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Nursing in Australia

There are currently 260,000 nurses working in Australia, 93.2% of who work in healthcare and social assistance. Nurses also work in public administration and safety; administrative and support services, as well as education and training.

What Do Nurses Do?

As the first point of contact that a person has with the healthcare system, nurses play a vital role in ensuring that every patient gets the help they need as soon as possible. Daily tasks can include anything from conducting physical examinations and administering medications through to dressing wounds, diagnosing illnesses, and providing emotional support to patients and their loved ones.

What Training Do you Need?

To be able to perform this difficult job, nurses need to be trained up in a wide variety of disciplines; after all, they can be called upon to be experts on everything from broken bones and contagious diseases through to trauma, addiction and personality disorders. Learning how to be a nurse can require a serious commitment of time, effort and energy.

Nursing courses are designed to give you the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to thrive in any health- relating industry, including paediatrics, midwifery and mental health nursing. Each nursing course is taught by industry professionals and has been approved by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), which means your qualifications will be recognised Australia-wide.

Whether you’re interested in a midwifery course, an enrolled nurse course or a multi-year nursing degree, courses offered through TAFE span the entire spectrum, so you’re sure to find a program to suit your needs. Not only can you count on getting the most up-to-date nursing skills available, but your options will include both in-class and online nursing courses, many of which are eligible for financial assistance.


Certificate level courses can provide a thorough introduction to the industry and are perfect for those interested in roles such as nursing assistant, wards person or patient care assistant. Most certificates can be completed in 12-18 months, with many including a practical work placement, making each course a great first step towards meeting your nurse registration requirements.


If you have your heart set on a career as an enrolled nurse, diploma level courses will have you on the right track. A Diploma of Nursing, for example, will cover everything from anatomy, physiology and wound management to palliative care and medication administration, so you’ll emerge ready to work in a hospital, aged care facility or almost any other setting.

Bachelor Degree

Those interested in working as a registered nurse will need to complete a Bachelor of Nursing, which involves a detailed study covering courses that include,  respiratory health, injury prevention and metabolic, mental and immunological health. Your bachelor program will also include a professional work placement where you get to put all that theory and knowledge into practice.

Master Degree

If you’d like to get involved in the decision-making side of nursing, a postgraduate qualification will usually be required; for example, a Masters in Nursing can provide a direct pathway into a variety of management and administration roles. These high-level positions come with a great deal of responsibility but also a sizeable pay cheque, with nurse managers in Sydney currently earning as much as $99,600 per year.

Nursing Prospects

If you’re considering a career in nursing there has never been a better time to get trained up, as Australia has seen a significant increase in demand for qualified nurses in recent years. The number of people is expected to grow very strongly over the next few years, with an estimated 147,000 job openings.

No matter how far you’d like to go with your nursing education, you can count on there being plenty of opportunities once you graduate, particularly if you’re interested in aged care nursing as this is one of Australia’s most in-demand jobs at the moment. Nurses who are up to speed on the latest technology can also expect to do well, as technology is already impacting everything from implants and transplants to health service delivery.

TAFE has partnered with world-class education providers so whether your dream is to work in a big hospital in Sydney or a small-town clinic in Tasmania, you will graduate ready, willing and able to do so.

Is a Career in Nursing Right for You?

Keep in mind that a career in nursing certainly isn’t easy, as the hours can be long and every new patient comes with great responsibilities; however, there is something magical about helping another human being to be healthy, happy and thrive.

Think you’ve got what it takes to be a great nurse? If so, get ready for a career that will change your life.

Find your course, dive in and get your nursing career started today!