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This is an easy field to get into overall, and there are many
courses available. Nursing courses take school leavers,
practising nurses with years of experience and people with some
experience and qualifications from other occupations, including
nursing assistants. Courses vary widely in length, and several
modes of study are offered (including full time, part time, block
study and distance education). In some states, there are
traineeships and VET courses offered for those wanting to enter
the occupation at the ‘enrolled’ or ‘division two’ level rather than
the ‘registered’ graduate nurse level. You can then work your way
up the qualifications and career ladder. (Note: this guide includes
degree-level courses only.)
To compare entry difficulty and the cost of Commonwealth
Supported Places (CSPs) at different institutions, see ‘What’s on
offer and who’s there’. Note that while public universities only
offer CSPs, private higher education providers may offer full-fee
places in this field.
It is predicted that there will be a national shortage of 109,000
nurses by 2025, and the ANF is urging the federal and state
governments to put additional measures in place to support
nursing and midwifery graduates’ progression into the workforce.
One such measure is the Graduate Nursing and Midwifery Jobs
Portal, which helps new graduates seeking employment to see
where vacancies are available and assists employers with unfilled
vacancies suitable for graduates. This is a free site available at
Marianthi — Bachelor of nursing
Why did you choose to study
I had wanted to study nursing since I
was young. I’ve always been passionate
about helping people — even taking up
part-time work in a pharmacy for several
years. I find it interesting to learn about
different illnesses and how to treat them
or manage them. I love dealing with
people, I love helping and I love learning. I considered
midwifery while I was in high school but chose to enter
nursing for a more general perspective.
What was the best thing about your course?
The clinical placements were the best part, as they exposed
me to different people, different illnesses and diseases in
different clinical settings. I was exposed to so many different
avenues of nursing, which gave me a chance to experience a
bit of everything and to see what interested me. Another great
part was everything I learnt, and it’s the best feeling to be able
to practise your skills once you’re out of uni.
What was the worst thing about your course?
The amount of time I spent at uni, probably! Taking public
transport meant that it took me more than an hour to get to
class and I was there most days of the week. Doing this,
along with part-time work, meant that I was never had much
What did your course involve?
In addition to lectures, we had tutorials and labs for each
subject during the week. As nursing is such a practical field,
clinical placements were a huge part of the course.
Have you found work in your field?
I am currently working as an aged care nurse, which involves
managing a 42-bed facility, including staff. As part of my job, I
administer medications and deal with other elements of
patient care, as well as liaising with doctors about the
What advice would you give to students considering
My advice would be to look at all the different options to see
which course provides the most support for students, which
uni has good relationships with hospitals (and a good
reputation in the field) and which uni provides the most clinical
Have you completed further study?
I haven’t yet but it’s definitely something I would consider —
perhaps in midwifery so that I have the dual qualification.
What’s on offer and who’s there
over 25 yrs
For an explanation of abbreviations, see page 587
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