Registered Nurses provide nursing care to patients in hospitals, aged care and other health care facilities, and in the community.

    A bachelor degree in nursing is needed to work as a Registered Nurse.

    Tasks

    • assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating nursing care for patients according to accepted nursing practice and standards
    • working in consultation with other Health Professionals and members of health teams, and coordinating the care of patients
    • providing interventions, treatments and therapies such as medications, and monitoring responses to treatment and care plan
    • promoting health and assisting in preventing ill health by participating in health education and other health promotion activities
    • answering questions and providing information to patients and families about treatment and care
    • supervising and coordinating the work of Enrolled Nurses and other health care workers

    All Registered Nurses

    • $1,909 Weekly Pay
    • Very strong Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 279,600 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 50% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 41 hours Average full-time
    • 43 years Average age
    • 89% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Registered Nurses (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years:
    from 279,600 in 2018 to 330,900 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 147,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 29,400 a year).

    • Size: This is a very large occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Registered Nurses work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,909 per week (higher than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Around half work full-time (50%, less than the average of 66%), showing there are many opportunities to work part-time.
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 41 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 43 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 89% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business talks with employers who have tried to fill vacancies. Find out more in the latest report on Registered Nurses.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    2008175700
    2009195600
    2010214000
    2011211000
    2012225900
    2013228900
    2014236000
    2015260100.0
    2016261700
    2017282200
    2018279600
    2023330900

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsRegistered NursesAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings19091460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Health Care and Social Assistance94.1
    Public Administration and Safety3.1
    Administrative and Support Services0.9
    Education and Training0.7
    Other Industries1.2

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateRegistered NursesAll Jobs Average
    NSW31.331.6
    VIC25.525.6
    QLD20.520.0
    SA8.07.0
    WA9.810.8
    TAS2.42.0
    NT1.01.0
    ACT1.51.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketRegistered NursesAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.2-5.05.0
    20-245.7-9.39.3
    25-3424.9-22.922.9
    35-4422.3-22.022.0
    45-5423.5-21.621.6
    55-5911.7-9.09.0
    60-647.9-6.06.0
    65 and Over3.7-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationRegistered NursesAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate15.8-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree61.7-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma14.4-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV4.5-21.121.1
    Year 122.2-18.118.1
    Year 110.3-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below1.0-12.512.5

    A bachelor degree in nursing is needed to work as a Registered Nurse.

    You must also be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Registered Nurses who are caring, empathetic, reliable, with strong communication and interpersonal skills.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Psychology

      84% Skill level

      Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

    2. Customer and personal service

      73% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    3. Therapy and counselling

      63% Skill level

      Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.

    4. Education and training

      59% Skill level

      Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    5. Medicine and dentistry

      58% Skill level

      Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1141.00 - Registered Nurses.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Telephone

      100% Important

      Talk on the telephone.

    2. Contact with people

      98% Important

      Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

    3. Indoors, heat controlled

      98% Important

      Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

    4. Being exact or accurate

      98% Important

      Be very exact or highly accurate.

    5. Disease or infection

      96% Important

      Be exposed to disease or infections.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1141.00 - Registered Nurses.

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