Nursing is one of the most popular jobs in Australia. There are 331,000 registered nurses and midwives across the nation, including 40,755 practitioners who are registered as both a nurse and midwife. With the rapidly ageing population of Australia, the demand for nurses will only grow, creating more and more job opportunities for those who have chosen nursing as a career.
Nursing career can be one of the most rewarding one in the community as well as a very demanding one, which gives the nurses considerable responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their patients.
Identifying the required care for patients, providing emotional, psychological and spiritual support to patients, their friends and families, assuring quality patient care, documenting such caret, ensuring a safe and clean working environment, portraying professional and technical knowledge etc. are key responsibilities of a nursing staff working in Australia.
Qualifications and Skills
The general qualification for a nurse in Australia is a basic undergraduate degree in the medical field, with the added qualification of a 3-year Bachelor of Nursing degree.
Those with prior experience or holders of Bachelor of Nursing degrees can take TAFE (technical and further education) courses which are geared towards transitioning to another field of nursing. A number of TAFE’s and other educational institutions also offer Diploma of Nursing Courses, which allow you to practice as an Enrolled Nurse in Australia.
To effectively work as a nurse and achieve career success in this field primarily requires good people skills. These skills include good communication skills, teamwork and a good “bedside manner.” Another important asset is clinical knowledge, which covers basic medical knowledge, correct medical procedures and infection control protocols.
Salaries of nurses are higher in Sydney and Melbourne compared to the rest of the country. The average annual salary for a Registered Nurse (RN) in Australia is $60,000. An entry-level role earns $44,155 on average, while nursing professionals with a few years of experience earn $77,965 on average.
The highest paying nursing jobs are:
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
- General Nurse Practitioner
- Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
- Pain Management Nurse
- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
- Certified Nurse Midwife
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Informatics Nurse
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Nursing Administrator
- Nursing Educator
- Neonatal Nurse
- Critical Care Nurse
- Health Policy Nurse
- Medical-Surgical Nurse
Registered Nurses (RN) with a few years’ experience can move into more specialized roles such as Emergency Room, Intensive Care, Oncology or manage other nurses as a Registered Nurse (RN) Supervisor or Manager of Nursing.
Professional Associations such as ACN (Australian College of Nursing), APNA (Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association), ASANNA (Australian Student and Novice Nurse Association) and NENA (National Enrolled Nurse Association of Australia) support nursing professionals by providing the relevant skills training and social opportunities.
Cost of Living:
The cost of living for a single person is AUS $ 1339.51 per month, without rent. A single room accommodation in Sydney could cost anywhere between AUS $ 203 to 333. 2015 statistics show that the most expensive suburb in Sydney was Milson’s Point at AUS $ 381 per week for a room and the cheapest suburb was AUS $ 171 a week at Mount Druitt.