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What to expect when the nursing pathway changes in mid-2019

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The Bridging Program for overseas registered nurses will soon be replaced by an Outcomes-Based Assessment. Here's a breakdown from an expert of what you need to know.

Registered migration agent Elaine Caguioa of Seek Migration said that the changes to the nursing pathway in Australia will take effect in mid-2019 as announced by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia last year.

What’s changing?

1. The Bridging Program will be phased out

According to Ms Caguioa, the Bridging Program will be phased out and will be replaced by a different kind of assessment on the second half of this year.

2. The Bridging Program is still in effect until changes are implemented

At this stage, the Bridging Program is still in effect and they are still giving referrals for the said program although most of the Bridging Program providers are full and they are not having their accreditations renewed.

Ms Caguioa adds that a large number of nurses are on the waiting list to do the Bridging Program and there has been a lot of uncertainty in terms of what’s going to happen to them.

“There are many nurses on a long waiting list and Colleges think that they’re going to run some of the bridging programs as of March or April this year but come June onwards, the Nursing and Midwifery Board think that it will all change,” she said.

Implementation dates are yet to be announced by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

3. Bridging Program will be replaced by an Outcomes-Based Assessment

In the previous process, registered nurses from overseas have to undergo a 3-month Bridging Program before they can become a registered nurse in Australia and apply for permanent residency. But with the change, nurses will now have to take an Outcomes-Based Assessment instead of a Bridging Program.

What is an Outcomes-Based Assessment?

Previously, the 3-month Bridging Program is used to build the gap because the bachelor of nursing in the Philippines is not equivalent to the Bachelor of nursing in Australia. However, instead of a 3-month course, nurses will now have to do an exam.

Under the OBA, overseas nurses will be assessed base on cognitive and behavioural component, and previous qualifications and experiences.

Further information in the OBA model will be provided later in 2019. 

Nursing pathways in Australia

1. Bridging Program until the Outcomes-Based Assessment is implemented mid of 2019

AHPRA, the agency in charge of the registration is still giving referrals for the Bridging Program until changes will be implemented mid-2019.

As of now, overseas nurses can still avail the Bridging Program but there is a long waiting list for nurses and some providers are already full.

2. Study Bachelor's degree of Nursing in Australia

For those who have done the Bachelor of Nursing in the Philippines but are not practising and have not practised as a registered nurse,  the pathway still remains available for them to do the degree in Australia.

Students will gain credits for what they’ve already studied in another country, instead of taking a 3-year Bachelor's degree they will be able to finish it within 1 and a half years.


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