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6 Reasons Pursuing a Nursing Career in Australia Is a Great Idea

by Melissa Bell
5 minutes read

After years of difficult and pricey medical training, you’ve probably found yourself at a dead end. Namely, you have a choice between being unemployed or getting an underpaid job with long hours. Luckily, there is another option you might not be aware of — pursuing a nursing career in the land Down Under. In this article, we will give you six reasons why becoming a nurse in Australia is a great idea.

1. High Demand

The primary reason so many people are pursuing a nursing career in Australia is the high demand for workers in this field. During the past two years, the pressure of the global pandemic made thousands of nurses quit their jobs. Furthermore, even now that the situation is calming down, most of them are reluctant to get back to their original line of work.

The Australian nursing shortage didn’t only make this job more accessible but also less strenuous. Nowadays, employers are doing everything they can to keep the nurses satisfied and healthy. Therefore, you can forget about horrific working conditions that were once associated with the nursing occupation.


2. International Employment

Unlike the USA, Australia has much looser laws around working visas. Therefore, with a nursing degree and a bit of previous experience, your papers will be ready in no time. Furthermore, once you get to your destination, you can start working within the first month.

However, note that before scoring a job, you’ll have to go through several minor assessments. First of all, in case your qualifications aren’t recognized in Australia, you’ll have to complete a bridging course. Secondly, you need to take an English language test or provide proficiency certification. Exemptions from this rule include people who come from (or got their degrees in) certain English-speaking countries.

Finally, every candidate must undertake skill assessment tests that will determine if they are qualified for the job or not. Still, as a professional nurse, you will probably find these assessments pretty straightforward.

3. Job Security

As with any other job, you can’t expect to get a multi-year contract as soon as you start your nursing career. However, most nurses in Australia remain with a single employer for more than five years. Furthermore, with the current shortage taking its toll on the Australian health system, experienced nurses can pretty much dictate the terms of the employment contract. Therefore, Australia is not just for those international workers that want to make a quick buck, as it can provide you with a long-lasting tenure.

4. Salary Rates

With the ongoing global nursing crisis, this job has become more valued than ever. Furthermore, even before the pandemic, Australia was among the top five countries in terms of nurse salaries. Entry-level nurses usually earn more than 30 AUD an hour (~22 USD), while experienced nurses can get up to 40 AUD an hour (~30 USD). However, the story doesn’t end there. With handsome overtime rates ranging from time and a half to double time, your salary at the end of a month will undoubtedly exceed the 64,000 AUD (~46,600 USD) average.

You should also note that your earnings could still vary based on several factors. First of all, the type of nurse you are will largely determine your salary rate. For example, while you won’t make much as a nursing assistant or even an enrolled nurse, you could earn a fortune as a registered nurse. Secondly, the facility you are employed at could make all the difference. Namely, while the salary in the public sector is far from trivial, working for a classy private clinic will certainly be more profitable.

Finally, your previous experience in the field or with a specific employer will also be significant. Generally speaking, late-career nurses tend to have a much higher income than those who just started working.

5. Flexibility and Overtime

Although nursing is a demanding career, it comes with its fair share of advantages. Surprisingly, one of those advantages is a flexibility that is hard to find in any other occupation. Namely, as a nurse, you can work regular 9 to 5 shifts or choose to do longer shifts and take several days off afterward. Furthermore, if you are not a morning person, you could ask for more afternoon or even night shifts.

As we’ve mentioned, overtime is by far the best way to earn extra as a nurse. The first two hours of overtime work will get you 50% over your hourly rate, with every hour after that paying double your rate. Furthermore, extra hours on weekends and holidays could bring even bigger bonuses. However, make sure you are not overworking yourself, as nurse burnout can become a major issue.

6. Career Growth

Once you score a decent nursing job in Australia, your career will probably skyrocket in a matter of a few years. If you currently hold or manage to obtain a Bachelor of Nursing degree, you will be able to become a registered nurse. In addition, if you prove yourself to be a responsible and dedicated worker, you could find yourself leading a team of nurses in a year or two. Not to mention the fact that this growth will be reflected in your salary.

If you want to develop your career further, you could go through postgraduate studies. From then on forward, you might become an advanced nursing practitioner with monthly earnings of 160,000 AUD (~117,000 USD). Finally, with years of experience and hard work behind you, you could become director of nursing, which would make your wage even more handsome.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article can help you make up your mind about pursuing a nursing career in Australia. A nurse’s job is far from easy, but it pays off, especially in this country. From flexible timetables and job security to high salaries and exciting growth prospects, Australia offers everything that a nurse could wish for. So, get your degree, pack your bags and start pursuing your dream career.

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