what is an enrolled nurse?

As an enrolled nurse, you work alongside medical health practitioners and registered nurses to provide patient care. Your duties include measuring and recording patients' vital signs and monitoring their progress. For instance, you check for behavioural changes and appearance and keep the appropriate medical records. You report any urgent changes to a registered nurse for further treatment. You also provide wound care, like cleaning and dressing wounds. Aside from medical tasks, you assist patients with personal hygiene, like bathing, dressing and using the bathroom.

Aside from your medical responsibilities, you interact with patients’ families and provide emotional support. You answer questions and address any issues or concerns they have. If you want to undertake extra duties, you may need additional training. For instance, additional training is required if you want to administer medicine and feed patients through stomach feeding tubes.

As an enrolled nurse, you work closely with patients, which means you need empathy and compassion to excel in the role. You should also be able to work under pressure in a fast-paced environment and be physically fit to spend long shifts on your feet.

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average enrolled nurse salary

The average remuneration package of an enrolled nurse is $68,000 per year. Your earnings fluctuate based on experience and qualifications. When you are starting out as an enrolled nurse, you start with a salary of $65,000 per year. Your experience and expertise boost your remuneration, and you can take home over $70,000 annually.

what factors affect the salary of an enrolled nurse?

Your expertise and skills determine your remuneration. For instance, when you have a diploma qualification, you earn less than those with higher qualifications. Your experience also plays a role in determining your remuneration. If you have entry-level experience, you handle basic patient care duties. However, enrolled nurses with a few years of experience and additional qualifications perform advanced duties.

Aside from experience, your location also influences your earnings. When you work in metro areas, you are likely to be an enrolled nurse in a busy hospital or clinic. The high demand for nurses in major cities improves your remuneration prospects. Smaller towns have a lower demand for enrolled nurses, lowering the earning potential in the area.

Working for a smaller hospital attracts a lower remuneration package compared to working for a bigger healthcare facility. Large hospitals have complex responsibilities and more resources to pay better salaries.

Want to know what you will earn as an enrolled nurse? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.


types of enrolled nurses

While enrolled nurses practise general patient care, they can specialise in different clinical areas. For instance, an enrolled nurse in oncology works with cancer patients. Your job is to monitor their progress, take vital signs, and report to the doctor or registered nurse. You also support patients and their families and explain various medical procedures.

As a paediatric enrolled nurse, you work with children from infancy to teenage years. Your job is to perform physical examinations and explain the tests that the registered nurse will administer. In orthopaedics, you assist orthopaedic registered nurses in casting broken bones, administering pain medication and managing bone issues.

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working as an enrolled nurse

Are you interested in working as an enrolled nurse? Let's explore the duties, work environments and career opportunities associated with the role.


education and skills

You require educational qualifications to become an enrolled nurse in Australia. The minimum requirement for enrolled nurses is a diploma in nursing. The course takes 12 months to complete and involves a clinical placement to improve your work experience. If you meet the requirements set by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), pursue a diploma in nursing at a Technical and Further Education (TAFE) or registered training organisation (RTO).

When you complete the training and clinical placement, apply to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency or the NMBA to work as an enrolled nurse. To work as an enrolled nurse, you should renew the application annually.

enrolled nurse skills and competencies

Some of the skills and qualities of enrolled nurses include:

  • communication skills: as an enrolled nurse, you regularly interact with patients, doctors and other nurses. You require good communication skills to pass along information to patients or nurses. Your active listening skills help you find out a patient's symptoms and understand their concerns. Aside from verbal and written communication skills, you should possess positive nonverbal communication.
  • interpersonal skills: as an enrolled nurse, you collaborate with various professionals in the hospital. Your interpersonal skills help you interact with others in a positive manner and collaborate with them in various duties.
  • teamwork skills: as an enrolled nurse, you work as part of the medical team that provides comprehensive patient care. It is important to work as a team to provide the best patient care. Your teamwork skills help you cooperate and communicate with others, enabling you to handle any medical issue that arises.
  • empathy: as an enrolled nurse, you work with patients facing life-threatening conditions and in extreme pain. You should empathise with your patients and show compassion as they struggle with various health issues.
  • attention to detail: as an enrolled nurse, it is important to be detail-oriented and meticulous in patient care to avoid medical mistakes. For instance, you ensure vital signs are recorded in the charts accurately and observe patients to identify changes in their conditions.

FAQs about working as an enrolled nurse

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of an enrolled nurse.

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