A career in nursing is as varied as it is fascinating. Enrolled nurses (EN) are in high demand across the country, from busy emergency settings and operating theatres, to community nursing and rural and remote work. If you’re looking for inspiration, here’s just a taste of the options that will open up to you after graduation.
With shakeups in Australia’s aged care industry and an aging population, now is the time for compassionate, caring nurses to take the reigns and shape this important, growing industry.
Where do you work? Nursing homes, residential facilities, respite homes, hospitals, or in the community.
What do you do? Work is varied and can be anything from helping with personal hygiene and daily routines, wound care, managing patients' everyday health and wellbeing, and acting as an advocate and liaison between patients and family members and other health care professionals.
Enrolled nurses are valued members of midwifery-led teams. This role is perfect for the EN who is passionate about caring for new parents and babies.
Where do you work? In maternity hospitals, private maternity clinics or GP clinics.
What do you do? Roles in maternity can vary from helping with antenatal appointments, to checking vitals on mums and babies in the postnatal wards, or helping with education and baby checks.
Mental health nurses focus on people’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs to help their patient’s reach their recovery goals. There is always demand in this sector for compassionate professionals with good communication skills.
Where do you work? In acute care settings in hospitals, or alongside multidisciplinary teams in community organisations.
What do you do? Mental health nurses work alongside psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, and social workers. As the main touch point for their patients, mental health nurses assess patient wellbeing, and act as an advocate in order to help patient’s reach their recovery and wellness goals.
Nurses working in acute care settings tend to have a faster-paced work environment and higher patient turnover. They specialise in critical care and need to work well under pressure, communicate effectively, and be able to make well-balanced judgements.
Where do you work? Emergency departments, medical assessment and planning units, pre and post operative wards.
What do you do? Assess vital signs, and work closely with emergency doctors to implement critical care strategies.
Orthopaedic nurses focus on illnesses and injuries to the musculoskeletal system, ranging from breaks and fractures to chronic conditions such as lupus and loss of bone density.
Where do you work? Public and private hospital wards, and orthopaedic clinics.
What do you do? Acute and chronic care of patients, education and treatment plans.
Endoscopy nurses work in a specialised field focusing primarily on the gasto intestinal system. The procedures focus on both diagnosis and treatment.
Where do you work? Hospitals and private clinics
What do you do? The work of endoscopy nurses focuses mainly on preparing patients for surgery and monitoring vital signs and patient care after waking from anaesthetic, but also includes patient education and care plans.
This area of nursing is concerned with the long-term treatment of chronic illness and follow-ups after surgery. Community nurses are critical to helping patients receive professional care while allowing them to stay in their own homes.
Where do you work? In the community. Community nurses can be employed by hospitals, clinics, or agencies.
What do you do? Wound care, help with personal hygiene, assistance with medication, cleaning and changing dressings, pumps and stoma bags, liaising with other health services.
Surgical nurses are the cornerstone of any operating theatre and are responsible for the day-to-day running of the theatre and for patient care. Roles can vary between scrub, anaesthetic and scout nurses.
Where do you work? Operating theatres in hospitals or private clinics.
What do you do? Surgical nurses are responsible for setting up and maintaining sterile fields and setting up the operating theatre, preparing patients, choosing equipment, and handing instruments to the surgeon.
Travel nursing and rural/remote work
While travel nursing isn’t a specialisation in itself, it is worth mentioning. For nurses with a sense of adventure and itchy feet, there is a living to be made taking on short contracts in different regions of Australia or internationally. Rural and remote areas are always looking for nurses who are multi-skilled, adaptive, and fast learners. Nurses are rewarded in return by working in varied and dynamic work places and usually receive travel allowances and heavily discounted or free accommodation.
Where do you work? Where ever you are needed. Public and private hospitals and clinics are always searching for staff. You can apply directly through hospitals or sign up with agencies specialising in rural/remote work.
What do you do? Anything! Working in smaller rural hospitals also gives you the opportunities to broaden your skill set and learn some new skills.