If you are interested in a rewarding career that makes a difference to people’s lives, nursing may be the career for you. But did you know it is also a career that offers versatility, variety, travel and progression opportunities?
The commonly held view is that when you become a nurse you go on to work in a hospital or GP clinic, but as nursing care has evolved, it has opened up a broad range of different working environments and career paths for registered nurses.
A career of opportunity
“An exponential increase in technological advances and growth in nursing knowledge has changed the nursing profession,” says Murdoch University’s Head of Nursing, Professor Cathy Fetherston.
“Outside of the traditional hospital sector there are roles within schools and workplaces, community health promotion, medical clinics, correction facilities, community mental health, and in other areas such as tourism to name a few.”
“Hospital work isn’t for everyone and our graduates have worked in a variety of settings such as in the defence forces, or as forensic nurses, they’ve cared for older people in the aged care sector, and provided nursing care in people’s homes as well as worked in rural and remote communities.”
So there’s one thing for sure, once you have completed your nursing degree, get ready for a career full of choices, opportunities, and variety.
“Nursing offers great mobility,” says Professor Fetherston. “Completing your degree in an accredited program in Australia enables you to work anywhere in Australia. Australian nurses are also actively sought to work overseas and there are a number of UK agencies currently recruiting Australian nurses.
There are, however, processes that need to be undertaken to obtain your registration to work in other countries. These vary and are specific to individual countries.”
If travel is on your agenda as a Murdoch nursing student, you could get the opportunity to travel as part of your degree with overseas clinical placements available in Asia and the United Kingdom.
Also, your nursing qualifications can be developed to help progress your career further.
“Registered nurses also have the opportunity to progress and take on leadership roles in a broad range of clinical care, education, research, and health service delivery and management areas,” says Professor Fetherston.
Positions associated with these areas include clinical nurse, clinical nurse specialist, nurse unit manager, nurse practitioner, safety and quality coordinator, nurse educator or nurse academic and researcher, as well as executive positions in health service management and government posts advising on and contributing to health policy.
Leadership occurs at many levels within nursing and as nurses progress in their chosen field of expertise, there are programs available to support emerging nurse leaders.
More to a nursing career than you can imagine
While the basic premise of providing safe quality care to people in health and illness remains the same, the opportunities to build a successful and rewarding career in nursing are broader than ever.
“I have experienced an enormous range of opportunities since I first registered as a nurse,” says Professor Fetherston. “I have worked in Australia and several overseas countries in health promotion, community, and acute hospital care areas, also becoming a midwife and working across the continuum of midwifery practice.
“Nursing has enabled me to travel, afforded me the flexibility to adapt my work as I’ve raised a family and provided challenges and personal satisfaction that have kept me engaged and always wanting to achieve more. I have loved all aspects of my nursing career and the opportunities it has provided me over a lifetime of work.”