Even in today’s modern world, nursing remains one of the most trusted and respected professions. Nurses are the link between doctor and patient, providing care and support for patients with a range of health concerns.
Nursing is a challenging, yet highly rewarding career for those who want to make a difference to people’s lives. A nurse can choose to specialise in several areas including community health, cardiology, family health, aged care, mental health, intensive care, occupational health, neonatal care, rehabilitation and many other specialities.
If caring for others has always been your calling, you may have considered a career as a nurse. In this article, we’ll go over some of the responsibilities, career opportunities and job prospects of nursing so you can decide whether this is the right option for you.
Making a difference
Each day as a nurse brings new opportunities to make a real difference to a patients’ life. Nurses assist, protect and promote the health of those under their care. They play a significant role in advocating for better health outcomes and improving the quality of patient care.
The desire to help others is often the motivation for those who want to become nurses. By helping to prevent and manage physical, mental or emotional concerns, nurses can make the greatest difference to the lives of their patients.
Nurses work alongside other medical and healthcare personnel to ensure positive outcomes for the individuals and communities they serve.
Working as a nurse in Australia (SA and WA)
There are many pathways for nursing graduates to take; from becoming a Registered Nurse to being a midwife, nurse practitioner or occupational health nurse. Each of these roles has its own unique set of responsibilities and duties.
Data from Job Outlook suggests that there is strong future growth for nursing in Australia. The number of people working as Registered Nurses grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years, from 279,600 in 2018 to 330,900 by 2023. Registered Nurses can also work in many regions of Australia and are not limited by geographic location.
Salary and wages for nurses vary depending on the type of role, level of education, experience, specialisation and other factors. Registered Nurses earn an average weekly income of $1,909, while midwives earn an average of $2,204 per week. PayScale shows the annual salary for an Occupational Health Nurse to be $76,808. You can expect your earning potential to increase though alongside experience.
Job security and opportunities for career advancement
According to a report by The Indeed Hiring Lab, nursing makes up 30% of healthcare job postings and nursing in Australia faces severe shortages, with employers struggling to find suitable candidates. Australia’s ageing population is a major driving force for this demand. This presents plenty of opportunities for new and experienced nurses to find employment and advance in their area of speciality.
How do I become a qualified nurse?
To be eligible for employment as a nurse or a midwife in South Australia and Western Australia you must obtain professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), pass a criminal record clearance and working with children screening as well as full working rights to work in Australia.
Open Colleges’ nationally recognised Diploma of Nursing combines the flexibility of online learning and on-campus study with practical training. We also offer industry placements to help you build your knowledge and gain real-life skills to deliver exceptional care to patients and clients.
This course can also pave the way for further study, with the option to complete a Bachelor of Nursing / Enrolled Nurse at Southern Cross University.
If you live in South Australia or Western Australia, visit our course page HLT54115 Diploma of Nursing to learn more about how you can become a qualified Enrolled Nurse in Australia.