A career in nursing can be as varied as any other profession. There are a range of academic and professional opportunities to progress your nursing career.
In studying a nursing course, you have different levels of qualification to aim for that roughly equate to different levels of responsibility. When it comes to the clinical side of things, Assistants in Nursing (AINs) – which include Aged Care Workers (ACWs), Personal Care Assistants (PCAs), Health Services Assistants (HSAs) and Care Support Employees (CSEs) – essentially work under the direction and supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN), assisting in the performance of nursing duties. Then there’s an Enrolled Nurse – a second level nurse who works under an RN, but with greater responsibility than an AIN.
Next up is the Registered Nurse, of which there are several different kinds specialising in areas such as paediatrics, mental health, disabilities, acute care and community care. The more experience you have, the greater your responsibility. Nurse Practitioner is another step up the ladder. These nurses are essentially RNs educated to operate both independently and collaboratively in an advanced clinical role. On the management side of things, Nurse Managers have extensive clinical experience but specialise in information and HR management. They effectively supervise and manage nurses in clinical care environments, usually in specific departments. Then, on the education front, there’s the Nurse Educator, charged with the designing, planning, implementation and evaluation of nursing education and staff programs in educational and health settings.