Healthcare is a dynamic and fulfilling field for people who are passionate about caring for others — and nursing is one of the key pillars of Australia’s healthcare system.
Read on to learn more about studying nursing in Australia, future job prospects in this field, and the experiences of Aakriti Poudel, an international student from Nepal who is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Nursing at Charles Sturt University.
Why study nursing in Australia?
There are plenty of great reasons to study nursing in Australia. If you have a caring nature, are interested in science and the human body, and are eager to work hard in a dynamic environment, then nursing could be for you!
“Growing up, I was keenly interested in helping others and forming meaningful connections with those around me,” Aakriti explains.
During a hospital admission when she was a child, Aakriti received such excellent care from the nurses that she was inspired to help others in the same way.
When researching potential study destinations, Australia seemed like the perfect fit. Not only was Aakriti drawn to the beautiful climate and landscapes, but she realised that Australia boasted a promising professional outlook for nurses.
When the time came to choose an education provider, Charles Sturt stood out to Aakriti as an excellent option due to its high-quality nursing program.
“The curriculum strongly emphasises effective communication, caring in nursing, critical thinking, fostering teamwork, promoting patient-centred care, honing problem-solving skills, and instilling a deep respect for diverse perspectives,” says Aakriti.
The future of nursing in Australia
You might be wondering: are nurses in demand in Australia? The answer is yes — and the sector growth shows no signs of slowing down.
According to Jobs and Skills Australia, the Health Care and Social Assistance industry — which covers nursing — is the largest employing industry in the country. The sector has been growing steadily over the last 20 years and even grew by over 5 per cent in the year leading up to August 2023.
The top profession in the industry is registered nurse, an occupation that is expected to grow by 13.9 per cent (in the five years from November 2021 to November 2026).
To keep up with this growth, the sector needs more professionals — and currently, the nation doesn’t have enough. Per the Skills Priority List, roles like Nurse Educator, Nurse Researcher, and Registered Nurse (all specialties) are experiencing skills shortages in every state and territory.
Job opportunities in nursing: Emerging trends
The field of nursing is evolving all the time, which means that nursing roles are constantly expanding. To help you understand what the profession might look like in the future, here is a summary of some of the emerging trends in nursing in Australia.
Artificial intelligence’s growing role in healthcare
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare is relatively new; however, it’s expected to play a key role in the future. Already, AI is being used to analyse medical scans, diagnose diseases and select treatment options, as well as create advanced models using health and medical data. In the future, language models like ChatGPT may be used to gather patient information, take detailed notes for doctors and nurses, and even explain diagnoses to patients.
At Charles Sturt, Aakriti’s nursing degree is supported by the latest technology, including advanced mannequins that are used for simulation learning. This kind of technology helps to prepare students for the real world of nursing before they are required to treat patients.
A remote approach to healthcare
In recent years, one of the biggest innovations in healthcare has been the development and implementation of telehealth services, which allow patients to access healthcare by audio or video. Nurses use telehealth to collect information from patients and liaise with both patients and doctors.
As this technology evolves, it is expected that nurses will be able to monitor vitals and manage medications remotely using telehealth. This will provide remote communities with better and more effective healthcare, making nurses’ jobs more efficient.
A more diverse nursing cohort
The Australian Government has been very supportive of nursing professionals from a migration perspective. One such measure is the priority processing of skilled visa applications for those in nursing roles. Increased migration for students and professionals means that the national workforce is more culturally diverse than ever before.
A diverse workforce helps to foster cultural competence, which allows healthcare professionals to deliver quality care to patients with varied beliefs, attitudes, linguistic abilities and backgrounds. Increased cultural competence can reduce health disparities and increase patient satisfaction.
An emphasis on specialised care
There is a growing emphasis on specialised care in nursing. For example, geriatric care is becoming increasingly important due to Australia’s ageing population. Mental health is another growing area, as society is becoming more aware of the importance of caring for our mental health.
A multidisciplinary healthcare model
Modern healthcare is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary. More than ever, nurses must effectively collaborate with professionals from many other healthcare disciplines to meet complex and evolving patient needs.
For example, let’s again consider Australia’s ageing population. Older patients are more likely than young people to have multiple conditions or diagnoses that require medical attention; as such, they require a multidisciplinary healthcare approach that can help them address their layered needs.
Aakriti is excited about her future in the evolving world of nursing and her opportunity to contribute to the world.
“As I navigate this educational journey, I am acquiring the technical skills essential for nursing and developing a holistic understanding of care delivery with love, kindness and compassion,” she shares.
To learn about starting your nursing journey in Australia, explore the Bachelor of Nursing course at Charles Sturt University.
For more than 40 years, Charles Sturt has led the way for nurses, fostering resilience, versatility and adaptability in its graduates. Charles Sturt also offers a range of scholarships, including the International Student Merit Scholarship. This scholarship – which is available to Bachelor of Nursing students – provides successful applicants with a 25 per cent tuition fee reduction throughout the duration of the course.