Nursing and Midwifery Graduate Job
What You Need to Know as a Nursing and Midwifery Graduate Job
Nursing has a great potential for progress in the medical sector with 11,000 students graduating as a nurse each year all around Australia. A nurse’s job is to provide medical and nursing care to their patients that require their skills and qualified, registered nurses could work in many different locations whether it is in schools, prisons, companies, hospitals or even the armed forces.
To work as a nurse is a rewarding job to take, providing services and contributing to the community by helping others. Nurses are part of a professional team of medical staff consisting of doctors, social workers, and therapists and as a registered nurse; they are able to include themselves into various sectors of nursing such as:
- Aged care
- Child and family health
- Community health
- Critical care and emergency
- Development disability
- Disability and rehabilitation
- Medical practice
In Australia, excluding Victoria, nurses are categorised into three major titles, which are Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurse, and Enrolled Nurse. As a graduate student, you will fall into the Registered Nurse title, also known in Victoria as a ‘Division 1 Nurse’, after you have fulfilled the requirements needed to be qualified.
Graduates should also have undertaken a three-year diploma or a bachelor degree course on nursing, however those that have a degree that has any relevance to health, life, social sciences or biology are also qualified with additional courses. In addition, to become a nurse or a midwife, you’d first have to be registered in the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).
The NMBA have a standard registration requirement, which could include criminal history checks, English language capability, continuing profession development (CPD), and recent practices. A nurse in a more specified sector such as children’s nurse, mental health nurse, or midwife, you are required to have to have additional training to be a specialist after becoming a registered nurse, usually provided as a postgraduate diploma.
Some personal skills that a nurse and midwife should acquire are:
- Good health and fitness
- Able to work under pressure and make quick decisions
- Interpersonal and communication skills
- Teamwork and people skills
- Responsible and organised
The working conditions of a nurse would require you to work a shift plan to provide a 24-hour-care for patients including night and weekend shifts. As a registered nurse, a few of the general duties you may be associated with can include:
- Provide physical and technical support to patients as well as emotional support
- Observe, monitor, assess, report and document a patient’s conditions
- Monitor and adjust medical equipment that were used for a patient
- Prepare patients for pre- and post-operative care
- Participate in health education and promotion activities
- Organising workloads etc.
If you were to choose a more specific type of nursing, the roles and tasks would adjust to that sector. As for midwives, their job is more specified to delivering babies, providing both antenatal and prenatal advice, as well as giving care and support to women and their babies. Some typical duties of a midwife would include:
- Examining and monitoring women during pregnancy
- Carrying out screening tests while providing counselling and advice before and after the tests
- Providing information and support to women and their partners
- Providing parenting and health education
- Assisting mothers in labour and monitoring their conditions
- Helping parents cope with miscarriage, termination, stillbirth, and neonatal death etc.
Employment and Benefits
Full time bachelor graduates of nursing, those during initial nursing training and post-initial nursing training have a median salary of $52,000 to $54,0001 with average working hours for a full time nurse each week is 35.6 hours. Employment for registered nurses has risen at the rate of 32.1% over the years from 2012 and is expected to grow at a moderate rate until 2017. NSW, VIC and QLD are the top three regions for employment with 31.4%, 24.0%, and 22.6% respectively2.
Midwives also have a range of different career paths, working in various healthcare settings that could develop their experience and knowledge. You can become a consultant midwife that allows you to divide your time between midwifery practice and training as well as being able to have specialist jobs in areas such as:
- Home birthing
- Breath feeding advice
- Labour ward supervision
- Antenatal screening
Having a career in nursing is often a noble profession to have and you’re also able to select your specialty as a nurse, giving you the opportunity to work in different areas. There are many benefits to working as a nurse and midwife; the most rewarding being in providing your services and skills to help others.
1 Graduate Opportunities, Nursing – Bachelor Graduates (All). 2015
2 Open Universities Australia, Nurses (Registered). 2015