How To Become an Assistant Nurse In Australia?

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Students want to know how they can become nurse assistants in Australia.


Do you love challenges, enjoy helping people, and like working in the healthcare system? If yes, a career as an Assistant Nurse can be very fulfilling.


Assistants in Nursing are trained professionals who provide limited patient care under the supervision of nursing staff. They are helpful and understanding with patients and can offer support and services.


To become an assistant nurse, you must study an accredited and nationally recognised Certificate III in Health Services Assistance to work as an AN.


Keep reading the blog to learn more about a career as a nursing assistant. Explore how to become an Assistant Nurse in Australia, what they do, their skills, salary, and how much they make a year.



1. What Is An Assistant Nurse?


Nursing is a respected and trusted profession. Assistants in Nursing play a vital role in the health and community centre environments to help others achieve better health. 


They have strong empathy, communication, and customer service skills essential to working in general patient care settings. Assistant Nurses work under the direction of Registered Nurses, Enrolled Nurses, and Midwives to offer limited support and care to patients. 


The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia regulates Assistant Nursing in Australia.



2. Assistant Nurse Duties And Responsibilities


Assistants in Nursing are pivotal in offering support to Enrolled Nurses and Registered Nurses. They perform a wide range of tasks based on the healthcare setting employed.


Here is a comprehensive list detailing the most common duties and responsibilities of ANs:


  • Prepare beds

  • Clean equipment

  • Attend to simple wound dressings

  • Assists patients with their care needs, such as oral hygiene, shaving, bathing, dressing, eating, etc., in doctor's offices, hospitals, convalescent homes, and residential care centres

  • Offer specialised treatment and care for seniors, mentally ill patients, and the disabled.

  • Help patients perform rehabilitation exercises as recommended by other health professionals.

  • Provide general medical treatment and delivery of medicines

  • Implement infection control standards

  • Assist doctors, nurses, and occupational therapists in treating patients

  • Attend to personal requests of patients to reduce pain/discomfort and ensure they are comfortable 

  • Work with nurses to understand the patient's condition and plan for recovery.

  • Provide therapy to patients with behavioural issues and dementia

  • Observe and report changes in patient's conditions and reactions to medications and treatments to doctors

  • Help patients move or reposition themselves as needed.

  • Clean patient rooms, garments, and linens

  • Provide routine sterilisation and cleanliness to curb the spreading of infections

  • Assisting midwifery staff and other nursing staff with routine technical support functions 

  • Maintain detailed patient records and help in the planning of daily routines and continuing care regimens 

  • Measure a patient's vital signs, including temperature, blood pressure, etc. 

  • Keep stock of supplies.



3. Assistant Nurse Skills


Nursing Assistants spend most of their time with patients and may develop a close bond with them. They provide general patient support and are vital for a healthcare facility's atmosphere.


You need to have the right personality to follow a nursing career. Below are the most desirable traits to work in this profession:


  • Enjoy helping people

  • Strong communication skills

  • Attention to detail

  • Compassionate nature 

  • Multi-tasking abilities

  • Able to make good judgment calls 

  • Flexibility

  • Resilience

  • Diplomatic

  • Compassionate 

  • Empathetic

  • Physical Fitness

  • Sensitive 

  • Respectful

  • Able to work independently and collaboratively 

  • Patience

  • Observant

  • Able to respond fast to requests and situations 

  • Able to precisely document information

  • Organisational skills

  • Active listening 

  • Good time management skills



4. Assistant Nurse Qualification In Australia


To become an Assistant in Nursing in Australia, you must complete a relevant VET qualification in Health Assistance, such as a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance (HLT33115). 


The course includes compulsory work placement training where students learn industry knowledge and skills to work in healthcare.



5. Steps To Become an Assistant Nurse In Australia


Here are the basic steps that you need to follow to become and work as a nursing assistant:



Step 1: Complete a VET Qualification


Aspiring AINs must complete a VET Certificate III in Health Assistance (HLT33115) at TAFE or another RTO to work as nursing assistants. The course helps students develop effective communication and relationship-building skills.


Students learn about how the human body works, how to maintain hygiene in the clinical workplace, support patients with mobility and social support needs, and treat patients and assist nurses in the healthcare sector.


The Certificate III course comprises 120 hours of supervised work placement to help students apply their knowledge in clinical settings and gain practical experience working with patients. 


After course completion, students have the necessary skills to work as professional nursing assistants in public and private hospitals.



Step 2: Pass The Competency Certification Exam


After completing the Certificate III qualification, you must pass a state-level competency certification exam to become a Certified Nurse Assistant, which is required to work in this profession.



Step 3: Study For A Relevant Bachelor's Degree


To become a nursing assistant, you do not need to study for an undergraduate degree. However, it may help and enhance your employability when applying for a full-time nurse position.


Here are a few recommended nursing degrees that can complement the AIN position:


  • Bachelor of Nursing

  • Bachelor of Nursing and Midwifery

  • Bachelor of Nursing Science

  • Bachelor of Adult Nursing

  • Bachelor of Paramedicine

  • Bachelor of Dementia Care 

  • Bachelor of Nursing with Honours



Step 4: Decide Where You Want To Work


Nursing assistants can work in various establishments, including hospitals, clinics, or correctional facilities. Identify the work environment where you feel more interested or comfortable.



Step 5: Create A Resume


A good resume and job-specific cover letter can set you apart from your competitors. Highlight your abilities, qualifications, and accomplishments during work placement experience in your resume.


Use appropriate keywords and terminology for the sector you are applying. It will make it easier for employers to find your job profile for those specific keywords.



Step 6: Apply For Jobs


Finally, search and apply for nursing assistant openings in your preferred location. 


Create different resumes and cover letters for every interested position to show yourself a perfect fit for that role.


National Resources for Nurses:




6. Assistant Nurse Course In Australia


Certificate III in Health Services Assistance is the minimum qualification to enter the healthcare industry. 


The ideal course equips you with industry knowledge and skills, supporting healthcare professionals in treating ill and injured patients in medical environments.


Certificate III in Assistant in Nursing help students develop practical skills to ensure empathy, respect, and patient care quality. Further, infection control, safety, movement, food service, transport, bed making, and clinical cleaning.


Are you looking for an Assistant Nurse TAFE course in QLD? The course is available Online (15 months) or On-campus (6 months) study mode at locations such as Greater BrisbaneGold coast, Sunshine Coast, North Queensland, etc. The course comes with a workplace traineeship arrangement.


The Assist Nurse TAFE course NSW is a full-time government-subsidised course delivered in "on-campus and in combination" mode. Various locations such as Meadowbank, Macquarie, St. Leonard's, and Wetherill Park offer this nationally recognised program.


Are you looking for nursing assistant courses online in Australia? Open Universities conduct an online Certificate III in Health Services Assistance course with Work Placement throughout Australia.


The self-paced course in health services assistance gives complete flexibility to students to study anywhere and anytime at their convenience. The maximum time limit to complete it is 18 months.


As part of the assistant nurse course, students will complete 120 hours of work placement. It will help students learn essential, hands-on skills and gain valuable experience working in the healthcare industry.



Diploma Of Nursing Course


Students can enrol in a nationally recognised Diploma of Nursing qualification to gain further knowledge and specialised skills. It is one of the premier qualifications in nursing that qualifies a student for diverse job opportunities in nursing in Australia.


Open Universities offer these 18-month assistant nurse courses online via a blend of on-campus and online learning. Students completing this course get qualified to work as Enrolled Nurses in Australia.



Advanced Nursing Assistant Courses


  • Graduate Certificate in Professional Nursing

  • Graduate Certificate in Nursing

  • Master of Clinical Nursing

  • Master of Advanced Nursing Practice



7. Work Conditions For Assistant Nurses In Australia


Nurse assistants work under the supervision of a physician or a registered nurse. Their working environment can range from the everyday duties of a university nurse's office to the extremes of the critical-care ward.


Their work hours are dependent on where they work. Those working at a paediatrician's office generally work an 8-hour shift between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.


On the other hand, AIN working in a hospital might work a day shift, night shift, 12-hour shifts, or even double shifts. They may even need to work on weekends and holidays to cope with the physical demands of the profession.


Nurse assistants spend much time with patients, their families, and senior medical staff daily. They handle other necessary jobs that RN and doctors do not have the time to do.


Nurse assistants use various tools such as a penlight, stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, watch, scissors and more.



8. Where Does an Assistant Nurse Work In Australia?


Nursing Assistants work across the country in both rural areas and capital cities. 


They usually work in a wide range of healthcare settings that include:


  • Aged care facilities

  • Public and private hospitals

  • Medical centres


Some nursing assistants also work as at-home carers, work under the supervision of RN and Midwives, or run their private practice.



9. What Jobs Are Available For Nurse Assistants In Australia?


From entry-level jobs to advanced specialised roles, employment opportunities are available at every career stage in the nursing industry. 


Entry-level nursing assistants with a Certificate 3 in Health Services Assistance qualification can take on a diverse range of roles as:


  • Nursing Assistant

  • Patient Support Assistant

  • Health service assistant

  • Personal care assistant 

  • Support worker

  • Hospital orderly 

  • Patient services attendant

  • Ward Assistant

  • Ward Support

  • Wards person



10. Areas Of Specialisation For Assistant Nurses In Australia


The "Assistant Nurse" is the entry position for various nurses' careers. Working in this role and learning from more experienced nurses enables them to obtain valuable healthcare experience. 


After building a good foundation, they can pursue advanced studies and take on greater responsibilities.


Here are a few pathways that follow an entry-level AIN position in nursing:


  • Aged Care Workers: Nursing assistants in this role provide care and assistance to elderly patients with around-the-clock supervision.


  • Registered Nurse: RNs need a 3-year Bachelor of Nursing degree and register with the nursing board upon graduation. They specialise after obtaining experience in various health care and clinical settings.


  • Enrolled Nurse: ENs work under a registered nurse's indirect or direct supervision. They need a 2-year nursing diploma with extensive hands-on training to qualify for this role.



11. Job Outlook For Assistant In Nursing In Australia


Nursing is a highly reliable, rewarding, and in-demand profession in the healthcare industry in Australia. As the population keeps growing, the need for qualified assistant nurses with the right skills will always be there.


The nursing industry in Australia is thriving at a steady rate and allows room for expansion. At present, accredited assistants in nursing are in high demand, and professional opportunities are available at all levels of nursing. The employment trend will continue in the future.


According to the National Job Outlook website, the number of Nursing Support Workers grew strongly over five years. Many work in New South Wales and Queensland.


With only 35% of workers working full-time, plenty of part-time work opportunities are available in this profession. Full-time workers usually work 43 hours per week. 


A whopping 85% of workers are female, and the average age of the employed workforce is 39 years.



12. How Long Does It Take To Become A Nursing Assistant?


As you do not require a bachelor's degree, you can quickly become a nursing assistant. 


The study mode you choose (online or full-time on-campus) determines the exact duration to complete Certificate III in Health Services Assistance. 


It can take six months or up to 18 months to become an AIN in Australia.



13. How Much Do Nurse Assistants Earn A Year?


The "Nurse assistant" is an entry-level role in the nursing and healthcare industry. The assistant in nursing salary may depend on work location, education level, experience, and specialisation. 


The average assistant nurse salary in Australia is AU$47,023 per year or an hourly equivalent of AU$23.69.



Hourly Salary Based on Experience


  • Entry-level Nurse Assistants (<1-year experience) earn AU$20.70.

  • Early career Nurse Assistants (1 to 4 years of experience) earn AU$22.57 

  • Mid-career Nurse Assistants (5 to 9 years of experience) earn AU$24.73 

  • Experienced Nurse Assistants (10 to 19 years of experience) earn AU$23.25 



Top Paying Australian Cities For Nursing Assistants


  • Sydney NSW: $127,116 per year

  • Melbourne VIC: $66,864 per year

  • Perth WA: $62,538 per year

  • Tea Gardens NSW: $51,944 per year



14. Conclusion


Nursing assistants are an essential part of the well-being of healthcare organisations. While working in nursing can be challenging, it has many positives.


You get to make a difference in patients' lives and enjoy job security as the need for healthcare professionals continues to rise.


Do you want to pursue this meaningful career that fills you with a sense of purpose? A Certificate III in Health Service Assistance course is the best way to realise your goal.


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