Nursing is a field that has always been in high demand. Healthcare is something that everyone needs throughout their lives, and especially in times of pandemic or natural disasters, the roles played by nurses and doctors are going to be invaluable for the safety and health of the public.
With all this in mind, the fact that several countries are now seeing nurse shortages should be quite alarming, as fewer new nursing students come in to fill the gaps left by those who have left the profession. Hospitals are now having to review their hiring practices while attempting to find ways to incentivise more students to enter the nursing field in an effort to meet demand.
If you have considered becoming a nurse, or are thinking of entering the medical field, it’s important to know what you’re getting into, and what will be required of you as you begin to seek employment. So, today, we’re going to take a look at what it takes to become a nurse in Australia, and what you will have to plan for on the road to getting there.
What is the Role of a Registered Nurse in Australia?
There are many roles within a hospital, with each playing an important part in providing quality care and support to those in need. A nurse is on the front line and is likely to have the most direct connection with anyone entering a hospital as they perform initial tests, gather details and backgrounds, and provide support for the rest of the medical team.
The role requires a considerable amount of empathy and understanding, as well as fast analytical skills and the ability to maintain focus in anxious situations. After all, the hospital can be a rather volatile place with people often coming in at their most desperate moments, so being able to effectively handle stress is going to be one of the first big hurdles for those new to the field.
Are There Different Types of Nurses?
The short answer is yes! There are many different kinds of nurses, each with their own type of career path and each with a slightly different road in terms of training and expertise. A neonatal nurse’s career path is going to be different to that of an oncology nurse or a nurse anaesthetist, so it’s important to explore your options and come to a decision on what type of path you want to follow.
What Does it Take to Be a Registered Nurse in Australia?
Australian requirements for becoming a registered nurse are, on paper, relatively straightforward. Firstly, you will need to go to university and receive your Bachelor of Nursing, which will provide you with a mix of practical experience and theory to ensure you have the strong foundations in nursing required to succeed. From there, you can make an application to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia for which a successful result will be required in order to practice.
Once you have succeeded in becoming a practicing registered nurse, you may be surprised at have valuable your skills are both in and outside of Australia. Many Australian graduates begin working internationally in their field to gain experience, and as nurses become more valuable over time so too do the opportunities they have increase.
Why is There a Nurse Shortage in Australia?
The fact that nurses have been in short supply throughout the 2020s likely comes as no surprise, with us still currently living in the midst of a global pandemic that shook our healthcare system. Doctors and nurses alike, through the worst of the lockdowns and with rising case numbers, had to put their safety on the line to ensure that people in need were still receiving the level of care that they needed.
Nurses during this time were prone to burnout, with even those who had been in the field for decades considering their options after two years at a relentless pace. It goes without saying that the pandemic was a difficult time for everyone involved, so it’s understandable that some would simply feel that they could no longer provide the level of support that their patients needed after a time of such stress.
Whilst the worst of the healthcare system’s strain is now over, this gap in experienced nurses is definitely being felt. Nurses play an extremely vital role in the healthcare sector, and so to have a limited number of nurses means a limit to the amount of care that a hospital can adequately provide. For anyone who has thought that they may want to dedicate themselves to the cause of supporting and helping others, we at The Midland Observer strongly support those who enter the nursing field.
So, Are You Ready to Become an Australian Nurse?
With Australia currently experiencing a significant shortage of nurses across practically all fields, there has never been a better time for job security to become a registered nurse. If you’re interested in trying to upskill and enter this field, there are a number of universities across Australia that offer highly regarded nursing courses that will help you achieve that goal. Good luck!