English exam result validity for 3 year & Bridging program referral letter extension AHPRA

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Australia need nurses and nurses need support

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) assessing internationally  qualified nurses eligibility to be a registered nurse in Australia. To submit application for this assessment, they have to pay $740 and its mandatory to meet criteria like IELTS Academic 7 score/ equivalent  with in last 2 years and a few more matters. To apply for this assessment nurses need to do lots of paper works and with cost a lot and also take up to 1 to 2 months. AHPRA usually take 3 to 5 months to issue their assessment outcome. After assessment AHPRA normally refer most of the candidates to do a Bridging program in Australia. In that bridging program it usually clearly mentions that each candidates should complete this course with in 12 months period.  

In past 12 months AHPRA assessed and issued referral letter to Bridging program for more than 1500 nurses internationally. At the same time AHPRA suggested some changes and regulations with regard to conducting Bridging course in Colleges. Now only 5 Universities and 1 college running this program with limited seats. A few colleges accreditation is expired and waiting for re-accreditation. This made real scarcity in availability of seats to do Bridging program. 

As per AHPRA rule Nurses has to re apply to AHPRA after completion of  bridging program and at that time their IELTS/ equivalent score should be valid (results published with in 2 year period). Also AHPRA suggested Bridging program should be completed with in 12 months and there is no seats available. By the time nurses completes bridging program their IELTS/ Equivalent exam result will expire. 

Its a request to AHPRA to understand the reality that there is no Bridging program seats available to complete the course in 12 months. From achieving required English score to getting AHPRA registration is lengthy process (12 to 18 months) and while waiting for admission there is high chance that English result may get expire. 

  • Its a request to accept English score results up to  3 years for the nurses who completed bridging program.
  • Request to provide 24 months validity for the referral letter issues by AHPRA till bridging program course admissions readily available in Australia. 

Australia need nurses and Nurses need support to resolve the issue which they are facing. After collecting money from nurses in the name of assessment and providing a task to bridging program which is not available in Australia and restricting them to complete it with in a time frame is not correct approach. 

Hope AHPRA will take a decision to support International nurses and support them to complete the requirement by relaxing the regulations.  


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