How to get a job in nursing

Today we bring you part two of our Be ambitious in 2017 series. This time we chat about Nursing, a profession that's in high demand virtually all over the world.

Types of nursing

Typically, there are enrolled nurses and registered nurses. To become a registered nurse, you'll need to complete a three-year Bachelor of Nursing at a university. But the most popular pathway to becoming a registered nurse is by first being an enrolled nurse. This is something you can achieve with a two-year Diploma at a vocational training organisation such as TAFE.

People are sometimes confused about the difference between an enrolled nurse and a registered nurse. The main difference is that enrolled nurses generally practice under the direction and delegation of a registered nurse who maintains overall responsibility for a patient's plan of care.

An enrolled nurse provides most of a patient's personal care, such as showering, dressing and feeding, as well as the administration of some oral medications. They work in a range of different settings including hospital wards, aged care facilities, operating theatres or in community settings such as Aboriginal Medical Services.

What does it take to become an enrolled nurse?

Firstly, there are a couple of check boxes you'll probably need to tick from the outset. It helps to have the right kind of character traits – caring, understanding, non-judgemental, empathetic and a strong desire to help other people. But in balance with this, you need to be able to control your own emotions, as you'll often be exposed to stressful or traumatic situations. You also need the ability to remain calm and clear-headed, be responsible and reliable.


To become an enrolled nurse you'll need a formal qualification. TAFE NSW offers a Diploma in Nursing (Enrolled-Division 2 Nursing) which includes a minimum of 400 hours work placement in an approved clinical facility. The only entry requirements for this course are to be able to communicate effectively in English and satisfactory completion of the NSW Higher School Certificate or equivalent.

[quote]The work of an enrolled nurse is literally very hands-on. It has the ability to make a profound difference to the lives of people when they're at their most vulnerable. Nursing is a very portable and mobile profession, something that can support you no matter where you are in the world.[/quote]

Nursing scholarships

NSW Health in partnership with TAFE NSW, is offering scholarships for the Diploma of Nursing program across NSW. The scholarships include a position in the Diploma of Nursing program and employment as an Enrolled Nurse in a NSW Health facility. Application information package is available from the NSW Health website and applications will open on 9 January 2018.

Next steps

Click here to find out more about studying Nursing with TAFE NSW, and download your free Course Guide.