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Being ranked as one of the most popular jobs in Australia, nursing promises good career prospects and rewarding experiences for a young job seeker who has set her heart on reaching out to the physically and mentally ailing people.  Nursing career is a very demanding one in that it gives the nurses and nursing assistants, considerable responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their patients. The population of Australia is rapidly ageing.  This situation has led to a greater need for chronic care and acute care, and thus increasing job opportunities have been created for nurses and nursing assistants. 

Key Responsibilities

Providing the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual support to patients as well as their friends and families is the primary responsibility of a nursing professional.  Assuring best patient care, ensuring a safe and clean working environment, acquiring up-to-date professional and technical knowledge are some of the other key responsibilities of nursing staff working in Australia.

Qualifications and Skills

A basic undergraduate degree in the medical field, along with a 3-year bachelor’s degree in nursing acquired either in Australia or in accepted foreign countries are adequate to land the young job seeker in the nursing profession. 

However, progressing in this career and excelling in it depends on experience and additional qualifications. For example, taking up various Skills Training Health & Nursing courses will help you specialise in a specific field of nursing.  Some other training courses qualify people for job opportunities such as nursing support workers, assistants in nursing, orderlies and patient services attendants. 

Besides qualifications and experience, certain skills are required for a nurse to become popular with her patients.  Good communication skills, teamwork and a good “bedside manner” are some of them.

Requirements for Working as a Registered Nurse

  • Work rights in Australia (relevant and valid work visa)
  • Current registration from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
  • A minimum of 12 months post-graduate clinical experience
  • National Criminal History Record Check clearance

           In addition to these, the following requirements are expected to work in New South Wales        (NSW):

  • NSW Working with Children Check clearance
  • Compliance with the NSW Health vaccination and immunity policy

Nursing Specialties

As a Registered Nurse (RN) in Australia, the job seeker can choose one of the following specialities and establish themselves in that field;

·         Rural and Remote

·         Rehabilitation

·         Intensive Care

·         Paediatrics

·         Aged Care

·         Community Health

·         Surgical Nursing

·         Aboriginal Health

·         Oncology

·         Mental Health

·         Medical Nursing

Registered nurses can also choose health administration, education and or research.

Remuneration and Career Prospects

Healthcare professionals in Sydney and Melbourne earn more, compared to the rest of the country.  The average annual wage for a Registered Nurse (RN) in Australia is $60,000.  A beginner level role receives $44,155 on average, while nursing professionals with a few years of experience earn $77,965 on average.

Some of the highest paying nursing job categories are as follows;

1.       Certified registered nurse anaesthetist

2.       General Nurse practitioner

3.       Gerontological nurse practitioner

4.       Pain management nurse

5.       Psychiatric nurse practitioner

6.       Certified nurse midwife

7.       Family nurse practitioner

8.       Informatics nurse

9.       Clinical nurse specialist

10.   Nursing administrator

11.   Nursing educator

12.   Neonatal nurse

13.   Critical care nurse

14.   Health policy nurse

15.   Medical-surgical nurse

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