Aged Care Nurse
An Aged Care Nurse, also known as an Aged Care Worker or Aged Care Assistant, is responsible for the health and wellbeing of the elderly population and those with disabilities, who are no longer capable of caring for themselves. The role of Disability Support Worker is of a similar vein, but is focussed on those with disabilities and special needs, rather than the elderly.
For the most part, Aged Care Nurses work in residential establishments, aged care homes, clinics, hospitals and private residences. It is a demanding but challenging job, that involves a wide variety of tasks and responsibilities providing support with eating, showering, dressing, tidying and cleaning. With the growing population, the demand for aged care nurses is on the rise, making it a secure career choice for the aspiring nurse.
Aged Care Nurses typically assist with (depending on level of qualification and location of the patient and their personal needs):
- Showering, dressing, toileting and personal hygiene
- Shopping, meal preparation and meal consumption
- Cleaning, laundry, and changing bedding
- Provides emotional support and friendship
- Assist with social outings, shopping and appointments
- Transfer between rooms
- Infection control and prevention
- Palliative care, restorative care and pain management
- Assists in admission and help ease the transition for patients and their families
- Liaise with patients, family, medical team, and other residences in the facility
- Administration of medication
- Documentation of vital signs, medication intake, patient assessment
- Family and patient education
To work in the aged care industry you can start out in an Assistant in Nursing role. To work in this capacity you need to complete a qualification such as a Certificate III in Health Services or Certificate III in Aged Care. This qualification includes a mandatory 120 hours of work placement training. You can then progress from this role, to Endorsed Nurse, Endorsed Enrolled Nurse and then Registered Nurse.
Prior to becoming an 'Aged Care Registered Nurse' you will need to have all the practical experience and qualifications of a Registered Nurse (RN) with at least three years practical full time experience. Registered Nurses work as part of a multidisciplinary team alongside other skilled professionals including doctors, surgeons, specialists, therapists, specialty nurses, social workers and many others to provide ongoing patient care to people who are sick, disabled, injured or recovering from surgery. Registered nurses deliver primary health care predominantly in hospitals, clinics, assisted living facilities, aged care facilities, Government or military institutions, community or school settings, in the home or in outpatient facilities.
Read about all other Specialty Nursing Roles here
To work in the aged care industry you can start out in an Assistant in Nursing role. To work in this capacity you need to complete a qualification such as a Certificate III in Health Services or Certificate III in Aged Care. This qualification includes a mandatory 120 hours of work placement training.
Enrolled Nurses complete a Diploma of Nursing, which is a two-year course.
Endorsed Enrolled Nurses must have successfully completed medication administration education at some stage in their career in order to administer medicines.
To become a Registered Nurse in Australia you need to complete a 3-year Bachelor of Nursing, which is available at most Australian universities. Alternatively, for students with previous tertiary qualifications, complete a two-year Master of Nursing (Graduate Entry) program. Further study is essential if you are looking to take the next step in your career and advance in specialist nursing roles.
A Clinical Nurse Specialist demonstrates a higher level of skill in their clinical decision making, especially when it comes to problem identification and solution, and analysing and interpreting clinical data. It’s a varied role with patient care at its cornerstone.
Nurse Practitioners are Registered Nurses with a masters degree who have been endorsed by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) to provide advanced, clinical care to patients.
Nurses who specialise in a particular area of medicine may need to complete further studies or specialist training and obtain relevant experience.
All Nurses must apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). Registration must be renewed annually.
- Aged Care
- First Aid Certificate
- AHPRA Registration
- Nursing Practice
- Quality Improvement
- Critical Care
- Conflict Resolution
- Patient Care
- Developing and implementing care policies
- Critical thinking and problem-solving
- Compassion and empathy
- Excellent documentation skills
- Communication skills
- Emotional resilience
Registered Nurses can undertake further studies to obtain qualifications and progress their career into related roles or more senior positions such as;
- Enrolled Nurse
- Endorsed Enrolled Nurse
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Nurse Practitioner
- Nurse Unit Manager
Registered Nurses can specialise in other roles, undertaking further studies to obtain qualifications and specialise in a particular area of nursing. Specialised Nursing Roles include:
- Aged Care Nurse
- Alcohol & Other Drug Nurse
- Anaesthetic Nurse
- Cardiac Nurse
- Child and Family Health Nurse
- Community Health Nurse
- Critical Care & Emergency Nurse
- Flight Nurse
- Infection Control Nurse
- Intensive Care Specialist Nurse
- Mental Health Nurse
- Oncology Nurse
- Paediatric Nurse
- Palliative Care Nurse
- Perioperative Nurse
- Post Operative Nurse
- Rehabilitation Nurse
- Surgical Nurse
- Theatre Nurse