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Registration with NMBA

<strong>Registration with NMBA</strong>

We will be talking about registration as a nurse or midwife in Australia with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), the Modified Skills Assessment pathway with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) as well the Mothercraft Nurse - 411412 occupation which uniquely has VETASSESS as its assessing authority.

Registration with NMBA

In order to practice as a Nurse in Australia you will be required to have a practicing registration with NMBA. It is impossible to obtain full registration with NMBA while you are overseas as you have to verify your identity documents in person once you have arrived in Australia. 

Create an account on the NMBA website and begin your application online if you are eligible. This will take you to the AHPRA website. Online registrations are only available to four groups;

  1. Final-year students that are expecting to finish their Australian-approved program of nursing or midwifery study within 12 weeks. 
  2. Graduates that have completed an Australian-approved program of nursing or midwifery study within the last 2 years.

○      Click here to check if your program is approved

  1. midwives who hold a current annual practising certificate with the Midwifery Council of New Zealand and who are applying for registration in Australia under the provisions of the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Act, or
  2. nurses who hold a current annual practising certificate with the Nursing Council of New Zealand and who are applying for registration in Australia under the provisions of the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Act.

These applicants will all be able to apply for a Modified Skills Assessment from ANMAC which will be discussed later in the article.

Once you have logged in and begun your application you will be required to fill out personal information and provide identity documents, language proficiency evidence, qualification evidence, criminal history and registration history, all of which will be verified. Once you’re happy with all your responses and documentation you’ll have to pay for your application. 

For non-online applications you will have to find the relevant form from NMBA’s resources for registration page. Once you have found the form relevant to the registration you are seeking you can either mail it to APHRA or at the moment you can upload the form online along with any necessary documentation.

When overseas, once you register with NMBA and your application is successfully processed, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will send you a “Notice of in-principle approval of registration subject to proof of identity” which you will have to take to an AHPRA office in Australia within 3 months to obtain your full registration. Regardless it is advised to register within the 3 months before your intended travel to Australia.

The “Notice of in-principle approval of registration subject to proof of identity” is a required document when applying for a Modified PLUS Skills Assessment and this is the only pathway available for the majority of nationalities so make sure to keep this document secure.

Modified Skills Assessment

Once you have your registration, you will have to acquire a Migration Skills Assessment (MSA) with the Australian Nurses and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) known as the Modified Skills Assessment.

This pathway is for people who hold professional registration and have work experience as a nurse or midwife in countries that aren’t Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Hong Kong, the UK or USA. This is the pathway for the majority of nurses looking to migrate to Australia. 

For Enrolled Nurses this is the MSA you must apply for. This means for this occupation you must have acquired registration in one of the Australian or New Zealand nursing or midwifery boards listed above.

The Criteria for a successful MSA with ANMAC

A skills assessment with ANMAC is one of the longer and more complex MSAs out there. It breaks down into three different streams depending upon your professional registration. Fortunately the assessment criteria for passing the MSA largely remains the same and can be broken down into five categories; 

1)    Proof of Identity 

○      The applicant can establish that they are the person on which the skills assessment will be conducted. 

○      Passport, Change of Name documents, quality photo from the last 6 months.

2)    English Language Proficiency 

○      Must demonstrate required minimum scores in at least one of the following English tests within the past 2 years; IELTS, OET for Nurses, PTE, TOEFL iBT. 

3)    Educational Equivalence 

○      The applicant can demonstrate meeting current Australian nursing and midwifery educational standards.  

○      Graduation certificates and transcripts from all nursing and/or midwifery qualifications obtain in Australia and overseas

4)    Professional practice

○      The applicant can demonstrate practicing as a nurse or midwife in the 5 years preceding their application date. 

○      Professional references are required and these employers may be contacted for verification

○      Require to prove either;

                                          i)         A minimum of three months paid work within the last 5 years
AND

                                         ii)         If you require an assessment for an occupation other than 254499 -  Registered Nurse NEC you will need to submit a professional reference that supports a minimum of three months paid work experience as a nurse in the nominated area within the last 5 years.

5)    Fitness to practice 

○      The applicant can demonstrate that they are fit to practice without restrictions. 

○      A verification of registration or certificate of good standing letter from the organisation responsible for registering nurses and wives in the applicant's country or jurisdiction of work experience.

○      ANMAC does not require verification registration from AHPRA (relevant to the Full Skills Assessment)

Please note, if you are deemed unsuitable for skilled migration you will receive an explanation as to why this determination was made. You can apply to be assessed again two years from the date stated in your ANMAC-issued letter of determination. 

Modified Skills Assessment

This pathway is for nurses and midwives who hold professional registration in Australia or New Zealand. This is with either Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australian (NMBA/Ahra), the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ) or the Midwifery Council of New Zealand (MCNZ).

This isn’t just for New Zealand and Australian citizens as you could have your full registration with one of those boards without being a citizen however registration usually will require you to verify your documents in person at their offices in either Australia or New Zealand. However it is for Australian and New Zealand currently registered nurses and midwives only. 


Note; this is also the only skills assessment available to 411411- Enrolled Nurse applicants. For registration to NMBA you are required to present your documents in person. For registration to the New Zealand boards we cannot provide information.

After you have compiled your documents proving your work experience, qualifications and identity, create an account on ANMAC and begin your application for a migration skills assessment, ensuring to choose Modified Skills Assessment when prompted. Complete this online form, upload your documents and complete your payment.

Current waiting times for MSAs from ANMAC are 7-8 weeks however longer processing times may occur. The cost for a Modified Skills Assessment is $340. The cost to appeal a skills assessment with ANMAC is $200.

For more information or to apply for the Modified Skills Assessment please click here.

Mothercraft Nurse - 411412

Finally we turn our attention to Mothercraft Nurses. For all other nursing professions you have to use ANMAC for the skills assessment however for Mothercraft Nurses you must use Vetasses. 

This occupation is described as the following by the ABS;

“Mothercraft Nurses provide nursing care to patients in hospitals, aged care and other health care facilities and in the community, and assist parents in providing care to newborn infants under the supervision of a Registered Nurse or Midwife….


Provides care to newborn infants, and provides advice and training on infant care to parents of newborn infants. Registration or licensing is required.”

You will be required to register yourself with NMBA however there is no specific mothercraft nurse registration, rather you will have to register as an enrolled nurse with the notations ‘May only practise in the area of mothercraft nursing’ and ‘Does not hold a Board approved qualification in medication administration.

To begin a skills assessment with VETASSESS however you do not require registration with NMBA beforehand. Simply go to the VETASSESS website and click apply online. Fill out the online application and upload your necessary documents. 

To successful pass the skills assessment you will require the following; 

●      A qualification assessed as comparable to the education level of a skill level 2 AQF Diploma or higher in a field highly relevant to the nominated occupation.

●      At least one year of post-qualification highly relevant employment undertaken in the last five years, working at least 20 hours per week. 

If the qualification is not in a highly relevant field, then the applicant must have two years of post-qualification employment experience at an appropriate skill level in the last five years, working at least 20 hours per week which is highly relevant to Mothercraft Nursing. 

This is reduced to one year if there is an additional qualification of at least AQF Certificate IV level in a highly relevant field. 

If you were employed before acquiring your qualification, then three years of highly relevant employment experience are required in addition to at least one year of highly relevant employment at an appropriate skill level in the last five years. 

At this time the only visa offered for Mothercraft Nurse is the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494) meaning you will have to find an employer to sponsor your visa application however it does present an interesting option for people with nursing qualifications and experience to get visas into Australia.

If you are interested in acquiring professional help for your ANMAC MSA or for any Australian migration law inquiries, please contact admin@comandinimigration.com.au

All information is accurate as of the 5th of April 2023.

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