COVID-19 information for our workforce
COVID-19 information for our workforce
| By Craig Gibson

Thinking of nursing in Australia from the UK or Ireland? 

Make no mistake, it’s a big decision – but we’re here to help! 

It’s what we have been doing for over 70 years, with a dedicated team of international recruitment consultants in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. It’s all about turning your career and travel dreams into reality. 

Read on for practical advice on everything from qualifications, where to live, pay and other money matters like tax and pensions.

Are you qualified?

An obvious question. Are you qualified?

We can place you in a wide range of nursing roles across Australia, covering different levels of experience and qualifications. This includes registered nurses (RNs), assistants in nursing (AINs), endorsed enrolled nurses (EENs) and specialist registered nurses.

We ask for a minimum of 12 months post qualification experience, or 6 months paid work experience if you are an AIN. 

You’ll also need to register with the Australian Health Professional Regulation Authority, or AHPRA. (Check out the AHPRA website to read how the registration process works and what’s required.) 

We can also talk you through the exact requirements and help you through the entire process. 

Next, think about which visa is right for you.

Which visa is right for me?

A Working Holiday Visa (WHV) is great if you’re looking for an extended holiday with some work. 

It covers you for 12 months, and is available to Irish and UK citizens if you are between 18 and 35 years old, single or married with no children. 

Do you have a specialisation?

If it’s on the Short-Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) you’re eligible for a visa of up to two years, renewable once for a further two years. 

If you’re eligible for a visa on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) you could even stay longer. And if you want it to be a permanent option? That’s possible - just talk to our specialist recruitment consultants for more. 

You also need to decide where to live.

Where to live?

Australia is a huge country, with plenty of lifestyle choices. 

Want to live in a big international city? You can do that in Sydney or Melbourne. Small country town? Yep. 

Close to the beach? Close to the snow? A tropical paradise? A rugged wide wilderness? The middle of the outback? Sure. 

Wherever you want to work, we’ve got you covered with branches across the country. You can talk to our friendly team about what you want, and how we can help. Or take our interactive quiz to work out where you may want to live!

What about money - which is really important, right!

Nursing salaries in Australia

When it comes to pay rates, it’s actually difficult to give you exact figures around how nurse salaries in Australia compare to the UK or Ireland. It really depends on your qualifications, experience and if the role is casual or full time.   

What we can say is that the average hourly pay for registered nurses in Australia is up there with the best in the world. And if you work for an agency – like ours 😉 – you actually get paid above award.

You’ll also want to know how tax, pensions and banking works down under. 

Money matters

Here are some other things you need to know about money in Australia.


In Australia, companies and organisations are required by law to pay into a private pension for you. It’s known as superannuation or ‘super’.

Currently, the super contribution is 11% of your salary. If you leave Australia, we can help you claim that money back. If not, you’re building a nest egg for your retirement!


Like anywhere else you have to pay tax in Australia (sorry!). 

You will need to apply for what’s known as a Tax File Number (TFN): a 9-digit personal reference number that identifies you. You can apply for it for free online at the Australian Tax Office website

And Australia’s tax year runs from 1st July to 30th June. There are seperate tax rates/brackets for individuals, including working holiday-makers, depending on how much you earn. 


You have a great choice of banks in Australia. Just like the UK, there are the big ones (ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac).

Banking in Australia is very modern and safe – with government guarantees for deposits up to $250,000.

To make the choice a little easier, we have partnered with Westpac. You can even set up your account before you leave for Australia. 

Before you leave checklist

Here are some other things to think about before you leave for Australia. 

(You can find more details and help in our free Guide to Nursing Down Under.)

Driving in Australia: you can drive on a valid UK or Irish (EU) licence for three months. After that, you’ll need to get an Australian licence. 

Vaccinations: it’s cheaper to get most of them done at home before you travel. Think: Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, Covid-19. 

Cancel contracts, redirect mail: cancel those streaming subscriptions and mobile phone plans, notify the tax office of your change of address, and redirect your mail.

Get an Australian SIM card or mobile phone: the main phone providers are Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. But check out your options. It’s easy enough to pick up an Australian SIM card when you arrive at the airport. Also don't forget to get your phone unlocked at home before you get on the plane!

What they say

Still not sure? Here's what Polly has to say about her experience here.

"My favourite thing about life in Australia is just the balance. Having a work life social balance that absolutely has been a big change, a good change in my life."

Polly, Registered Nurse


Why not check out our Nursing Down Under podcast, for more personal insights from nurses who have moded down under.

What next?

It might seem like a big move: but with our support, you can make it happen. Feel free to call our dedicated international teams in the UK or Ireland - and make that next great career and life adventure a reality!