Registered Nurses (RN) are skilled professionals providing compassionate nursing care for patients. Registered Nurses have a fast paced, challenging and rewarding role that allows you to choose from a wide range of career opportunities. Working as part of a team of skilled professionals, nurses have the privilege of supporting patients at critical times in their lives. A career as an RN will provide you with ongoing education, support, rewarding working relationships and the opportunity to work in a wide range of environments with good financial rewards.

Last updated: 02 March 2020

What studies do I need to undertake?

The most common entry point to become a Registered Nurse is completion of a Bachelor of Nursing course at university. There are a number of universities in NSW offering Bachelor of Nursing courses (usually three years full-time or the equivalent part-time).

To apply for the Bachelor of nursing, you need to have completed your High School Certificate (HSC) with the required subjects and an appropriate Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) or equivalent. Check with the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) for each university’s entry prerequisites.

Most universities require you to have studied English, Mathematics and at least one Science subject as part of your HSC. In some cases, you may also need a First Aid Certificate. If you don’t have a HSC then you will need to talk directly to the university about other entry pathways such as Tertiary Preparation Courses (TPC) and Special Tertiary Admissions Tests (STAT).

The alternative entry point to becoming an RN is completion of the Master of Nursing (Graduate Entry) Program. This program is a two-year degree for students with previous tertiary qualifications who wish to become an RN.

Nursing programs leading to registration provide a mixture of theory and nursing clinical experience in a range of settings, including medical and surgical wards, emergency departments, paediatric wards, operating theatres, mental health units, rehabilitation, aged care facilities, Aboriginal health and community health.

You will also gain some of your experience in simulation laboratories, practising your clinical skills on ‘high tech’ simulation mannequins, under the guidance of university educators.

As a student you will be exposed to a broad range of clinical areas and settings, giving you the chance to discover what area of nursing you like the best.

What happens when I finish at University?

Once you graduate, an application is made to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), to practise as a Registered Nurse. Nurses must renew their registration annually with the NMBA in order to practise in Australia.

As a Registered Nurse you will work as part of a team, with other skilled healthcare professionals, such as specialist nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, paramedics and pharmacists.

There are opportunities to further your career in a diverse range of clinical specialities and settings such as but not limited to:

  • Medical Nursing
  • Aged Care
  • Mental Health
  • Community Health
  • Oncology
  • Surgical Nursing
  • Operating Theatres
  • Paediatrics
  • Rural and Remote
  • Rehabilitation
  • Intensive Care
  • Aboriginal Health

Within nursing there are also options of moving into education, research or a management role.

Nursing is a career that can match your lifestyle by offering varied working hours and the flexibility of working full or part time leaving time for family life, travel and other commitments.

Further information

If you’re interested in an exciting and dynamic career in nursing or simply want more information, you may find the following helpful:

The following universities in NSW offer undergraduate nursing courses:

Metropolitan Universities

Rural Universities

Become a Registered Nurse and see the difference you make, everyday.​​

Current as at: Monday 2 March 2020
Contact page owner: Nursing and Midwifery