Job Profiles

Registered Nurse

Nurse taking blood pressure
The role of a Registered Nurse will vary depending on the setting the nurse is working in or if they work in an area of specialisation.

Ability to empathise with people.

Role Description:

  • The role of a Registered Nurse will vary depending on the setting the nurse is working in or if they work in an area of specialisation.

    Within a hospital, a Registered Nurse will often supervise and delegate tasks to Enrolled Nurses and Assistants in Nursing. Registered nurses perform different duties depending on which hospital department they work in. They might assist during surgery in an operating theatre, provide care to those recovering after surgery, triage patients in an emergency department, or provide different types of care in an oncology ward or intensive care unit.

    In a residential aged care facility, a Registered Nurse will provide and oversee nursing care including wound care, palliative care, pain management, and identify deterioration in residents related to falls, infections and general health conditions. They will administer medications and oversee safe behavioural management for residents with dementia.

    In a primary care setting such as a general practice clinic, a Registered Nurse could be involved in the coordination of patient care, immunisations, health assessments, patient education and the management of the clinical environment.

Where you might work:

  • Registered nurses work in hospitals and health services, general practice clinics, residential aged care facilities, schools, prisons, in the armed forces, day surgeries, specialist medical practices, in the community, in call centres and in people’s homes. They will often specialise in an area of medicine such aged care, child and family care, mental health, emergency care and more.

Personal attributes:

  • A Registered Nurse should have excellent listening and communication skills and an ability to empathise with people. This position also requires an ability to cope with stressful and emotional situations while being able to multi-task and problem solve. Having good attention to detail is essential for tasks like reading a patient’s chart correctly, as a simple error could have big consequences.


  • Middle of the range salary in Australia: $76,966 before taxes

Employment rates:

  • 147,000 job openings over 5 years (that’s about 29,400 a year!)
    (Reference: ABS Labour Force Survey, 2018.)

Industry growth:

  • The number of Registered Nurses grew from 279,600 in 2018 to 330,900 in 2023.
    (Reference: ABS Labour Force Survey, 2018.)

Registered Nurse Occupation Profile Video:

nurse checking patients heart rate

Career Pathway - Nursing

Nursing is a job where you get to make a difference in people’s lives every day. You will be challenged as no two days will be the same.
Hannah - Registered Nurse

Personal Story - Registered Nurse

Nursing isn’t just all about medications and bodily fluids! Patients are vulnerable and put their trust in your knowledge and your communication with them.