What does a clinical nurse do?
A clinical nurse may treat patients in a wide variety of wards and may define their specialisation by the population they treat, the setting they work in or the disease they are targeting. For example, a critical nurse could choose to work in oncology, gynaecology or as part of an emergency room unit. Clinical nurses are part of the senior nursing staff and are expected to work largely autonomously and take responsibility for decision-making and patient advocacy. Daily duties may include monitoring patients for changes in their condition, devising treatment plans, communicating with doctors and promoting health awareness in the general public. They may also be required to mentor graduate nurses.
- Clinical decision making
- Facility administration
- Analysis and interpretation of clinical data
- Staff and facility management
- Conducting physical exams
What skills do I need to be a clinical nurse?
A clinical nurse deals with seriously ill or injured patients every day and the work can be very difficult – but highly rewarding. A clinical nurse needs an elevated sense of compassion, empathy and dedication. They treat a wide range of patients and perform tasks as diverse as basic wellness assessments to gynaecological and mental health exams. As they are responsible for distributing information throughout the hospital and educating other medical staff, patients and their families and the general public about health issues, advanced communication skills are essential.
- Caring nature
- Leadership skills
- Organisational and administrative abilities
- Problem solving skills
- Decision making skills
Clinical nursing is a highly specialised field of nursing and there are many different study options that will allow you to tailor your career path to work in a field you a passionate about. Below are some popular clinical nursing careers:
Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health
Child/Adolescent Psychological and Mental Health
Public and Community Health
Study pathways for clinical nurses
There are opportunities for employment in the nursing industry at every level, from entry-level jobs requiring vocational training to specialised study for those pursuing high-level roles within the healthcare system.
These vocational courses will allow you to join the nursing profession in an entry-level role, such as Enrolled Nurse, requiring supervision from senior staff.
Study for career advancement. Qualify as a Registered Nurse or pursue a career specialisation.
These study options will enable you to pursue high-level employment options requiring extensive qualification or specialisation in a particular nursing field.
Nurses in Australia are required to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board after completing their professional accreditation. Find out more about the professional requirements of the nursing industry in the Resources section.
Getting a job after graduation
Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your nursing career. Take a look at our sample resume and cover letter and put your best foot forward when you apply for health service jobs.
Job Prospects and Salaries
With our aging population, Australia is experiencing a shortage of nursing staff. Professional opportunities are available at all levels and accredited nurses are highly sought after in remote and metropolitan areas nationwide.