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How to become an enrolled nurse in Australia: careers in nursing

Enrolled nurses play an important role in Australia’s healthcare system, working in a variety of settings from acute hospital wards and aged care facilities to rehabilitation centres and in the community. They provide care to patients, respond to emergencies, support patients and families and work with doctors and other medical professionals. In Australia there are a variety of ways to become an enrolled nurse, with many career progression options.
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Being an enrolled nurse: daily duties

Depending on the type of hospital you work in or the region where you live, the duties of an enrolled nurse can vary. However, in general, enrolled nurses use medical equipment, observe patients, support patients with care needs, deal with patients’ families, and work with other medical professionals.


  • Working with doctors, registered nurses and other staff
  • Administer treatments
  • Use medical instruments
  • Support patients and their families

Being an enrolled nurse: skills for success

Enrolled nurses need to have compassion and empathy for others, and care about the health and wellbeing of the patients they are looking after. They need to have a good deal of patience, great time management skills and a good eye for detail. Enrolled nurses have demanding yet highly rewarding jobs where they can have a direct impact on improving the quality of people’s lives.
  • Compassionate and caring attitude
  • Observant
  • Time management skills
  • Clear and concise communication skills

Specialised roles within nursing

There are a number of different areas an enrolled nurse might chose to specialise in, from mental health to remote care. These are just some of the many options out there.
  • Mental health nurse
    Mental health nurses specialise in the assessment, diagnosis and management of mental health disorders. They may opt to work with specific age groups like children or older patients.
  • Remote area nurse
    Health care resources, including health care facilities, are often scarce in remote areas of Australia, so these nurses are in high demand. To become a remote area nurse, three years of experience in the nursing field is required. These roles often include working with remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities.
  • Registered nurse
    For enrolled nurses looking to take their career to the next level, becoming a registered nurse is the natural next step. Registered nurses are qualified to administer medication prescribed by doctors, work more closely with the medical team, and are required to complete an undergraduate degree first.

Educational pathways for nurses

Many career opportunities are available for enrolled nurses, from entry-level positions to working in specialised fields.
  • Start your career
    A vocational course provides a basic level of training and is the first step towards your career in enrolled nursing.
  • Strengthen your skills
    Work towards your career advancement with undergraduate and honours courses that allow for skill specialisation.
  • Build your resume
    Find a course that will allow you to apply for high-level employment options through specialisation.
  • Industry requirements
    To practise as an enrolled nurse in Australia, you must enrol with the relevant authority in your state or territory
  • Finding Work
    Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your nursing career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.
  • Employment Prospects
    Enrolled nurses are in demand in many different areas in Australia, with this trend expected to continue in the foreseeable future.

Resources for Nurses

Career FAQs makes every effort to ensure the information we provide is correct at the time of publication. We welcome your input to help keep our career profiles as accurate and up to date as possible. All queries and feedback will be taken into consideration as we conduct periodic reviews of our content. Add your voice to the conversation!

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