How To Become A Nurse In Australia: A Complete Guide

International students want to know how to become a nurse in Australia from overseas, especially from the Philippines, UK and India.


Do you want to become a registered nurse in Australia? Becoming a nurse is one of the most professionally and personally rewarding careers that you can pursue.


Nurses are in great demand in Australia and across the world, and the continual advancement of new technology makes nursing one of the most challenging and exciting occupations available.


Nurses get the opportunity of helping patients at crucial moments in their lives while working as part of a team of competent professionals.


A career as a registered nurse will provide you with continued support, education, satisfying working relationships, and the chance to work in a variety of settings while earning a high income.

Read the post below to learn everything about how to become a registered nurse in Australia and provide compassionate nursing care for patients.



1. What do Nurses Do and Where Do They Work?


Nurses work in medical clinics or hospitals the majority of the time. They might also work for other organisations like rehabilitation centres, outpatient clinics, or senior centres. Overall, their primary responsibility is to promote good health and wellbeing.


Generally, nurses' traditional work environment is at a hospital, with emergency rooms being one of the most demanding and stressful. However, nowadays, nurses have a wide range of employment options that go beyond the traditional hospital or ward setting. Here are career opportunities and fields where nurses can work today:


  • Palliative care

  • Specialist ear nursing

  • Nursing in general practice

  • Aged care nursing

  • Cancer nursing

  • Getting a job as a nurse practitioner (who is able to prescribe some medications independently)

  • Mental health nursing (both inside and outside general hospital settings).


While there are numerous nursing specialty fields, some may require you to complete a TSPP (Transition to Specialty Practice Program). Obtaining a spot in one of these programs can be extremely hard and competitive, with up to 40 candidates competing for a single position in certain circumstances.


Furthermore, some nurses can successfully transfer into health-based businesses. Additionally, they may help with wound management and the days leading up to and after a patient's death. It is also believed that nurses are well-positioned to see indications of domestic abuse, and hence they must receive further training in this area.


It would be best if you mastered various technical skills to become a nurse — delivering medicines and giving an injection are two examples.


Many nurses conduct procedures that can make patients feel uncomfortable (in terms of the embarrassment and physical discomfort). Therefore, a nurse must possess strong communication skills, a sense of humour, and the ability to put people at ease.


Nurses are frequently asked to think on their feet and make quick decisions using their clinical reasoning abilities.


2. Major Duties and Tasks of a Registered Nurse


  • Observe, assess, monitor, document, and report patients' conditions and responses to treatment.

  • Provide first aid, offer health advice, conduct routine physical examinations, and keep track of illnesses and accidents (when employed by large commercial or industrial organisations).

  • Provide psychological and emotional support and health information to patients and their families.

  • Adjust and monitor medical equipment used in patient care and treatment, which might be highly complex and technical.

  • Supervise nursing support staff and other hospital staff.

  • Supervise or perform patient nursing care.

  • Provide patients with physical and technical nursing care and assistance.

  • Collaborate with other health professionals and members of health teams and coordinate patient care.

  • Participate in health education and other health promotion activities to promote health and help prevent illnesses.

  • Oversee and coordinate the work of enrolled nurses and other healthcare workers.

  • Contribute to the clinical training of midwifery and nursing students.

  • As per applicable regulations, administer medications and other recommended medical treatments to patients.

  • Provide and plan patients' rehabilitative care, including discharge planning and care.

  • Prepare patients for surgical treatments and help with surgical procedures and post-operative care such as nutritional management and wound care.


Note: The duties of an RN vary based on the setting where you work and the patients you encounter, but RNs typically collaborate with other qualified professionals to provide patient care, including surgeons, doctors, specialty nurses, physiotherapists, and others.


3. Steps to Become a Nurse in Australia


If you are wondering how to become a nurse practitioner in Australia, the process is quite straightforward. All you need to do is complete your high school, enrol into an authorised tertiary program, and then register with NMBA (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia) to become a registered nurse.


Here are some common steps you can take to pursue a career in nursing in Australia's fast-developing healthcare sector and make a positive contribution to society:



Step 1: Complete Your High School


Students must complete their high school or similar state-based equivalent to getting accepted for entry into a higher education degree in nursing. Some Australian institutions may also require you to finish your prerequisite courses.



Step 2: Complete a Bachelor Degree


The next step is to go for a Bachelor degree in the field of nursing. This may include a Bachelor of Science (majoring in nursing), a Bachelor of Nursing, and a Bachelor of Nursing (advanced studies). On the other hand, students who have completed previous tertiary qualifications can pursue a two-year Master of Nursing program (Graduate Entry).


Note: The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council grants accreditation to these courses, which the NMBA then approves.


Step 3: Submit Your Application to the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Board


All nurses must apply for registration to practise through the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Board after graduating with a nursing degree from a tertiary institution.


The current application fee for recent graduates stands at $90; however, this may change in the future. This registration needs to be updated every year, and a renewal fee will be charged every time.


All nurses must fulfil the NMBA's mandatory registration standards in order for their application to be accepted. The requirements may include criminal background checks, continuing professional development, English language skills, professional indemnity insurance, and recency of practice.


Nurses with valid working visas from other countries are also eligible to register with the NMBA. Therefore, you must first register before you can receive a job offer. It is preferable to have at least two years of experience as a nurse in your native country to gain sponsorship.



Step 4: Advance in Your Career by Pursuing Specialist Education


Registered nurses can work in a variety of healthcare specialties, including mental health nursing, emergency nursing, and cancer and haematology nursing, to mention a few.
Registered nurses can also pursue careers in several different health specialties, including emergency nursing, mental health nursing and cancer and haematology nursing, just to name a few.


Many specialties prefer applicants who have completed postgraduate education in these disciplines since it allows nurses to expand their knowledge, clinical experience, and skills. It also aids nurses in developing their professional practice and leadership skills.


You must continue your education to enhance your career and if you want to work as a nurse educator, clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse consultant. These leadership positions enable you to provide complex and sophisticated care while also allowing you to take on additional duties and earn a higher income.


4. Study Pathways to Become a Nurse in Australia


If you aspire to become a nurse in Australia, you can take the following nursing study pathways at three levels:



At a Diploma Level



  • However, nursing programs frequently require students to be of legal age to enrol. This means that students must be at least 18 years old. When a student is under 18, special permission from the academic faculty is required to enrol in a Nursing program.


  • In most cases, mathematics must be taken as a mandatory unit in year 12 to enter a Diploma of Nursing program. If you are under 18 years, a CERT III in Ageing Support or Individual Support is recommended as a prerequisite course before beginning the Diploma program.



At a Bachelor's level


  • After finishing year 12 in their home country, an overseas student can enrol in a Bachelor of Nursing in Australia. To ensure direct entry into the course, the student must have a good grade point average across STEM indicative subjects (Chemistry, Physics, Maths, General Sciences, Biology, etc.).


  • They must also have good English competency (with an overall IELTS score of seven and no individual score less than 7) or the equivalent scores set up by Australian Universities for other tests like PTE, OTE, and more.



At a Masters Level


  • After graduating from a non-graduate school with a Bachelor's degree in a field unrelated to nursing, a student can enrol in a Master of Nursing program at any reputed Australian university. This permits students who have completed different courses at the Bachelor's level to pursue a two-year Master's degree in nursing and become nursing practitioners.


  • A perfect example of this situation is when a student completes a Bachelor of Community Services, Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Dentistry, Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Bachelor of Pharmacy, or a Bachelor of Science (microbiology, biotechnology, etc.) and gets accepted into a Master of Nursing program. This enables an allied health worker to enter the nursing industry without completing a three-year bachelor's degree to become a registered nurse.


Some of the best Australian universities that offer master's level nursing programs include:



5. How Much Does a Registered Nurse Earn in Australia?

According to Payscale, the average annual salary of a registered nurse in Australia is between AU$56,000 and AU$90,000. The registered nurse salary may vary based on your qualifications, location, seniority level, and experience.

6. Why Study Nursing in Australia?


Australian institutions are known across the world for their nursing education programs. Also, did you know that the QS World University Rankings has identified Australia as having 11 of the top 50 nursing institutes in the world?


In Australia, healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries, and considering Australia's ageing population, demand for healthcare services will continue to rise. Nursing is a secure and fulfilling job, so it's no surprise that this profession is in great demand. As a result of the assistance they offer to patients, nurses end up having a high level of job satisfaction.


Nursing courses in Australia cover a wide range of topics, with nurses assisting patients at challenging times in their lives. Compassion, effective communication, and practical and theoretical medical knowledge are all required to become a nurse in Australia.


All in all, the greatest advantage of studying nursing in Australia is that it allows you to work anywhere within Australia and other parts of the world.


After completing your nursing degree, you can join the AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency). The ability to network with other professionals and getting better employment opportunities are the top benefits of joining such an organisation.


Furthermore, you will be recognised for your qualifications in your profession and will be able to continue to enhance your skills and knowledge.
Now that you know everything about how to become a nurse in Australia, you are ready to explore several career opportunities in the field of nursing and make a difference in society.



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