Your nursing career in Australia starts here

La Trobe University's Initial Registration of Overseas Nurses (IRON) program prepares you to work as a Registered Nurse in Australia. After successfully completing this 13-week course you'll be qualified to register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Why study IRON at La Trobe?

Placements that give you local work experience - Gain professional work experience through placements with organisations such as Bendigo Health and St John of God who have a long standing reputation in provision of health services. You'll accumulate up to 400 hours of supervised experience facilitated by local clinical experts, with five eight-hour shifts each week of your professional placement.

Understand nursing in Australia - Our nursing academics prepare you for the Australian nursing workforce by helping you build on your theoretical knowledge and nursing skills. You'll learn about Australian health and the national health priorities.

Transition to work - Expand your skills and use existing knowledge to transition into the Australian healthcare workforce. We offer help with:

  • obtaining registration upon completion
  • writing your resume
  • interview preparation.

Our graduates are now working all over Australia.

World-class facilities - La Trobe University's Rural Health School was opened in 2013. It houses state-of-the-art simulation facilities, research and laboratory facilities, and a range of outstanding teaching and learning spaces.

Accredited until 2019 - La Trobe's IRON program is accredited for five years to 2019 – the longest possible accreditation period. This means that our program has been assessed as being of the highest standard of nursing education in Australia.

Academic entry requirements

You must provide evidence of:

  • current referral letter from AHPRA (valid until the end of the program)
  • English language proficiency: an IELTS (Academic) score of 7.0 overall with at least 7.0 in all bands, or   OET with A or B only in each of the four components
  • current registration as nurse in a country other than Australia (valid until the end of the program).

Course structure 

You'll study full-time for 13 weeks, including:

  • 80 hours of interactive workshops
  • 20 hours of simulation and clinical consolidation in clinical learning units
  • 220 hours of student-directed learning and assessment activities
  • up to 400 hours of supervised professional clinical experience (practicum).

How to apply

Follow these steps to apply for the IRON program.

  1. Submit an application for recognition as a Division 1 Nurse and referral to a bridging program to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
  2. Take the IELTS or OET English exam.
  3. Have all diploma/degree and nursing registration documents certified as true copies.
  4. Download and complete our coursework application form.
  5. Submit complete application to Please note: IRON applications cannot be submitted through the student portal on the La Trobe University website, they must be emailed to the above address.
  6. Wait to receive an offer before making payment.

Important dates

Our IRON courses commence in January and May/June. The programs fill very quickly. We recommend you start preparations to apply at least six months before the course begins.

Course fees

The course fee for 2016 is AUD$12,750.


The IRON program is delivered at our Bendigo Campus. For more information on this campus and accommodation options, visit the Bendigo Campus website.

Do you want more information?

Ask a question

Student testimonial

Arnold Silvano

'I highly recommend La Trobe University's IRON Program because of the quality of the course. It is a real hands on bridging program. The course builds on existing knowledge and focuses on the skills required to practice nursing in Australian. The clinical educators were great. They treated us like professional colleagues by acknowledging our overseas nursing experience. 

I got a job within two weeks of my registration and I am currently working at Colac Area Health as a Perioperative RN.'