Entry Program For Internationally Qualified Nurses (EPIQ)
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For more than 69 years the Australian college of nursing (ACN) has been the only specialist nursing organisation dedicated to providing dynamic education courses for nurses by nurses.

The entry program for internationally qualified nurses (EPIQ) is a Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) approved pathway for internationally qualified nurses to achieve the sufficient level of practice against the Australian standards for practice. Our course has been running for more than 15 years and the curriculum is accredited by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC).


January – November


11 weeks

Study mode

Face to face

Why study this course

The course will be delivered by our educators who have years of clinical experience and are all active within their specialties. They are supported by our external educators who are all highly skilled practitioners, working clinically to provide expert care. You will learn about  contemporary nursing practice in Australia and will be able to build on your previous knowledge, skills and experience to demonstrate evidence of safe practice at entry to practice level according to the relevant Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia standards for practice (NMBA 2016).

Course overview

Duration and mode of delivery

This is an 11 week course.

Our course consists of a 5 week theoretical component and a 6 week clinical placement component. This takes place at our Parramatta campus (close to public transport) and consists of classroom sessions, clinical skills practice and assessment, self-directed learning and on-line activities & assessments. Active participation is encouraged including group work and peer presentations. During the clinical placement students work under the supervision of an RN.

For Cohorts 159 – 162 the 5 weeks of theory are followed by 6 weeks of clinical placements.
For Cohorts 163 – 167 there will be 4 initial weeks of theory followed by a 3 week placement block, then returning to class for a consolidation week followed by a final 3 week placement.

This course is taught and assessed solely in English.


Assessments during the campus component will comprise of written, online and simulated clinical practice. All campus assessments must be passed in order to progress to clinical placement.

Assessments in the clinical placement component is under taken by ACN assessors or dedicated facility personnel. Participants are assessed against the relevant NMBA standards for practice for the registered or enrolled nurse. There are 2 formal assessments on placement, one in week 3 and one in week 6.

Course content

We deliver a comprehensive, contemporary and clinically relevant course. The course will cover:

  • the Australian healthcare system
  • ethics in nursing
  • professional practice in Australia
  • nursing and the law
  • patient safety and risk management
  • medication management
  • critical thinking, inquiry and research
  • contemporary Indigenous health
  • effective communication for health care professionals
  • reflective practice
  • clinical practice in acute care
  • healthcare across the lifespan from child and community through to aged care.


Before applying, an English language test is required for overseas applicants.

Information on the NMBA registration standards for English language skills.

IELTS (academic module) with a minimum overall score of 7 and a minimum score of 7 in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing and speaking).
This can be from one test sitting, or a maximum of two test sittings in a six-month period only if:

  • applicant achieves a minimum overall score of 7 in each sitting, and
  • applicant achieves a minimum score of 7 in each component across the two sittings, and
  • no score in any component of the test is below 6.5.


OET a minimum score of B in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing and speaking).

  • Applicant is tested in all four components in each sitting, and
  • Applicant achieves a minimum score of B in each component across the two sittings, and
  • No score in any component of the test is below 6.5


PTE Academic with a minimum overall score of 65 and a minimum score of 65 in each of the four communicative skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking) from one test sitting, or a maximum of two test sittings in a six month period only if:

  • applicant achieves minimum overall score of 65 is achieved in each sitting, and
  • applicant achieves  a minimum score of 65 in each of the communicative skills across the two sittings, and no score in any of the communicative skills is below 58.


TOEFL iBT with a minimum total score of 94 and the following minimum score in each section of the test:

  • 24 for listening
  • 24 for reading
  • 27 for writing, and
  • 23 for speaking

From one test sitting, or a maximum of two test sittings in a six month period and  applicant achieves  a minimum total score of 94 in each sitting, and a minimum score of 24 for listening, 24 for reading, 27 for writing and 23 for speaking across the two sittings.
And no score in any of the sections is below:

  • 20 for listening
  • 19 for reading
  • 24 for writing, and
  • 20 for speaking

Application processing

We are currently experiencing a high volume of applications for this course. Whilst our dedicated team endeavour to respond promptly to all enquiries, it may be some time before your application is processed. Thank you for your patience.

In order to ensure that your application is processed in a timely manner, please refer to the ‘How to apply’ information below before submitting your application and ensure it is complete.

How to apply

Participants must be referred to this course by the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA).

Important pre-enrolment information from the NMBA is available here.

Documents must be original or a certified copy.

Participant must meet all admission requirements and provide documented evidence of the following at the time of enrolment:

    • A certified copy of the AHPRA referral letter. Ensure that the period of the referral letter covers the 11 weeks of the course plus an additional 4-6 weeks for completion of documentation and recommendation to AHPRA for registration.
    • Results of acceptable English language test(s) – refer to the prerequisites section for more details
    • A certified copy of your passport
    • A certified copy of your visa
    • A valid Australian police/criminal record check (CRC)
    • Students who are not Australian citizens nor hold permanent resident status also needs to provide a criminal record check from their country of origin and any country they have resided in since the age of 16 or older in addition to their Australian criminal record check. This can be the same record check as used for AHPRA i.e. (fit2work).
    • Record of immunisation.
      • Evidence of immunisations must in line with NSW Health requirements.
      • All documented evidence of immunisations and original serology must be provided with the application:
      • Diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DTPa, not ADT) within last 10 years
      • Varicella, either positive serology OR past disease OR 2x vaccinations at least 28 days apart
      • Mumps, measles and rubella, either positive serology OR 2x vaccinations at least 28 days apart
      • Hepatitis B, positive serology AND evidence of at least 1x vaccination previously OR sign a statutory declaration during the course
      • The current years/season flu vaccine obtained in Australia ONLY

Course dates

CohortOn-Campus Block 1Clinical Placement Block 1On-Campus ConsolidationClinical Placement Block 2Availability
15915/01/2018 - 16/02/201819/02/2018 - 30/03/2018N/AN/ACourse completed
16026/02/2018 - 30/03/201802/04/2018 - 11/05/2018N/AN/ACourse completed
16102/04/2018 - 04/05/201807/05/2018 - 15/06/2018N/AN/ACourse completed
16214/05/2018 - 15/06/201818/06/2018 - 27/07/2018N/AN/ACourse in progress
16311/06/2018 - 06/07/201809/07/2018 - 27/07/201830/07/2018 - 03/08/201806/08/2018 - 24/08/2018Course in progress
16402/07/2018 - 27/07/201830/07/2018 - 17/08/201820/08/2018 - 24/08/201827/08/2018 - 14/09/2018Course in progress
16530/07/2018 - 24/08/201827/08/2018 - 14/09/201817/09/2018 - 21/09/201824/09/2018 - 12/10/2018Full
16627/08/2018 - 21/09/201824/09/2018 - 12/10/201815/10/2018 - 19/10/201822/10/2018 - 9/11/2018Full, applicant will be placed on a waiting list
16724/09/2018 - 19/10/201822/10/2018 - 09/11/201812/11/2018 - 16/11/201819/11/2018 - 07/12/2018Full, applicant will be placed on a waiting list

Career opportunities/ articulations

Once you successfully complete the bridging program, you can make a new application for registration to AHPRA and, if nothing else has changed since your previous application, you will be eligible for registration with the NMBA.

ACN provides the NMBA with student course outcomes directly to the NMBA via AHPRA.

When making a new application for registration following successful completion of the bridging program, you must meet the NMBA English Language Skills Registration Standard.

Further information on the application for registration process can be found on the NMBA website.

Fees schedule

  • $250.00 non-refundable application fee (will be deducted from final payment)
  • $1000.00 non-refundable acceptance fee (payable when letter of offer is accepted)
  • $10,550.00 final payment due 4 week’s prior to program commencement

Total cost $11,800.00

Clinical placements

Anyone applying for an ACN course that includes a clinical placement must provide evidence of compliance documents at the time of application.

Applications for enrolment will not be progressed until all relevant documentation has been received by customer services.

ACN negotiates with health care facilities to secure clinical placements. ACN will make every effort to secure clinical placements within the timeframe indicated in the course outline, however applicants are advised that provision and location of clinical placements is dependent on the availability of placements within the health facility.

As placements are difficult to secure, once confirmed these cannot be negotiated unless there is unforeseen extenuating circumstances. Applicants are not to arrange their own clinical placements with a clinical facility under any circumstances. ACN reserves the right to change clinical placements if necessary.

  • ACN reserves the right to change clinical placements.
  • Shifts will vary from morning, afternoon and night duty.
  • ACN does not organise participant accommodation.
  • ACN does not organise visas. For visa information click here.

For further information about clinical placements, please click here.

Additional placement requirements

The Australian College of Nursing is required under the National Law to comply with mandatory notification requirements. Please refer to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) for full details.