Nurses provide comfort, care and compassion to the patients which are as important as the medicine prescribed by the doctors. Healing patients and educating communities are some of many things a nurse does.

Australia is a great place to study to become a nurse; it is home to 10 out of 50 best universities in the world in area of nursing[1].You can choose to become a nurse undertaking a course either thorough Vocational Education and Training (VET) or university. Here we will walk you through many courses you can take to become a nurse.

Diploma/Advanced Diploma of Nursing

Course Description

The minimum level of study to become an enrolled nurse in Australia is diploma of nursing. Vocational Education and Training (VET) provides the skills and knowledge to work as an enrolled or division 2 nurse. The graduates of this course work under the supervision of the registered nurse in various workplaces. One requires undergraduate study in bachelor of nursing to become a registered nurse. Fortunately, enrolled or division 2 nurses can also upgrade their qualification through some special pathways program to earn a degree equivalent to undergraduate degree in Nursing.

Following the completion of the Diploma you could undertake further study with the Advanced Diploma.

Entry Requirements

  • Academic and English proficiency specific to course and institution
  • Completion of Year 12 with studies in mathematics and science or an equivalent senior secondary school qualification or relevant employment experience.

Special Requirements

  • Applicants may also need to attend an information session and complete a literacy and numeracy assessment and obtain required immunizations, a police check and a Working with Children Check in order to complete clinical components of the program.

Where to study

TAFE and some private Registered Training Organizations (RTO’s) offer VET qualifications in nursing.

Choosing the best institution

Hands-on experience along with theory class is an important aspect of nursing courses. So it is important to see if your course and institution provide highest quality training which will equip you to work within a wide variety of health care settings. Good institutions should provide good facilities, offer clinical placements and provide access to the latest equipment and have strong relation with industry and employers.

Undergraduate Study in Nursing

Course Description

You can earn bachelor degrees in nursing and midwifery through undergraduate study in nursing. The Bachelor of Nursing is designed to prepare students for the role of the registered or division 1 nurse. Graduates of the course are capable of delivering a high standard of confident, safe and therapeutic nursing care in a variety of health care settings. They demonstrate nursing care that is patient-centered, informed and responsible. The division 2 or enrolled nurses work under the supervision of registered nurses.

The completion of a bachelor of midwifery qualifies graduates to work as a midwife. As a midwife you’ll work in partnership with women to provide high quality, safe and effective care before, during and after childbirth. Students who have got undergraduate degree on nursing can obtain training in midwifery at postgraduate level. Double degrees in nursing and midwifery enable graduates to work as both a registered nurse and a midwife.

In order to specialize in particular filed of nursing you will have to work in a range of areas and study after graduation.

Entry Requirements

  • Academic and English Proficiency requirements as indicated chosen institution
  • Some undergraduate courses in nursing require the completion of prerequisite studies in mathematics in secondary school.
  • Special pathways program with credit for those applicant with VET qualification in nursing or who have relevant work experience

Special Requirements

  • Applicants must ensure that they have obtained required immunizations, a police check and a Working with Children Check in order to complete clinical components of the program.

Where to study

Nursing courses are widely available at undergraduate level and are offered around Australia by most universities and some TAFE institutes.

Choosing the best institution

Practical experience is an important aspect of nursing courses. Choose university which provides clinical learning with clinical placements in health care settings.  It is important to check that the courses and institutions you are considering uses learning technologies such as simulation and on-campus health clinics. The good contact with industry and employers is always a plus point.

Postgraduate Study in Nursing

Course Description

If you wish to continue your education after your bachelor degree in nursing, postgraduate nursing courses is for you. This will enable you to expand your career by facilitating career specialisation, development of managerial skills.  You will have myriad of opportunities such as to move into roles in areas such as education, midwifery, aged care, critical care and mental health nursing, becoming a nurse practitioner or health research.

For those who have completed an undergraduate degree in areas other than nursing such as science also qualify to undertake Postgraduate conversion programs or graduate entry bachelor degrees to become registered nurse. A small number of postgraduate coursework degrees in areas such as clinical leadership and nursing management enable practicing nurses to qualify for nursing management and administration positions.

Research degrees in nursing are available and include research masters degrees and research doctorates. Currently, only a small number of nursing postgraduate students complete research programs — many of them are nurse educators.

Entry Requirements

  • Academic- undergraduate degree in nursing or, in the case of conversion programs, an approved undergraduate degree in another field.
  • English language proficiency as indicated by institution

Where to study

Many universities and some private institutes for higher education provide postgraduate course on nursing. However, it is important to note not all institutions provide all fields of specialization.

Choosing the best institution

You possibly have a specific career goal in your mind as you are going to specialize through post graduate program or involve in research. So make sure the relevant course and opportunity are available at the institution. It is always preferable to find department where faculty members are involved in research in your filed of interest. Not to mention the research program should be well established and recognized.

Nursing jobs in Australia

After successful completion of an approved course in nursing, the first thing you need to do is register yourself with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. Overseas trained nurses and midwives will be accessed against criteria that will align them with the requirements for Australian qualified applicants for registration.

The job opportunities for nurses and midwives are generally offered by government (state and territory) or private employers.  The opportunities are advertised by employers, either in newspapers, on the Internet or through other forms of media.

Nurses not only work in clinical practice and hospital but also in other several fields. They work in community and industrial settings, including aged care facilities, community centers, factories, offices, schools, pharmaceutical companies and in patients’ homes. Many also work as nurse educators or nursing managers and administrators. There are also specializations within clinical practice areas, such as emergency, aged care, mental health, midwifery, palliative care or intensive care.

Enrolled or division 2 nurses practice under the direction and delegation of a registered nurse or nurse practitioner to deliver nursing care and health education. While the registered nurse maintains overall responsibility for the plan of care, enrolled nurses are responsible for nursing assessments and implementation and evaluation of care for health consumers and/or families.

Salary

Nursing is a challenging as well as a rewarding job. Type of nurse and the years of experience will determine the salary of the candidate. The recent rates[2]in Australia per annum payable from 1 April 2016 are:
Registered Nurse, Registered midwife: $62,724 to $81,117
Enrolled Nurse: $56,515 to $59,982

  1. https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/university-subject-rankings/2016/nursing
  2. https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/441443/nurses-midwives-wagerates.pdf

Other important links and references:

  1. http://www.careersaustralia.edu.au/course-details/diploma-of-nursing-enrolled-division-2-nursing
  2. http://www2.rmit.edu.au/Courses/pdf/c5313.pdf

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