Nursing Courses in Australia: A Complete Guide

An international student is researching study nursing in Australia international students requirements.


Among the thousands of courses available, Australian nursing courses have been particularly developed to provide practical as well as theoretical knowledge needed in delivering exceptional healthcare services.


Due to the high demand for professional nurses in Australia, graduates can develop their career in nursing and even use it as an advantage to obtain Australian Permanent Residency. As a result of the growing population in Australia and the availability of more treatment options, a great number of nurses are required to fulfil the high demands.



Career Diversity in Nursing


Completing a nursing program in Australia opens up various opportunities in nursing. Here are a few career fields that you can choose:


  • Hospital or Medical Facilities

  • Aged Care

  • Neonatal Care

  • Community Health

  • Education



Nursing Degrees and Courses


International students in Australia can select from a variety of courses available that are offered by well-renowned institutions and universities all over Australia.


Here are the three qualifications levels in Australia:



1. Undergraduate (Bachelor's) Studies in Nursing


The undergraduate (bachelor) level offers many nursing courses to international students. Practising nurses with a few years of experience, nursing assistants, school leavers and people with some other qualifications or experience can apply to obtain an undergraduate degree in nursing.


The courses may widely vary in length, you can either choose a full-time, part-time, distance education or a modular/block program. A few states in Australia also offer VET and traineeship courses in Australia to those who wish to enter into division two or an enrolled level instead of a registered nurse level.


Some of the undergraduate nursing degrees in Australia allow you to specialise in a particular field, but you might be required to complete additional studies, work and training in variety of areas.


You can take up specialisation in fields like surgical nursing, child health nursing, psychiatric nursing, family nursing and more.



Where To Study Undergraduate Nursing Courses In Australia?


Most universities in Australia and some TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institutes offer undergraduate level courses. Some courses are better than the others, so you must carefully consider your options before selecting a particular course.


You should pay specific attention to the amount of practical experience you’ll be getting from a course. The fees for an undergraduate (bachelor's) nursing course may range between AUD $27,000 to $35,000 per year.


To get more information, you can visit your institution’s campus or get help from the students who are already studying there.



Career Opportunities for Nursing Graduates


After completing a bachelor of nursing degree, graduates can work as a nurse at division one or registered level. Division two or enrolled nurses do not require higher qualifications similar to registered nurses and their career opportunities are also limited.


The average salary of nursing graduates in Australia is around AUD$51,400.



2. Postgraduate (Master's) Study in Nursing


Postgraduate level in nursing is for students with a bachelor of nursing degree. At the postgraduate level, students work with healthcare professionals and learn how to provide high-quality patient care.


As a postgraduate nursing student, you can apply for a specialisation in various fields like rehabilitation nursing, aged care nursing, critical care nursing, midwifery, mental health nursing and more.


The duration of the postgraduate study in nursing is two years (full-time) or four years of part-time study. To be eligible for an Australia post graduate program in nursing, you need to have a relevant bachelor degree Australia or equivalent, and you also need to fulfil the English language requirements, which may vary from one institute to the other.



Where To Study Postgraduate Nursing Courses in Australia?


Many universities and even some private higher education providers offer postgraduate nursing courses. However, there are a few specialisations that can be harder to access. When looking for courses in Australia, you should not just look at the quality of the program but also its significance to your career in nursing.


To get an idea of the subject, check the outline and the combination of theoretical and practical elements it offers. And if you have a specific career in mind, then you must make sure that relevant opportunities are available in your field of study.


Those students who are considering doing research should look for reputed nursing schools in Australia for international students and departments that have an established nursing program. The average fees for the postgraduate nursing course in Australia range between AUD$27,000 to $35,000 per year.


To get more information about the postgraduate nursing courses, you can visit your institution’s campus or get help from the students who are already studying there.



Career Opportunities for Nursing Postgraduates


There are excellent job prospects for postgraduate students in nursing. Nursing degrees in fields such as nursing management and clinical leadership allow practising nurses to apply for nursing administration and management positions.


The average salary of nursing postgraduates in Australia is estimated to be around AUD$74,800.



3. Vocational Education & Training Studies in Nursing - (VET)


If you are planning to study nursing in Australia at the VET (Vocational Education and Training) level, there are numerous diplomas and advanced diplomas available.


These courses enable students to qualify for division two or enrolled nurse level. It’s important to note that VET level certificate courses do not make you eligible for registered nurse positions. However, there are particular pathways available for the students who want to upgrade their qualification later.  


To be eligible for VET studies in nursing, you need to complete Year 12 or a relevant equivalent degree overseas. Also, you need to prove your English proficiency. The English language requirements may vary between different qualification levels, courses and institutions.



Where to Study VET Nursing Courses in Australia?


VET nursing courses are available both at regional and metropolitan campuses all around Australia. Many TAFE institutes and even some private VET providers offer these courses.


While applying for VET nursing courses, it’s crucial for you to check that the institute you are applying for provides access to the latest equipment and offer good facilities and clinical placements. The average fees for VET nursing courses range between AUD$27,000 to $38,000 per year.


To get additional information, you can talk to VET course providers or get help from the students who are already studying VET level nursing courses.



Career Opportunities for VET Nursing Students


Through VET nursing courses, international students can work in a variety of work settings or can choose to continue to study a Bachelor of nursing.


This course allows students to work as an enrolled nurse who promotes health and provides patient care. Unlike registered nurses, enrolled nurses in Australia cannot deal with medications.


Enrolled nurses are a crucial part of the healthcare team and work in various settings such as residential healthcare organisations, community centres, hospitals and nursing homes.


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