As a nurse, you can expect to work closely with patients and other medical professionals, in either a hospital or medical practice setting. You can choose to complete a qualification to work either as an enrolled nurse or a registered nurse, which will affect your daily responsibilities, duration of study and earning capacity.
Registered nurses complete longer training and may take on more responsibility in the workplace. You may study to be a registered nurse by taking either a Bachelor of Nursing or a Master of Nursing degree. By taking a Diploma of Nursing or a Certificate IV in Nursing you can qualify as a nurse more quickly, and will work as an enrolled nurse.
As an enrolled nurse, you might perform tasks like:
- Conducting observations of patients;
- Administering simple treatments and medicines;
- Performing daily tasks for patients including assisting with bathing and feeding; and
- Working within a health care team to provide support to a patient and their family.
As a registered nurse, you’ll be more involved with the planning and evaluation of a patient’s overall care. Your responsibilities will vary depending on your setting, but you can expect to perform tasks like:
- Assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating nursing care for patients, including performing minor procedures and diagnostic tests;
- Working in consultation with other health professionals to coordinate holistic patient care;
- Providing interventions, treatments and therapies, including administering medicine and consulting to patients;
- Monitoring patients’ responses to care plans;
- Promoting health and health education to patients;
- Liaising with patients’ families, including providing information and answering questions about patient care;
- Working within a healthcare team to ensure nursing standards are being met;
- Evaluating and implementing nursing practises and standards; and
- Supervising and mentoring other nurses and providing judgement and advice.