Life as a Nurse - Job Description

Ever wondered what it's like to work as a Nurse? Read our Nurse job description post which outlines responsibilities, salary expectations and more!

Life as a Nurse - Job Description
Most of us have fallen ill before and unfortunately many of us will see the inside of a hospital as a patient at some stage in our lives.  Thankfully, the unyielding dedication of nursing professionals ensures our hospital stay will be as pleasant as possible and our recovery sustained once we return to normal everyday life. Working as a nurse is therefore one of the most rewarding jobs in the community but also a very demanding one which gives them considerable responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their patients.
It’s also one of the most popular jobs in Australia, with a recent study by AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) identifying 331,000 registered nurses and midwives across the nation, including 40,755 practitioners who are registered as both a nurse and midwife. And with Australia’s rapidly ageing population, the demand for these pillars of our community will only grow, meaning more and more work as a nurse for those with an interest in this career path. Some of their key responsibilities include:
Identifying care requirements for individual patients by establishing a personal   rapport with the patient themselves.
Establishing a compassionate environment by providing emotional, psychological and spiritual support to patients, their friends and families.
Assuring quality patient care by adhering to relevant therapeutic and medical standards and regulations, and measuring health outcomes of individual patients against pre-determined healthcare goals.
Resolving patient healthcare problems by utilising multidisciplinary team strategies.
Maintaining a safe and clean working environment by complying with relevant procedures, rules and regulations and calling for assistance from more senior medial staff where necessary.
Protecting patients and colleagues by adhering to strict hygiene and infection-control procedures.
Administrating required dosage of medication to patients and operating any medical equipment designed to assist their healthcare outcomes. 
Documenting patient care, including consumption of medication and dosage etc.
Maintaining continuity-of-care amongst nursing team within the hospital, clinic etc.
Maintaining professional and technical knowledge by attending relevant educational workshops, seminars and reviewing professional publications etc. 
Working as a Nurse – What Personal Attributes and Skills are Required? 

Due to the highly personal and often emotional nature of nursing – with many patients and their families experiencing difficult circumstances during their contact with nursing professionals - to effectively work as a nurse and achieve career success in this field primarily requires good people skills above all else. These include: 
Solid communication skills – including the ability to convey detailed patient information to colleagues/
Teamwork – the ability to work efficiently within a bigger nursing team
A good “bedside manner” or the ability to deal with patients and their families in a friendly and tactful manner. 

Secondary to good people skills is clinical knowledge – which covers basic medical knowledge, including the various systems of the human body and classes of medical drugs), correct medical procedures (I.e. how to administer injections, insert IV drips etc.) and infection control protocols.  
Salary Expectations
According to, the average annual salary for a Registered Nurse (RN) in Australia is $60,000. This figure will depend on your experience, the hospital or clinic you work for and the city in which you work (salaries are on average higher in Sydney and Melbourne compared to the rest of the country). The salary range for Registered Nurses in Australia is approximately $44,155 for an entry-level role to an average of $77,965 for nursing professionals with a few years of experience.

Courses and Training
To work as a nurse within Australia generally requires a basic undergraduate degree in the medical field, with Bachelor of Nursing degrees offered by most major universities across the country, such as the 3-year Bachelor of Nursing or Bachelor of Nursing (Advanced Studies). TAFE courses are also available for those with prior experience or holders of Bachelor of Nursing degrees, but are geared towards transitioning to another field of nursing, rather than those seeking an entry-level qualification. A number of TAFE’s and other educational institutions also offer Diploma of Nursing Courses which allows you to practice as an Enrolled Nurse in Australia.
Future Career Paths
Registered Nurses (RN) with a few years’ experience can move into more specialised roles.  These include nursing in a specific department – such as Emergency Room, Intensive Care, Oncology etc; or managing other nurses as a Registered Nurse (RN) Supervisor or Manager of Nursing. A number of professional associations also exist to support nursing professionals as they progress through their careers, by providing relevant skills training and social opportunities. These include ACN (Australian College of Nursing), APNA (Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association), ASANNA (Australian Student and Novice Nurse Association) and NENA (National Enrolled Nurse Association of Australia).
If you’re interested in working as a nurse, check out our vacant nursing positions nationwide.

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