Courses and specialisations
Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications in nursing include diplomas and advanced diplomas in nursing. These courses qualify graduates to work as a nurse at the ‘enrolled’ or ‘division 2’ level rather than the ‘registered’ or 'division 1' nurse level. Registered nurse positions require the completion of a bachelor of nursing at undergraduate level, although there are special pathways with credit available for graduates who want to upgrade their VET qualification to an undergraduate degree. There are some differences in the tasks you are qualified to perform as an enrolled nurse, which is explained in Nursing jobs in Australia.
Applicants must meet academic and English language entry requirements, which vary between courses, institutions and qualification levels. Some VET courses in nursing require the completion of Year 12 with studies in mathematics and science or relevant employment experience. Applicants may also need to complete a test or interview as part of the selection process and obtain required immunisations, a police check and a Working with Children Check in order to complete clinical placements. For more information about VET qualifications and entry requirements, see Vocational Education.
Where to study
VET qualifications in nursing are available at both metropolitan and regional campuses around the country, mainly at TAFE institutes, but also through some universities and private colleges.
Since practical experience is an important aspect of nursing courses, it is important to check that the courses and institutions you are considering have good facilities, offer clinical placements and provide access to the latest equipment. The best courses should also have good contacts with industry and employers.