What’s it like to be a Nurse in Australia?

Thursday 8 September 2022
Nursing is a rewarding and multiskilled profession in Australia. Nursing not only has a variety of fields you can specialise in, it also has many different healthcare settings to work in, and employment options to choose from.
What’s it like to be a Nurse in Australia?

What's it like to be a Nurse?

Nurses provide medical and nursing care to patients. Nursing care can be provided in hospital, at home or in outpatient facilities. Nurses work as part of a care team that includes doctors, therapists and social workers. The nursing profession includes roles such as Enrolled Nurses, Registered Nurses, Practice Nurses, Theatre Nurses, Mental Health Nurses and Clinical Nurses.

Tasks and duties you can expect to perform as a Nurse:

  • Planning and creating a care plan for patients
  • Taking and recording vital signs, such as patient temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar
  • Collecting patient samples
  • Provide pre- and post-operative nursing care
  • Writing care notes
  • Provide emotional support to patients and relatives
  • Administer and monitor medication and intravenous drips
  • Supervise and tutor junior nurses and students

Nursing is generally a good fit for those who love working with people and are interested in a work environment that’s constantly changing. Nurses need to have strong communication skills, be organised and work well with others to meet the demands of the job. They can be required to work shifts at all hours, so flexibility is important.

The Nursing demand in Australia

Australia forecasts that in the medium to long term, the demand for nurses in Australia will exceed supply. Reports estimate that by the year 2025 there may be a shortfall of approximately 85,000 nurses and about 125,000 by 2030. If you’re considering being a nurse in Australia, your qualifications are likely to be in high demand.

 Opportunities for Nurses in Australia

The high demand for nurses in Australia means that there are a wide variety of opportunities available. Many jobs are located in rural areas that are underserviced, but there are many placements in urban areas such as midwifery, mental health, nursing homes and aged care, as well as critical care nursing, pediatric and forensic nurses.

What should you study?

To become a Nurse, there are two different pathways to choose from:  Enrolled Nurse and Registered Nurse.

To become an Enrolled Nurse, you will need to complete a Diploma in Nursing.

To become a Registered Nurse, you need to complete a Bachelor of Nursing. Alternatively, for students with previous tertiary qualifications, you can complete a two-year Master of Nursing (Graduate Entry) program.

All nurses must apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) to be able to work in Australia and registration must be renewed annually.

Bachelor of Nursing

This degree provides you with the skills and knowledge for a career as a Registered Nurse.

There are 29 institutions that offer this program in Australia.

Diploma of Nursing

This qualification prepares you to work as an Enrolled Nurse.

There are 24 institutions that offer this course in Australia.

Job opportunities

There are over 14,000 Nursing jobs on SEEK currently and the projected job growth over the next 5 years is 15.6%.

Typical salary for Nurses is around $A90,000 per year.

For international students it’s important to know that you need a high level of English to study and work as a Nurse in Australia. There are ways you can improve your English by either studying English in your home country or coming to Australia to study English before you start your Nursing course. This is the best way to improve your English.

Ask us for advice on studying a Nursing program in Australia.

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