During the past few years, the Australian healthcare industry has witnessed the emergence of new unique specialty fields in nursing. Two important trends in the industry contributed heavily for the new changes stating an increased demand for Registered Nurses (RNs) and a tremendous technological advancement which changed the face of the Australian healthcare industry. It is expected that the demand for RNs will continue in the coming years because more and more RN specialties are emerging in the Australian healthcare industry.
With a view to support Qualified Nurses in other countries to grasp the knowledge and skills required to work as a Registered Nurse in Australia and provide assistance in the transition from nursing in the origin country to nursing in Australia, the Australian government has introduced a nursing bridging program. The program, known as Initial Registration for Overseas Registered Nurses (IRON), is accessible to all overseas qualified nurses who want to become a nurse in Australia. For enrolling in the IRON program or bridging course for nurses, recommendation from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) proves necessary.
The bridging course for nurses or IRON is a short course. It is an orientation program for overseas Nurses to help them adapt to the health care system in Australia. However, the nursing bridging course is a mandatory requirement. The overseas Nurses who successfully complete the bridging course or IRON will attain the necessary competencies set by the National Competency Standards of Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) for registration as a Registered Nurse with the APHRA.
Currently, there are five new RN specialties are emerging which offer tremendous job potential for those who want to become a RN.
- Informatics Specialists,
- Care Coordinator,
- Primary Care Partner,
- Nurse/Family Cooperative Facilitator, and
- Faculty Team Leader
As the importance of informatics within the healthcare sector grows, there is an increased need for registered nurses to play a more important role in developing applicable software programs. The RNs have a better understanding of the different elements of health. Their knowledge is crucial to help in designing and creating applications and systems which can be used for patients and stakeholders of the healthcare sector. RNs with computer skills can contribute to new software development and they will never find themselves lacking in job opportunities.
The prime responsibility of care coordinators is to make sure that the healthcare is delivered in an efficient and cost effective way in all healthcare settings. They perform a range of functions from coordination to supervising to treatment plans to playing an advisory role, and their job prospects are huge. RNs are always a good choice for the role of care coordinators because of their knowledge background in the healthcare sector. They are also good in working as teams. Good leadership skills and communication skills are the pre-requisites for care coordinators.
Primary Care Partner
RNs in the primary care partner field will play an equally important role as experienced nurses who have been in the primary health care sector for years. The experienced nurses are responsible for taking care of patients and ensuring the best possible treatment methods for them. They also work to help hospitals and medical institutions by trying to increase the number of patients that can be accommodated and providing a high level of care to these patients. Nurses in these institutions often take on different roles ranging from screening of patients, carrying out various tests and helping with patient education.
Nurse/Family Cooperative Facilitator
A nurse cooperative facilitator carries out the role that is similar to the traditional ‘visiting nurse’ model that has been used for decades. Instead of working in medical institutions, these specialists go right to the source of the matter and care for patients at their place of work or residence. RNs in this sector have an opportunity to tackle a number of common domestic problems ranging from substance abuse to violence and poverty. They not only hold interventions and help in the recovery process of patients but they also help in the prevention of various problems that often occur at an individual or a family level.
Faculty Team Leader
Registered nurses are more and more in demand with every passing year and it is necessary for the RN education system to be dynamic and change with the times. This has brought about a need for a synergy between practical experience and classroom knowledge. RNs work as coordinators in this process and help with modeling and preparing the new RNs to handle the continuously changing scenario in the nursing world.