Assistants in Nursing (AINs) assist and report to Enrolled and Registered Nurses in delivering care to patients. They provide patients with personal care, mobility support, emotional support, and assistance with daily living. They monitor patients’ vital signs, take blood pressure and temperature, fill out paperwork and relay important information to the wider nursing team. Most AIN roles require completion of a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance, work experience, and/or be studying towards your nursing diploma or degree. Similar job roles include Aged Care Worker, Personal Care Assistant and Health Services Assistant.
Enrolled Nurses (ENs) work under the direction and supervision of Registered Nurses or a Nurse Practitioner, and within multi-disciplinary teams. They provide nursing care and support to patients in a variety of healthcare and clinical settings including hospitals and acute care departments, aged care residences, GPs, private practices, and community health clinics. To pursue a career as an EN, you need to complete a Diploma of Nursing (18-24 months of study) and attain registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).
Registered Nurses (RNs) provide person-centred and evidence-based nursing care, including preventative, curative, supportive, restorative, and palliative health care. They assess and monitor patients, and administer immunisations, medicines and IV Drugs. RNs work independently or in collaboration with other health professionals. They are responsible for delegating tasks, supervising ENs and other staff, and delivering and maintaining/improving high standards of nursing care. They are university qualified and registered with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Board (AHPRA). RNs train staff and educate individuals, families, and communities. They work in a range of clinical, public, private, and community health settings. They work in hospitals in emergency and inpatient departments, and in other primary and secondary care institutions and clinics.
Senior Clinical Nurses have developed expertise and specialised clinical nursing skills. They work predominantly in the acute care setting and undertake additional responsibilities which require advanced nursing practice and clinical judgement, such as making clinical assessments or providing treatment for more complex health issues. They provide leadership and manage other staff. Clinical Nurses are senior registered nurses with years of clinical work experience and/or have completed further postgraduate study.
Nurse Practitioners (NPs) perform advanced health assessments, initiate and interpret diagnostic investigations, design, implement and monitor care plans in collaboration with patients, families/caregivers, and other health professionals. Importantly, they can prescribe medications and provide and receive referrals to/from other health providers. Nurse Practitioners are considered the most senior and independent clinical nurses in the healthcare system. They have completed a Master’s degree in nursing and multiple years of clinical work experience/training. The professional title of Nurse Practitioner is endorsed by AHPRA.
Nurse Consultant/Specialists have developed critical skills and knowledge to provide nursing care and consultation services in a specialist area of healthcare, such as paediatrics, intensive care, emergency care, perioperative care, rehabilitation, cardiovascular, oncology, haematology, diabetes, or renal medicine. To pursue a career as a Nurse Consultant/Specialist, Nurses undertake additional postgraduate study combined with portfolio work experience.
Nurse Educators work in a range of settings across the community, health, education and commercial sectors. Depending on their role, they provide education to nursing students/staff and/or the public, including communities, groups and individual patients. They may be responsible for organising clinical learning activities, professional development and work experience opportunities. They may train and evaluate professional competencies, monitor educational needs and course outcomes, undertake and interpret research, and support other nurses to undertake research activities. They may create and deliver community health and wellbeing programs. Registered Nurses are nurses with extensive practical experience, but who have an interest in education. To pursue a career in this area, nurses complete a postgraduate study in Nursing Education or certificate in Training and Assessment.
Nurse Managers are responsible for managing health units within hospitals and other health settings, including community health clinics and aged care facilities. They help maintain and improve the administrative processes which support the delivery of quality clinical care - leading to the smooth and efficient running of the health unit, and patient and staff satisfaction. Nurse managers oversee patient care, supervise nursing staff, manage budgets and financial resources, recruit new staff, organise rostering and employment entitlements, provide feedback, manage performance reviews, and facilitate professional development/career progression opportunities. They also promote working relationships between stakeholders, and develop and implement policies which support the provision of quality healthcare, a safe working environment and cost-effective service delivery.
Midwives provide education, support and health care to women during pregnancy. They deliver babies and provide antenatal and postnatal services to women, their babies, their partners, and families. Midwives work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, birthing centres, or patients' private homes. Importantly, they provide emotional support and advice to women during this special time. Midwives are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board (AHPRA) and adhere to important standards of practice. They are university qualified - either completing a Bachelor of Midwifery, or postgraduate Midwifery studies after a nursing degree.