Entry Program for Internationally Qualified Nurses (EPIQ) | Australian College of Nursing

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Entry Program for Internationally Qualified Nurses (EPIQ)

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ACN's EPIQ program is a face to face bridging course for overseas-qualified nurses. It is held at our Parramatta, NSW campus.

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).

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).

Duration and mode of delivery

This is an 11 week course.

Our course commences with a 5 week theoretical 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.

This is followed by a 6 weeks clinical placement component, during which students will work under the supervision of an RN.

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.


Assessments during the campus component will comprise written, on-line 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 in week 3 and week 6.


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:

  • Applicants achieve a minimum overall score of 7 in each sitting, and
  • Applicants achieve 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 achieve 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:

  • Applicants achieve minimum overall score of 65 is achieved in each sitting, and
  • Applicant achieve  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

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.

  • The original or 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)
  • A certified copy of passport or photo ID
  • A certified copy of visa
  • A valid Australian federal police (AFP) criminal record check (CRC) or a CRC from a recognised accredited broker

Visit the AFP website
Visit the national crime check website

Record of immunisation.

Evidence of immunisations must in line with NSW Health requirements.
All documented evidence of immunisations and serology must be provided with the application:

  • Diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus
  • Varicella
  • Mumps, measles and rubella
  • Hepatitis B
  • TB

You must also provide these documents with the application. These can be obtained from the link NSW health requirements.

  • Form 2. – Tuberculosis (TB) assessment tool
  • Form 3. – Student Undertaking/Declaration

Career opportunities/ Articulations

On successful completion of this course graduates will be eligible to apply to NMBA for reregistration as a registered/enrolled nurse



Clinical placement


16/01/2017 – 17/02/2017

20/02/2017 – 31/03/2017


27/02/2017 – 31/03/2017

03/04/2017 – 12/05/2017


03/04/2017 – 05/05/2017

08/05/2017 – 16/06/2017


08/05/2017 – 09/06/2017

12/06/2017 – 21/07/2017


26/06/2017 – 28/07/2017

31/07/2017 – 08/09/2017


31/07/2017 – 01/09/2017

04/09/2017 – 13/10/2017


11/09/2017 – 13/10/2017

16/10/2017 – 24/11/2017


25/09/2017 – 27/10/2017

30/10/2017 – 08/12/2017



Clinical placement


15/01/2018 – 16/02/2018

19/02/2018 – 30/03/2018


26/02/2018 – 30/03/2018

02/04/2018 – 11/05/2018


02/04/2018 – 04/05/2018

07/05/2018 – 15/06/2018


14/05/2018 – 15/06/2018

18/06/2018 – 27/07/2018


25/06/2018 – 27/07/2018

30/07/2018 – 07/09/2018


23/07/2018 – 24/08/2018

27/08/2018 – 05/10/2018


03/09/2018 – 05/10/2018

08/10/2018 – 16/11/2018


01/10/2018 – 02/11/2018

05/11/2018 – 14/12/2018

Applications close 2 weeks before the course commencement date

Fees schedule

  • $250.00 non-refundable application fee (will be deducted from final payment)
  • $1000.00 non-refundable acceptance fee (payable when placement is accepted)
  • $10,250.00 final payment due 3 week’s prior to program commencement

Total cost $11,500.00

Clinical placements

ACN negotiates with health care facilities to secure clinical placements. We organise clinical placements in the public, private and aged care health sectors. We make every effort to secure clinical placements within the time frames indicated for the course, however all applicants are advised that progression to clinical placement is dependent on the availability of placements within the health facility at the time. Clinical placements will involve travelling time and applicants are advised that the majority of morning shifts will commence at 07.00, therefore this will need to be taken into consideration.
Applicants are not to arrange their own clinical placements with a clinical facility. Any arrangements made between applicants and clinical facilities will not be honoured by ACN.

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.