Healthcare & Medical
Registered nurses provide all types of nursing care and coordinate teams of enrolled nurses and nursing assistants providing patient care.
What does a Nurse (Registered) do?
Registered nurses (RNs) provide all types of nursing care and coordinate teams of enrolled nurses and nursing assistants providing patient care. They also educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.
Registered nurses may perform the following tasks:
- identify care requirements for individual patients
- administer medications to patients and monitor patients for reactions or side effects
- record patients' medical information and vital signs
- monitor, record, and report symptoms or changes in patients' conditions
- operate medical equipment used to monitor patients' conditions
- consult and coordinate with healthcare team members to assess, plan, implement, or evaluate patient care plans
- modify patient treatment plans as indicated by patients' responses and conditions
- maintain accurate, detailed reports and records
- advocate for patients when it comes to communicating with doctors and other medical professionals
- adhere to strict hygiene and infection control procedures
- adhere to relevant therapeutic and medical standards and regulations.
Key skills and interests
To become a registered nurse, you would need:
- the ability to communicate with people of different backgrounds, ages and cultures
- tolerance, patience and tact
- the ability to follow instructions precisely
- multi-tasking skills
- good teamwork skills
- a calm and reassuring disposition, especially in emergency situations
- to be able to cope with the physical and psychological demands of the job
- problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Working hours and conditions
Registered nurses may be required to work shifts involving nights, weekends and public holidays. Part-time and contract work should be readily available.
Registered nurses work in hospitals, medical centres, home healthcare services, aged care facilities and other healthcare settings. They might also work in correctional facilities, educational institutions, or in the armed forces.
How to become an Nurse (Registered)?
Entry Level Education
To become a registered nurse you usually have to study nursing at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, biology, physics and chemistry are appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
Before undertaking clinical placements, students will need to obtain a National Police Certificate, provide a First Aid Certificate and relevant immunisations.
It is a legal requirement for graduates to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia before practising as an registered nurse in any state or territory of Australia. Registration permits a person to work as a registered nurse in any relevant area of employment, except midwifery, which is restricted to registered midwives only.
Many registered nurses undertake additional courses and study in a range of nursing specialities, including mental health, paediatric, emergency, critical care, palliative care, occupational health and community nursing.
Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations.
There is increasing demand for healthcare services because of growing affluence, an increased emphasis on preventive care, a growing rate of chronic conditions, and the large, aging baby-boom population. This will result in increased opportunities for nurses across all specialties.