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POSTED ON 07-02-2022

How to Become a Nurse in Australia


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Nursing is a rewarding career, both in Australia and around the world. You get hands-on experience in caring for patients with various ailments. You also have the option of working in world-class medical centres, hospitals and clinics.

Becoming a nurse involves a fair amount of hard work. You need to obtain relevant qualifications and be registered in order to work as a nurse in Australia. Read on to find out more about the educational requirements and skills a nurse should have and the responsibilities of this job role.

 

Types of Nurses

There are three main types of nursing roles in Australia. Each of these nursing roles has its responsibilities and plays an important role in the healthcare sector.

·       Registered Nurse (RN) – This type of nurse holds a higher level of responsibility and accountability than the other nursing roles. The role is equivalent to holding the position of a unit manager or administrator.  

 

·       Enrolled Nurse (EN) – This type of nurse works under a registered nurse as a second level in assistance. This role involves monitoring and recording patients’ vital conditions.

 

·       Practice Nurse – This type of nurse has a higher level of authority and is responsible for advanced health care. A practice nurse usually works along with a doctor in handling patients directly.

 

Responsibilities of a Nurse

The duties and responsibilities vary according to the type of nursing role. A practice nurse plays a more advanced role in comparison to a registered or enrolled nurse. Here are the responsibilities of each type of nursing job.

 

Duties of a Registered Nurse

·       Observing patients under medical care.

·       Recording details, symptoms and medical history of patients.

·       Administering medication and treatments.

·       Preparing patients for medical examinations and treatments.

·       Operating and monitoring medical equipment.

·       Drawing blood and collecting urine samples for lab tests.

·       Supervising nursing assistants and other junior nursing staff.

 

Duties of an Enrolled Nurse

·       Observing and recording patient’s vital conditions.

·       Reporting any changes in patients’ conditions to doctors and registered nurses.

·       Assisting patients with hygiene activities like bathing and dressing.

·       Providing nursing care for patients before and after surgeries.

·       Providing emotional support to patients and their families.

·       Documenting patient notes.

·       Providing wound care.

 

Duties of a Practice Nurse

·       Updating patient files with vital conditions and measurements.

·       Assisting with patient assessments.

·       Assisting General Practitioners (GPs) with minor medical procedures.

·       Providing wound care.

·       Assisting with immunisations and vaccination programs.

·       Supporting patients in managing chronic diseases.

·       Providing patients and their families with education on a range of healthcare topics

·       Assisting in coordinating patient referrals with various providers.

 

How to Become a Nurse in Australia

To become any type of nurse, you need to obtain relevant educational qualifications. In addition, you should also register with the relevant authority boards in order to work in this sector. Moreover, you should renew your registration with these authority boards, which is usually done on an annual basis.

 

To become a registered nurse you need to;

·       Complete a Bachelor of Nursing. This is a 3-year course if done full-time. You’ll also be completing 840 hours of clinical experience in various healthcare settings.

 

·       Apply to AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency). You also have to renew your registration annually.

 

To become an enrolled nurse you need to;

·       Complete a Diploma in Nursing. This is a 20 months course if done full-time. The course includes 400 hours of unpaid clinical experience in various professional workplace settings.

 

·       Apply to AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency). You also have to renew your registration annually.

 

To become a practice nurse you need to;

·       Be qualified as a registered nurse or enrolled nurse.

 

·       Register with NMBA Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia). You also have to renew your registration annually. 

Apart from the above qualifications and registrations, you can increase your demand with experience in the industry.

 

Skills to have as a Nurse

Educational qualifications alone cannot make you a nurse. There are various skills nurses should possess in order to become successful in their careers. These characteristics help you play your part as a nurse, successfully. An experienced and outstanding nurse should possess the skills given below.

·       Communication

·       Teamwork

·       Time management

·       Empathy

·       Critical-thinking ability

·       Leadership

·       Integrity

·       Attention to detail

·       Interpersonal skills

·       Emotional intelligence

·       Attitude and confidence

·       Professionalism

·       Problem solving ability

·       Adaptability

·       Conflict resolution

·       Willingness to learn

 

Job Opportunities

Nursing is a career showing high job growth. An increase in nursing job opportunities means that you don’t have to worry about finding a job once you obtain relevant qualifications. There is always a demand for employees in this industry.

Here is an overview of the job growth and salary scale of a nurse in Australia.

 

Job role

Salary scale (Average salary)

Growth

Registered Nurse

$80k

15.6%

Enrolled Nurse

$65k

9.8%

Practice Nurse

$90k

15.6%

(Source: www.seek.com.au)

 

Benefits of Becoming a Nurse in Australia

Nursing is a career with many benefits. Knowing the advantages of becoming a nurse will motivate you in your path to becoming one. Here is why you should take this rewarding career path.

·       Caring and helping – Nursing is a profession that involves caring for patients. It gives you the satisfaction of helping others and benefitting their lives.

 

·       Earning potential – Nursing is a career that has a high pay scale. You can earn a higher salary in the metropolis than in rural areas. On average, a nurse has a salary scale of $65k - $90k.

 

·       Increased demand – Nursing is a job that has a high demand. The metropolitan area has the highest demand for nurses in Australia.

 

·       Work flexibility – Nursing jobs in Australia come with great flexibility. You can choose to work full-time or part-time. Certain healthcare providers allow nurses to work 12-hour shifts for three days a week, giving four days off. This is ideal for those who don’t mind working long hours for a few days.

 

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