Out of a list of hundreds and thousands of professions, nursing is one of the most respected of them all. Why? because it focuses on selfless care for an individual’s well-being. If you care for the health and well-being of people and want to help them, nursing could be the perfect profession for you.
In Australia, there are two types of nursing professions available, both require college or university degrees to be acknowledged as a nurse. Without these, you won’t be able to be a nurse.
It could be a two-year diploma from a college or a three-year bachelor’s degree from a university. In both cases, you’ll need money and time. But there is also another way to become a nurse in Australia without achieving any degree, as mentioned above, called RPL, or recognition of prior learning.
RPL helps you get certified based on your previous knowledge and skills as well as your experience, so you don’t need to go to college to have a degree anymore.
Is nursing a solid profession?
Nursing is a very challenging profession. There is always a demand for nurses in hospitals, so this means you will always have a chance. However, being a nurse is stressful as well.
Above all, it is a profession of compassion and relationships. It is required to have good interpersonal skills as a nurse and maintain good relationships between patients and doctors in the healthcare sector.
Nurses attend to patients and help them get back to their lives. It has the means and ways to have an impact on the patient’s life, which makes this job meaningful. In Australia, the nurse-to-patient ratio is 1:4, so it is presumably a tough job with less time for self-care for the nurses.
What will it take you to become a Nurse?
Apart from having a college or university degree, there are some other aspects of becoming a nurse. Some other requirements are vital to have as a human being.
- Empathy: Nothing beats a compassionate hand to aid the ill.
- Calmness: This job requires a lot of patience during its tenure.
- Non-judgmental: Nurses can not judge a patient but provide care whatsoever
- Knowledge: Well-trained nurses need to be well aware of what they are doing.
- Dedication: Nursing is far from being a casual job since it tends to the matters of someone’s life and death.
- Proactivity: Nurses need to have a proactive attitude and always assure patients, especially mental health care and critical care nurses.
Therefore, nursing is not everyone’s cup of tea. Only a compassionate human being able to help people in need and also those thriving for a secure and thriving career should pursue this noble profession.
5 Different Career Pathways
There is a wide range of nursing jobs requiring different qualifications and levels of experience. You can decide to dip your toes into the world of nursing by becoming a nursing support and personal care worker, an enrolled nurse, or a mothercraft nurse.
Or you could commit to university studies to access more opportunities, higher salaries, and further career progression.
1. Personal Care Nurse
Becoming a nurse in support and personal care worker is an excellent entry pathway into nursing. In this role, you support the nursing staff by helping patients with showering, getting dressed, eating, getting up, mobility assistance, and others.
In conjunction with other health professionals; you play a significant role in being a source of connection for patients, upholding their independence, and improving their quality of life. You also provide a huge help to other nursing staff who can then focus on more complex aspects of care.
Technically, no qualifications are required for this role, but vocational training such as a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance may be helpful to understand the role and build confidence in your knowledge and abilities.
In Australia, salaries start at $44,265, with a slightly higher median salary of $46,313. The most experienced workers in this industry make up to $60,255.
2. Registered Nurse
Registered nurses provide clinical care to patients in a variety of settings and administer treatments such as medication. When you think of what a nurse is and the kinds of activities they do as part of their job, you’ll probably conjure the image of a registered nurse.
To become a registered nurse, you need at least a three-year nursing degree, including a placement, such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Or you could gain an equivalent.
For instance, if you already have a bachelor’s degree in a different area, you could instead complete a shorter course such as the Master of Nursing.
A starting salary for a Registered Nurse is $75,875, which goes up to a median salary of $78,964. Experienced RNs can earn up to $97,235 or progress along other career pathways with higher earning potential, such as becoming a nurse manager.
3. Nurse Manager
Nurse managers oversee the work of nurses in various healthcare settings. They supervise staff, tend to budgets, and ensure high standards of care are offered to all patients. They’re also known as nurse unit managers.
Typically, nurse managers are registered nurses who are promoted to this high level of responsibility after years of on-the-job experience.
The salary range for nurse managers is around $116,477.
4. Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioners provide more advanced care to patients. They can conduct health assessments, diagnose conditions, order diagnostic tests and imaging, and prescribe treatments. Nurse practitioners are highly knowledgeable.
They take pressure off other parts of the health system and often offer life-changing care, particularly in settings like chronic illness management.
This is a very highly skilled profession. Nurse practitioners often hold two master’s degrees. To gain entry into a master’s program, you first require five years of full-time RN experience, including three in a specialty area at an advanced practice level, plus a specialist postgraduate degree.
An entry-level salary for a newly qualified nurse practitioner is $126,477. The profession has a median salary of $128,641, and experienced nurse practitioners earn upwards of $155,000. 63% of nurse practitioners work full-time.
5. Senior Nurse Manager
Like nurse managers, clinical directors manage other nursing staff but at a higher organizational level. They may manage entire nursing programs or clinical services and provide key leadership as they do so.
Nurse managers’ career progression, qualifications, skills, and work hours are similar to nurse managers’. However, they will tend to have even more years of experience. 88% of nursing clinical directors work full-time. The median salary of a nursing clinical director is $143,696.
A career pathway to becoming a nurse is very inspiring. Once you climb up the ropes, the challenge only gets stronger.
Becoming a nurse is fine, but continuing your career as a nurse is stressful and enjoyable. So whatever you do, make sure to keep a helping mindset so you can truly serve the purpose of being a nurse.
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