Overview of Nursing
Nursing is an attractive industry for anyone who likes caring for people with illnesses, injuries or disabilities.
Nurses can work in many places and specialities, but first they must study nursing at university or TAFE. Midwives are also included in this section.
You can take a Bachelor of Nursing at university and become a Registered Nurse, known as a Division 1 nurse in Victoria.
Alternatively, you can go through TAFE and get a Certificate IV or Diploma in Nursing to become an Enrolled Nurse (Div 2 in Victoria).
However, Enrolled Nurses must always work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse.
A university nursing course teaches both theory and practice, from rehabilitative care to health promotion.
After graduating, you must register with your relevant state nursing and midwifery board. But from July 1, 2010, a national board called the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia will come into effect so you will have to register with them from that date.
People who want to be midwives should study midwifery at university. Nursing graduates can study a postgraduate midwifery degree if they want to move into that field.
Careers in Nursing
Nurses can work in hospital areas like intensive care, oncology and operation theatres, as well as nursing homes and home-based services.
Nursing jobs include nurse manager, community health nurse, nurse educator or researcher, clinical nurse specialist, mental health nurse and practice nurse.
Similarly, midwives can choose careers in clinical midwifery, management or education.
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations expects jobs in nursing to grow very strongly til at least 2015.
DEEWR statistics also say nurses earn an average of $1100 a week.
Skills needed in Nursing
Nurses and midwives need to stay calm under pressure. They should also be team players who communicate well with others and be patient.
Knowledge of biology and chemistry is an advantage.