With unprecedented growth expected in the healthcare industry across the nation, there is a growing deficit of nurses who are skilled and competent.
This deficit is expected to get worse in the coming decade – with the WHO predicting that the world will be short of 12.9 million health-care workers by the year 2035. A report put out by WHO listed several key factors as the reason for this deficit; chief among them being an ageing health workforce with staff retiring or leaving without being replaced. It was also found that not enough young people are entering the nursing profession; and there are higher demands being put on the sector from a growing world population with increasing risks of diseases like cancer and heart disease.
This makes the field of nursing a very rewarding career proposition. Registered nurses are much in demand in Australia and the Government has put in place initiatives that include programs to encourage development of the Registered nurse specialisation and incentive payments for RNs. If you are looking to make your career in the nursing sector in Australia, then you should explore this healthcare stream.
Registered nurses work to support the health and well being of the community, prevent disease, and care for patients who are dealing with illness. As an RN, you will be an advocate and health educator for the community. You will be entrusted with the care of patients and their families, and have to deal with direct patient care. Part of your duty will be to observe patients, record their symptoms and track their progress. You will be providing bedside nursing care for patients, and carrying out medical regimens according to the patient care plan. RNs are also required to assist doctors during surgery, treatment, and examinations, administer medications, and assist during convalescence and therapy. For this, knowledge, skill and experience proves to be invaluable.
Registered nurses work in a variety of healthcare settings, with the vast majority working in hospitals and specialty clinics. RNs also supervise junior nurses such as licensed practical nurses, enrolled nurses and nursing aides. While the work is undeniably challenging and strenuous, at the end of the day most RNs concur on the fact that this is one of the most rewarding professions one can opt for.
If you wish to become an RN or midwife in Australia, you need to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is a body that assesses applications for registration from internationally qualified nurses and midwives on behalf of the NMBA. The Bachelor of Nursing, a 3 year (6 semester) course available at University level, is designed to help you to meet the needs of contemporary nursing practice within a range of healthcare contexts.
You can also choose to start your career as an Enrolled nurse, who works under the supervision of an RN. The Diploma of Nursing is a 2 year nationally accredited course that will prepare you to enter the healthcare industry as an Enrolled Nurse.
Registered nurses will be in great demand for the foreseeable future, and this is a job that is dependable and recession proof. Do explore avenues open to you and get started on this fulfilling career path!