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What are the requirements to study a Diploma of Nursing?

by Chloe Baird

Nursing is the most trusted profession in Australia. And the healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing in Australia, not to mention the largest.

So if you’ve been considering a career in healthcare and, more specifically, in nursing, then now is a great time to join this in-demand profession. You can become an Enrolled Nurse by studying a Diploma of Nursing. Read on to discover how a Diploma of Nursing could be your ticket to university, what kind of government funding is offered for the Diploma of Nursing, and what requirements you need to meet before you begin studying this course.

There is a growing demand for qualified professionals in the healthcare industry.

Why study a Diploma of Nursing?

Have you thought about pursuing a career in the growing healthcare industry? Studying a Diploma of Nursing could help you get there.

The healthcare industry in is the largest industry in Australia, employing around 1.7 million people. This number is set to increase by 2024 to 1.9 million.

By studying OC’s HLT54115 Diploma of Nursing you’ll learn the skills necessary to begin a career in the healthcare industry. Graduating from this course qualifies you as an Enrolled Nurse (EN). To become a Registered Nurse (RN), you’ll need to study an undergraduate qualification such as a Bachelor of Nursing.

The main difference between an EN and an RN is the kind of responsibilities they have. An EN will always work under the supervision of an RN or another medical professional, while an RN has greater autonomy and is qualified to perform a wider range of tasks.

Is nursing a good career choice?

As an Enrolled Nurse, you’re qualified to work in a variety of different healthcare settings. Whether you’d prefer to work as part of a large team in a hospital, or in a private practice with regular clients, there are plenty of options available to you.

You can also choose to specialise in a particular area if and when you find your niche. Healthcare is a big industry, and there’s room for you to move and develop new skills in different areas.

Some of the different areas you could work in as an Enrolled Nurse include:

  • Aged care
  • Mental health services
  • Public or private hospital
  • Specialist clinic (such as pathology)
  • Palliative nursing care
  • Private practice or medical centre.

OC’s HLT54115 Diploma of Nursing is an accredited VET qualification that adheres to the strict guidelines set out in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). This means that it’s recognised nationally across the country.

What are the requirements to study a Diploma of Nursing?

How old do I have to be to enrol in the Diploma of Nursing?

Are there any pre-requisite tests I need to complete?

To enrol in the HLT54115 Diploma of Nursing with OC, there are a few requirements you must meet:

  1. You must be 18 years of age or older.
  2. You must be an Australian citizen. Alternatively, you must have a permanent humanitarian visa or certain temporary visas with study rights.
  3. You will also need to complete an online test to assess your language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) skills against the standard levels of the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF). The reason for this is to ensure that you have the necessary skills to comprehend the course materials, therefore not putting you at a disadvantage.
  4. You’ll need to provide a declaration regarding English language requirements as defined from time to time by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. You can find out more information about the language requirements here.
  5. Finally, you’ll need to meet at least one of the following academic suitability requirements:
    • Completed Year 12 in Australia. Please note, a Year 12 Certificate is required.
    • Successfully completed an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV or higher qualification (e.g. CHC43015 Certificate IV in Ageing Support) taught and assessed in English. Please note, formal documentation is required.
    • Achieve a minimum Exit Level 3 in each of Numeracy and Reading in the Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA). Please note, a formal test report is required.

This may seem like a lot at first, but if you have any concerns about meeting the requirements, you can always chat to one of OC’s friendly and knowledgeable Enrolment Consultants. You can get in touch by calling 1300 859 243.

The role of an Enrolled Nurse is multifaceted, and your responsibilities will vary depending on your work environment.

How can a Diploma of Nursing open up study options for university?

By studying the HLT54115 Diploma of Nursing with OC, you could open up a pathway to university.

Through our strong relationship with Southern Cross University, you could use the Diploma of Nursing as credit towards the Bachelor of Nursing.

So even if you weren’t thinking of studying to become an RN right now, the Diploma of Nursing with OC allows you to remain flexible if you change your mind in the future.

You can read more about our university pathway as well as terms and conditions on the course page.

Are there government funding options for the Diploma of Nursing?

As there is such high demand for qualified professionals in the healthcare field, there are certain government funding options available* for the HLT54115 Diploma of Nursing.

These funding options are dependent on your state (South Australia or Western Australia only) and are subject to eligibility requirements.

However, for those who meet the specified requirements, you could see a large portion of your course fees funding through the state government.

You can find out more about funding options on the course page, under ‘Funding Options’.

Where can I study a Diploma of Nursing?

You might already know that OC is Australia’s first distance education provider with more than 125 years of history. So while we’re pretty well known for delivering high-quality online VET courses, we do also offer campus-based learning options. We have two campuses in Australia – one in South Australia and one in Western Australia.

From these campuses, we run a number of healthcare courses. One of those courses is the nationally recognised HLT54115 Diploma of Nursing. We refer to these courses as ‘blended learning’. This means that part of the course is conducted on campus, and other parts are conducted online. This gives you the flexibility and convenience of online study combined with the benefits of face-to-face learning.

These courses do have set enrolment dates, however, so make sure you jump onto the course page to check the next intake date.

Discover where a career in nursing could take you with OC.


*Please make sure you read all the terms and conditions beforehand. If you want to find out more information about eligibility in relation to the HLT54115 Diploma of Nursing and you reside in South Australia or Western Australia, contact Open Colleges on 1300 934 823. Learn more by following this link. 

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