All careersNurse
Registered Nurse

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.

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.
RNs also play an important role in health promotion, chronic disease management and prevention of illness by providing care, information and education to individuals and members of the community.
The role of an RN may vary depending on the patients you see and the setting in which you work, but RNs tend to work collaboratively with other skilled professionals such as doctors, surgeons, physiotherapists, speciality nurses and others to provide patient care.

What can I earn as a Registered Nurse?

The most common salary  for a Registered Nurse is between $65k and $75k
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How to become a Registered Nurse

SEEK Learning
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.

Duration 1.5 yrs - 7 yrs
30 institutions offering this qualification
Choose an institution
Institution logoInstitution logoInstitution logoInstitution logo
Duration 3 yrs - 7 yrs
2 institutions offering this qualification
Choose an institution
Institution logoInstitution logo
Powered bySEEK Learning
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

What skills are employers looking for?

Employers want:

  • Australian health practitioner regulation agency (ahpra)
  • Written skills
  • Working with children check
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Professional ethics

Shortlisted applicants:

  • Team work
  • Time management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Integrity
  • Adaptability
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How do Registered Nurses rate their role?

Latest reviews from 50 Registered Nurses surveyed on SEEK

Latest reviews

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...
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
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...
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.
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
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
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...
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
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
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’
Source: SEEK Role Reviews

What are the job opportunities for Registered Nurses?

Find out how the job market is trending

Job opportunities

Registered Nurse jobs on SEEK
Source: SEEK

Projected job growth

National increase over next 5 years
18.4%
2018
2023
Source: LMIP. Registered Nurses
Latest Registered Nurse jobs on SEEK
Harding Street Medical Centre
Melbourne > Northern Suburbs
Part-time, Job share, treatment room, immunisations, wound dressings, triage. Privately owned general practice. Friendly team environment
Company logo
Generation Health Group
Albury Area
Be part of an innovative & rapidly expanding national company. Manage a diverse caseload providing tailored RTW plans for the Australian Defence Force
Company logo
Benalla Health
Shepparton & Goulburn Valley
Benalla Health is seeking suitably qualified and experienced Registered Nurses to join our Acute/Medical Ward.
Calvary Health Care Tasmania
Launceston & North East
Registered Nurse - Orthopaedics / ENT / DSU / PAC specialties
Company logo
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

Explore similar roles

Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

Articles related to this career

Read more from SEEK