Careers of the Future: Nursing

Nursing degree

Globalisation, automation and rapidly changing needs mean the future of employment will probably look very different to now. In fact, many current careers won’t exist in the next 10 to 20 years. So, it’s critical that students ask the important question: ‘Will my chosen study path lead to strong job opportunities after graduation and beyond?’

In this series, we’re exploring a range of occupations forecast to have strong employment prospects in the future. Some careers in the tech industry are quickly emerging. Plus, there are other existing careers that will also have an important place in the employment opportunities of tomorrow.

In a complicated world and with a rapidly expanding population, health services are going to be even more important in the future. That means the role of doctors, health workers, and nurses will become increasingly critical. Today, we’re looking at the many opportunities in nursing.

Why nursing?

Are you caring, curious and hard-working? Do you have a real passion for providing service to the people in your community? Are you passionate about studying science, health, and the human body?

If yes, nursing might be for you. Nurses promote positive patient health, formulate care plans, and look after the wellbeing of patients. They’re analytical problem-solvers with great organisational, social and people skills, and are able to work well in a team with allied health groups (such as fellow nurses, doctors, physios, social workers, admin staff, and so on).

Nurses make a difference

Nursing is a highly respected profession for a reason: as a nurse, you’re helping people and making a positive impact on the world. Wherever you work, you’ll have the ability to help save and improve lives — even beyond the hospital. As such, this makes you a valuable asset in both your local community and anywhere in the world.

Nursing is exciting, fast-paced and hands-on

It isn’t for the faint of heart. At any time, medical emergencies and unpredictable incidents can arise without warning. As a nurse, you’ll learn to be ready for anything. You’ll understand how to work under pressure, respond quickly to crisis situations, assist patients in urgent need, and save lives. No two days on the ward will be the same. In this fast-paced, dynamic environment, you will challenge yourself to the fullest.

Nursing will constantly engage your mind

Nursing requires you to be curious. Nurses come into contact with people from all different backgrounds, communities, and walks of life. You’ll see, treat and care for patients presenting all kinds of illnesses and injuries. You’ll get real-life experience doing practicals in health clinics, aged care centres, and hospitals. You’ll learn all the ways in which the human body works.

Nurses have strong prospects

Registered nurses are a fundamental part of the health system, and have huge scope for career diversity. This means you may have the opportunity to proceed down further pathways and specialise in a particular area, including theatre, intensive care, mental health and emergency. The skills you learn are highly transferable and are valuable in Australia and all around the world. With this exciting career, where you go is up to you.

Education pathways

To qualify to specialise in nursing, you may need to complete a Bachelor qualification in a similar field. Relevant career pathways may include:

  • Diploma of Nursing
  • Bachelor of Nursing
  • Master of Science (Nursing)
  • PhD in Nursing

Meet a Diploma of Nursing graduate

“Great things grow from small beginnings.”

Kumbirai Gono, from Zimbabwe, first began taking steps towards her nursing dream by studying a Diploma of Nursing at North Metropolitan TAFE in Western Australia.

During her studies, Kumbirai developed key medical skills and knowledge, including first aid, standards, and patient-centered care. She gained confidence in public speaking and practical experience working at a nursing home, a private hospital, and a government hospital.

“[Studying at TAFE WA was] a big stepping stone for me to commence my degree,” says Kumbirai. “It has opened many avenues in my learning and developmental skills.

“The staff at TAFE WA are welcoming, understanding, accommodating and have all the patience in the world. North Metropolitan TAFE has top-of-the-class lecture rooms and clinical laboratory rooms which are fully equipped with the latest equipment and resources.”

Since beginning her studies at TAFE WA, Kumbirai has won the 2017 North Metropolitan TAFE International Student of the Year Award, was a finalist in the 2017 WA Training Awards International Student of the Year Award, and has represented TAFE International Western Australia at the Council of International Students Australia (CISA) national conference in Canberra. After graduating from her Diploma of Nursing degree at North Metropolitan TAFE, she is now studying a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Edith Cowan University.

“When I started my nursing journey at North Metropolitan in 2016, I felt like a small, tiny mustard seed,” Kumbirai says. “The small, tiny mustard seed has grown into a big mustard tree from the clinical knowledge and skills obtained from North Metropolitan TAFE. I am confident that I will be a great and competent enrolled nurse.”