From March 2020, a new model of assessment has been introduced for overseas qualified nurses wishing to work within Australia and possibly to progress through to Permanent Residency. Its goal is to eliminate the previous need for bridging programs.
For purposes of identification, the following abbreviations are those recognised throughout the process:
- IQNM – Internationally Qualified Nurses and Midwifes
- NMBA – Nurses and Midwifery Board of Australia is the agency which regulates the practice of nursing and midwifery in Australia
- AHPRA – Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. All health workers must be registered with AHPRA prior to commencing employment in Australia.
- OBA – Outcomes-Based Assessment program, which incorporates both a multiple choice questionnaire (MCQ) and an objective structured clinical exam (OSCE).
Qualifications for this new model
As an outcomes-based assessment, nurses from overseas must already hold an international qualification which is relevant, substantially equivalent or based upon similar competencies to an Australian approved qualification. They must also demonstrate that they meet all mandatory registration standards.
Initial on-line process
The new assessment model, required for all IQNM applicants, includes an on-line “Self-check”, followed by an orientation program (where instructed) and also an OBA (where instructed).
- All IQNM applicants will be required to submit their qualification information at “Self-check”. They will then be advised of the steps (assessment stages) which must be successfully completed in order to achieve registration eligibility. Upon completion of this process, IQNM applicants who have been assessed as holding qualifications substantially equivalent or based upon similar competencies to an Australian approved qualification (and who can demonstrate that they meet the mandatory registration standards) will be eligible to proceed to Orientation Part 1, then registration.
- IQNM applicants who are assessed as holding a qualification which is relevant, yet not substantially equivalent or based upon similar competencies to an Australia approved qualification (but who can demonstrate that they meet the mandatory registration standards) will be required to successfully complete an OBA prior to achieving eligibility for registration.
- IQNM applicants who are deemed not to hold a relevant qualification (under Section 53 of the National Law) or currently do not fulfil the required assessment criteria will be required to upgrade their qualifications in Australia, prior to achieving eligibility for registration. Qualifications can be upgraded in Australia through study programs, as approved by NMBA, or overseas providing that the qualifications meet the Australian assessment criteria.
For more information visit NMBA website: Internationally Qualified Nurses and Midwifes section
Lodge an online enquiry form via “Contact us”
For registration enquiries: 1300 419 495 (in Australia) +61 3 9275 9009 (overseas callers)
The Orientation Program is mandatory for all IQNM applicants; a necessary step towards registration and ongoing employment in Australia.
Structured in two stages, the first step is an online learning course which introduces IQNM applicants to Australia and more specifically, to the Australian healthcare context. This step must be successfully completed prior to registration.
Following success with step one, registration and employment, step two involves a more in-depth online introduction. As an ongoing condition of registration, successful completion is mandatory and will include content on the diversity of Australian culture.
NMBA also expects that all nurses and midwifes in Australia will actively seek out and participate in workplace induction, orientation and local training, as conducted by their employers from time to time.
Outcome-based Assessment (OBA) Process
The OBA is a two-stage online process which requires successful completion of stage one, prior to commencement of stage two.
- Stage one is a cognitive assessment; a computer-based multiple choice questionnaire which IQNM applicants must pass in order to move forward.
- Stage two is a behavioural assessment; an objective structured clinical exam developed to assess whether the IQNM applicant demonstrates the knowledge, skills and competence of a graduate level Australian nurse or midwife.
There are no fees for “Self-check”.
Upon completion of “Self-check, IQNM applicants who are advised to proceed to the IQNM assessment process will be required to pay a non-refundable fee of $640 AUD.
IQNM applicants who are referred to OBA will be required to pay specific OBA fees.
All IQNM applicants who are eligible for registration and who meet the mandatory registration standards will be required to pay an application fee (currently $300 AUD) plus a registration fee (currently $175 AUD).
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