and apply, even if you haven’t secured a job yet.
I am still waiting for my approval, but one it is granted, if you have a job you can turn up when you start in Australia. If you don’t yet have a job, it is my understanding that you have to present in Australia at your AHPRA office (in the state you want to work) within 3 months of approval. I think this can be extended if needed.
If anyone has any more questions then please let me know! I would be happy to help! It is quite confusing at first but once you get your head around it and have a list like this above, it is easier! As soon as I hear back from AHPRA I will let you all know and I will write a blog about the supporting evidence I needed for my visa!