Outcome Based Assessment (OBA) for Internationally qualified nurses and midwives (IQNM) and PR Pathway

If you have completed an overseas nursing qualification and want to practice in Australia, you would need to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). This Initial assessment is often required when applying for different Australian visas.

NMBA will assess your qualifications based on three criteria:

  1. Qualification must be recognized for registration.
  2. Qualification was subject to quality assurance and recognized or accredited by a body external to the education institution.
  3. Academic level of the qualification is comparable to an Australian Bachelor degree for registered nurses and a diploma for enrolled nurses.


Depending on your qualifications you will have to complete one of the below assessment streams:

Stream A

Registered nurse:

Your qualification is AQF 7 and meets criteria 1 & 2.

Enrolled Nurse:

Your qualification is AQF 5 and meets all criteria 1 & 2.


Stream A candidates must complete an orientation to be eligible to apply for registration.

Stream B

Registered nurse:

Your qualification is AQF 6 and meets all criteria except criterion 3 or,

Your qualification is AQF 7 and meets criteria 1 & 3.

Enrolled Nurse:

Your qualification is AQF 4 and meets all criteria except criterion 3 or,

Your qualification is AQF 5 and meets criteria 1 & 3.


Stream B candidates must complete an online orientation, a portfolio and an outcome-based assessment. The outcome-based assessment will include a multiple-choice question exam and an objective structured clinical examination.

Stream C

Registered nurse:

Your qualification is AQF 5 or lower.

Enrolled Nurse:

Your qualification is AQF 4 or lower.


If you are advised that you have to upgrade your qualification (i.e. stream c), you can study a nursing course in Australia. NMBA has a list of approved programs of study on their website.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to apply for your registration with NMBA.

Once you have received your registration, you can apply for a skills assessment with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC).


IQNM assessment (assessment and orientation) – $640

Multiple choice question exam – $Vary – Fees are set by the MCQ provider

Objective Structured Clinical for IQNM – $4000


Due to COVID-19 the providers of the multiple-choice question exam and objective structured clinical examination have temporarily closed their services. This means those that are required to undertake these exams will be unable to progress through the IQNM OBA pathway to apply for registration for some time.

Bridging Course – IRON Program

Bridging programs are only available to applicants who applied for registration on or before 21 February 2020 and have received a referral letter. For those who seeking to apply for registration now, you must complete the self-check to be advised of the assessment stages you must complete (as above).

On what visas can you do the IRON course?

The two common visas utilised to complete the IRON course are:

  1. Visitor (Business Stream) Visa (Subclass 600) – If the course can be completed in less than 3 months
  2. Student visa (Subclass 500) – if you do a CRICOS approved nursing course

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