Thought I would add my thoughts to the post - My hubby and I are both nurses and have been here since 2007 on permanent visas (was 136 which I think has now been replaced by the 176??) We applied independantly and didnt use an agent - in all honesty even if you use an agent you will still do all the legwork and find all the info and complete the forms - they will look and say yes thats correct. Skills recognition is the first thing you will need to do - look on the DIAC website and look at the process. It really isn't difficult.
I worked agency when I first arrived and in all honesty found it very unsettling (I had 13 years experience as RN and midwife at that point) - different place each shift with different staff and working a completely different system (Private v public). There are subtle differences in terminology too. I ended up getting a permanent part time job in a private hospital to consolidate the learning in one place. Andy my hubby has worked at the same place since we arrived - Private ICU (I think it may be the one where Jane had problems) although he has had a totally different experience and really enjoys his job
Will write more later - things to do