Registered Nurse

A challenging and rewarding career where you can make a real difference in peoples' lives.

What's it like to be a Registered Nurse?

Registered nurses (often referred to as RNs) deliver primary health care predominantly in hospital, aged care, community or school settings.
Registered Nurse
Tasks and duties
  • Observing and recording patient healthcare problems and behaviour
  • Giving medication to patients and operating medical equipment associated with patients' healthcare outcomes.
  • Preparing patients for examinations, assisting in operations and providing post-operative care.

What can I earn as a Registered Nurse?

The most common salary  for a Registered Nurse is between $60k and $70k
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How to become a Registered Nurse

To become a Registered Nurse in Australia you need to complete a Bachelor of Nursing. These are usually full time courses over three years, for people over 17 years of age or who have completed year 12 with an appropriate Universities Admission Index. The courses provide a blend of theory and clinical nursing experiences.
  1. Complete a bachelor degree in the field of nursing. This could be a Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Science (majoring in Nursing) or Bachelor of Nursing (Advanced Studies). Alternatively, for students with previous tertiary qualifications, complete a two-year Master of Nursing (Graduate Entry) program.
  2. Apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) to practice as an RN. Registration must be renewed annually.
  3. RNs with several years' experience can move into more specialised roles (such as aged care, neonatology or neurological care), transfer into the medical administrative sector or become a nurse unit manager.

Explore Registered Nurse qualifications

View courses to get qualified to work as a Registered Nurse, including full time and part time options.
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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

What are employers looking for?

Employers want:
  • AHPRA registration
  • Police Check
  • Working with Children Check
  • Computer literacy
  • Flexiblity
Shortlisted applicants have:
  • Bachelor of Nursing
  • CPR certification
  • Computer skills
  • First Aid Certificate
  • Immunisation Certificate
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How do Registered Nurses rate their role?

Latest reviews from 51 Registered Nurses surveyed on SEEK

Latest reviews
4 out of 5Jul 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Graduate Diploma of Midwifery
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Emergency Department
The good things
There is a wide diversity of areas to work in with the ability to change the number of hours worked in relation to your own current needs. You would need to be flexible and have a fair degree of empat...
The challenges
There is a need to continue study throughout your working life that you cannot always easily fit into your life often spilling over into your own time. There is difficulties fitting all necessary care...
Read more
5 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor
Experience
0 - 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
NICU
The good things
Amazing role that can be as challenging nor as relaxed as you like. Always opportunities to study and expand your career
The challenges
Always new ways to do things
Read more
3 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of nursing
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Acute
The good things
Using expertise to help patients
The challenges
Ungrateful people
Read more
5 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of nursing
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Not applicable
The good things
Gain satisfaction to help people often at their most vulnerable and developing professional interpersonal relationships.
The challenges
Not always being able to help everyone depending on the situation.
Read more
3 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing
Experience
0 - 4 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Rural
The good things
If you are passionate about nursing it an exceptionally rewarding career. The patients are often friendly and will recognise nurses who have looked after them well in the outside world. You can make a...
The challenges
There are patients and families who will treat you terribly but they are not as common as the good ones. It can be challenging to lose a patient especially the nice ones. The most important thing is o...
Read more
4 out of 5Jul 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Registered general nurse /midwife
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Midwifery
The good things
Caring for and supporting mothers in.pregnancy and at delivery. Supporting couples and families through the birthing experience
The challenges
Managing workloads with demands from.patients and doctors
Read more
4 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of science in nursing
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Emergency
The good things
you get to ease people's pain and worries educate them in health and empower people and make them well again always makes people thankfull
The challenges
Shift work can be demanding and sometimes other colleagues can be challenging to work with
Read more
5 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Postgraduate certificate
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Not applicable
The good things
I work within the primary health care system. This allows for a more consistent interaction with our patients which increases our sense of satisfaction and allows for continuity of care. Primary care ...
The challenges
If I’m the wrong organisation the daily tasks of primary care can be boring
Read more
5 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nur
Experience
0 - 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Deme
The good things
I love being able to make a difference in my residents lives. I have been working on reducing antipsychotic medication. I have just started postgrad study. I love my job.
The challenges
Physical aggression, some GPs are stuck in their ways. Short staffing, pay not the best BUT money isn't everything.
Read more
3 out of 5Jul 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
masters of midwifery
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
fertility
The good things
It is flexible and can lead you to a variety of health settings, you get to meet lots of different people and have a supportive and positive difference. You view life through different eyes than most ...
The challenges
It can be sad and emotionally draining and you will never be a millionaire but the rewards are amazing. Shift work can be very tiring.
Read more
3 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Emergency
The good things
The positive: Team work is great and working with different set of skills is enjoyable in a challenging environment. The negative. Working shift work is tiring and no social life making you isolat...
The challenges
fast environment to work with and time management is the essence
Read more
5 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing
Experience
0 - 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Transit Lounge
The good things
Best thing about this role is you get plenty of options to choose from- from aged care nurse to kids nurse, from flight nurse to school nurse, from theatre to hospice. You' ll definitely find the sect...
The challenges
Being an RN means you may have to be on your feet for long hours, be abused by frustated patients. It may also means witnessing last stage of life of patient you looked after for months. However, noth...
Read more
3 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma
Experience
0 - 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Not applicable
The good things
Being a nurse is rewarding and nice to help people who cant help themselves
The challenges
Shift work when you have a family
Read more
5 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Community Nursing
The good things
Nursing is extremely rewarding career, making a positive impact on the people you care for and has so much diversity that allows endless opportunities within the one profession
The challenges
Nursing requires direct contact with people which can be mentally, physically and emotionally challenging
Read more
4 out of 5Jul 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
The good things
The positive experience of helping patients to achieve a good outcome.
The challenges
Must remain up to date with knowledge and current trends.
Read more
4 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing
Experience
0 - 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
General medicine
The good things
There is no job like this one! You can be there for someone at the worst time of their life and make it just that little bit better. Nothing feels better than that. The variety of work is great and no...
The challenges
Some of the challenges are managing your time to give your patients the best possible care. There is a balance between all the paperwork and computer reporting. Also you're frequently learning complic...
Read more
5 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of nursing
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Palliative care
The good things
Nursing is not just a job, but a true calling, to get fulfilment and remuneration to do something that comes naturally to you and make a difference to those in the most vulnerable position in their li...
The challenges
Shift work is not as daunting as it may seem, you get used to it but it can be hard. Working those public holidays and weekends that could be spent with my family are now spent with my ‘work family’
Read more
4 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Post graduate certificate in health sciences
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Mental health
The good things
Mental health is challenging but rewarding. There is always chances of career progression
The challenges
It is challenging due to the staff shortages and lack of fu ding for more staff
Read more
2 out of 5Jul 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Registered Nurse and Midwife
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Miwifery
The good things
Meeting many different people. Being able to help people. Caring for people. Attending a Normal Delivery and seeing the reaction of Mother/ Father and friends was a great rush.
The challenges
Having to attend & pay for courses for things I had been doing for 40+ Years. Dealing with reverse sex discrimination, me being a male in a female role. Increased aggression from staff, and, particul...
Read more
4 out of 5Jul 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of nursing science, postgraduate diploma of midwifery science, masters in family, child and community health
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
The good things
Working and helping people
The challenges
Can be stressful
Read more
4 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of nursing
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Mental health
The good things
Satisfaction in knowing you’ve helped people with their recovery
The challenges
Priorities and time management is key
Read more
4 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of science
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Paediatrics/special care
The good things
Job satisfaction, leaving work after my shift and feeling like ive made a real positive difference to my patients and their families
The challenges
Can be emotionally draining. Not being able to switch off my feelings and emotions when i return home to my own family after my shift.
Read more
1 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of nursing
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Mental health
The good things
Shift work gives a good work life balance. The people you work with normally hate their job as much as you do, so there’s good laughs. Patients are sometimes thankful (about 1 in every 70). You get to...
The challenges
It’s constantly short staffed so you need to learn fast. It’s hard to look after patients and finish your notes on time. Mental health can be particularly challenging as assaults, getting spat on, swo...
Read more
3 out of 5Jul 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing/graduate diploma in Midwifery
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Antenatal care (midwifery)
The good things
Nursing/midwifery provides lots of employment opportunities. Lots of diversity in terms of the challenges of patient care. People are the same the world over so you can travel and work almost anywhere...
The challenges
For me, the worst thing is that unfortunately, bullying is rampant throughout nursing and midwifery. There are a huge amount of journal articles examining exactly that. It is horrendous. For such a ca...
Read more
1 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
registered nurse
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
acute private hospital
The good things
Much as I love nursing I do not recommend it to anyone the shifts are awful pay is ok and you get a good feeling helping others,BUT there are never enough staff to do your job properly and patients de...
The challenges
Unless staffing issues are sorted out I recomend you do something else
Read more
5 out of 5Jul 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing and Graduate Diploma in Midwifery
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Midwifery
The good things
Assisting people in one of the happiest times of their lives can be a wonderful experience. Just knowing that you have made a positive impact on their journey into parenthood is one of the most reward...
The challenges
Midwifery has daily challenges that are as diverse as the people we assist. Language and culture are just a couple of challenges that are faced daily but you will find the crossings of culture so inte...
Read more
4 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma clinical nursing and teaching
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Medical
The good things
There is so much diversity in the role, and so many opportunities to advance.
The challenges
At times the shift work is hard but there are plenty of day work if it doesnt suit.
Read more
5 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Post Graduate Certificate in Speciality Nursing
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Recovery and Oncology
The good things
The good things: My managers recognize and acknowledge my skills and have given my the opportunity to work the different units of this hospital related to my skill
The challenges
Challenges: Being employed in a small institute, if you are the only skilled personnel in the work you do, you hardly are able to get time off without jeopardizing quality patient care
Read more
5 out of 5Jul 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Graduate diploma of management
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Maternity
The good things
To have a major role in the most life changing time of someone life, the birth of their baby
The challenges
It's a demanding job that is emotionally and physically challenging
Read more
4 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor nursing
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Meducine
The good things
Rewarding job Good pay , continous education
The challenges
Hard work
Read more
4 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing
Experience
0 - 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Med-Surger
The good things
You come across many people (age, gender, careers...) you being helpful and most trust person in their hard time in live. Meanwhile you learning everday in medical field or in life experiences.
The challenges
Challenging is where you will be busy most of your shift. Sometime things happened and your shift in pear shape. But got to communicate and you got alot support behind. Sometime you just need to balan...
Read more
4 out of 5Jul 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Master of Midwifery
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
The good things
Everyone thinks that being a midwife is all about the babies. It is to a degree, but it involves lots of counselling and education of parents. It is wonderful to provide care and guidance to parents w...
The challenges
Parents today have very high (and often unrealistic) expectations. Mums are usually only in hospital for 2 - 3 days after their baby is born, so you have to cover a lot of information in a short time....
Read more
4 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of nursing
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Aged care
The good things
Nursing is a rewarding career. It is also diverse, there are so many areas within the health profession you can work. I stsrted working in NICU for first 10 years, then spent the next 5 years working ...
The challenges
Nursing is a demanding job both physically and mentally but is highly rewarding when you have positive outcomes.
Read more
4 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of nursing
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Not applicable
The good things
A role that is both rewarding and challenging with a variety of career pathways
The challenges
Fast paced with daily challenges. Never dull
Read more
5 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Registered Nurse - it is now a degree
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Hospice
The good things
Palliative care is very specialised and you have to be the right type of nurse to do this role. It is extremely rewarding and is a more holistic approach to nursing as you are caring for the patient...
The challenges
The challenges are that it takes experience to develop the skills to handle the type of situations that occur is this field of nursing. The team is always there to support.
Read more
4 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Operating Theatre Suite - recovery
The good things
Nursing is a very diverse job with ongoing scope for expansion of knowledge and skills, and career progression depending on how far you want to go. The shift work enables family and life commitments ...
The challenges
Like most jobs, nursing can get repetitive and tiresome. It's a very physical job assisting people and being on your feet most of the day. It can also get emotionally tiring when faced with stressed...
Read more
5 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing
Experience
0 - 4 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Aged care
The good things
I like the variety nursing bring to my role, no day is the same. My job keeps challenging me on a daily basis which keeps me stimulated and of course being able to help the disadvantaged people in our...
The challenges
Shift work can be a challenge and the work pressure. You have to be able to adapt to a high paced work environment.
Read more
4 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Critical care
The good things
Ability to help people and plenty of opportunities to further your career
The challenges
Work life balance can sometimes suffer
Read more
5 out of 5Jul 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma child and family health
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Midwife
The good things
Every day is different. It’s never boring. You come across gorgeous people from all walks of life and you run with it. You can work ft,pt,casual,travel, live in the country, live in the city, have tim...
The challenges
Do the best you can, every day. Accept it will not always be easy. There are great days and tough days. You do the best you can for the people in their situation on that given day. And I know it sound...
Read more
5 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing and Psychology
Experience
0 - 4 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Dialysis /Remote Area Nurse
The good things
Being an RN gives me job satisfaction and I'm fell as though I am actually dong my bit for humanity.
The challenges
Being a Remote Area Nurse can be lonely and you do have to go without luxuries but one can always improvise. Fun and adventure is to be had as a Remote Area Nurse which outweighs the absences from fam...
Read more
5 out of 5Jul 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
RN / RM
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Maternity
The good things
Usuall a very happy working environment as you’re helping to bring a new life into the world. Helping new parents learn to care for a newborn is very fulfilling. Even with a tragic loss of a baby I fi...
The challenges
Only challenge would be juggling shift work and family/home life.
Read more
4 out of 5Jul 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Graduate diploma in midwifery
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Postnatal ward
The good things
Definitely the satisfaction in helping a woman through the process of birth. When she thanks you at the end and says she doesn't know how she would of done it without you, you know you've done the bes...
The challenges
The shift work, working weekends and nights, it's hard at times, and those really busy shifts where you don't stop for 8 hours, exhausting!
Read more
4 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Not applicable
The good things
It’s a challenging area with high aquity patients. Haematology nurses are some of the most skilled nurses in the hospital.
The challenges
You develop strong therapeutic relationships with not only the patients but the family member as well. This makes it hard when they become acutely unwell or pass away.
Read more
5 out of 5Jul 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Registered nurse and midwife
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Midwife
The good things
I feel it is important to have dual registration in nursing and midwifery as it opens worldwide opportunities for jobs. As a nurse I have never been unemployed. The rewards seeing and helping people r...
The challenges
It's important to manage the fatigue of shift work by prioritising sleep and maintaining good health with a healthy lifestyle.
Read more
5 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Batchelor of Nursing
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Youth Health
The good things
Working with Vulnerable Young People as a Community RN is very satisfying, to be in the position help, assist and guide these YP in all areas of their lives makes me feel like I am making a difference...
The challenges
The challenges are the services available to YP, there are real gaps in the health system that can make things very difficult
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4 out of 5Mar 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing
Experience
0 - 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Ophthalmology
The good things
It’s challenging, everyday is different, but it’s a very rewarding job! I love having the opportunity to help the community - seeing how people’s vision impact their every day life is literally an “ey...
The challenges
Specialising in ophthalmology is pretty cool! But it can narrow your options if you plan to live and work in Auckland. You can choose to work in the ward, the clinic, in both public and private sector...
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4 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Registered general nurse uk
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
General nurse medical/surgical
The good things
Nursing is a great career but can be hard at first but the rewards out weigh the bad times great team work needed to get thru tough times together.
The challenges
Working with people who do not fir in the team
Read more
5 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Occupational Health
The good things
It’s a great career to be able to travel and work. You also can work any a lot of different areas
The challenges
Aggressive clients and the need to perform to a high standard or lives are at risk
Read more
5 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachlor of Nursing
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Aged care
The good things
Best profession in world. Serving people and make them to laugh
The challenges
Keep smiling in everyday challenge
Read more
4 out of 5Feb 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Nurse practitioner
Experience
0 - 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Not applicable
The good things
Helping people and knowing that you have made a difference in someone's life.
The challenges
Study well and listen
Read more
4 out of 5Jul 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Community Health Diploma and International Certified Lactation Consultant
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Primary health care
The good things
Within this role you use all your knowledge base learnt as a nurse, health education and health promotion. Additional skills of midwifery and lactation enable you to be more insightful of your care wi...
The challenges
There is no financial support or consideration of time required for ongoing study from employers. The qualifications are desired and your expertise wanted but rarely is there financial reward. The rew...
Read more
Source: SEEK Role Reviews