To work as a nurse anywhere in Australia, you need to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. Once you have that registration, it is valid for one year and you can travel anywhere in the nation for work. Australia is a vast country that offers everything from deserts to rainforests, snowboarding to scuba diving, cosmopolitan cities to great expanses of wilderness.
There is currently a shortage of nurses in Australia, particularly in regional areas, so nurses are in high demand, with many opportunities for permanent and temporary work available. Each state or territory in Australia has its own unique flavour, but no matter where you decide to live and work, you will be welcomed and valued as a nurse.
View the article What do Nurses Earn which provides a guide of what nurses in different job types and in different parts of Australia earn.
There are many career options for nurses in Australia. You can work in numerous roles such as an enrolled nurse, registered nurse, midwife, community nurse, nurse practitioner, nursing unit manager, or even a director of nursing.
You can choose from areas of nursing like paediatrics, forensic mental health, aged care, Indigenous health, neurology, midwifery, critical care, renal, theatre, or even hyperbaric nursing, to name just a few. You can work in hospitals, community services or aged care facilities. You can even work as a remote area nurse, which offers incredible experiences and amazing locations, with the bonus of a very attractive salary!
If you live in Australia or have come here on a student visa from overseas, you can study a Bachelor of Nursing for three years to become a registered nurse at numerous universities across the country. (click here to view Bachelor of Nursing Courses across Australia) Once you have completed part of your degree, you can choose to register as an enrolled nurse to earn money and gain valuable practical experience towards the completion of your studies. You can also undertake post-graduate studies, which will allow you to specialise in areas of nursing that particularly interest you.
If you’re interested in becoming a midwife, you can undertake a three-year Bachelor of Midwifery, which only qualifies you to work as a midwife, or you can undertake a double degree over four years to work as a registered nurse and a midwife. If you’re already a registered nurse, then you can study for a post-graduate qualification in midwifery.
To work as an enrolled nurse (also called a division 2 registered nurse in Victoria), you will need to complete a two-year diploma of nursing or equivalent – the name and length of the course varies slightly between states. Enrolled nursing practice has been undergoing change in Australia over recent years, with enrolled nurses now able to perform more duties and take on more responsibilities.