Palliative Care Nurse

Job Description

Palliative Care Nurse is responsible for evaluating a patient's condition and administering treatment, and providing comfort and care to a patient who is terminally ill.  Palliative care is provided to ensure their quality of life is not compromised in any way. Regardless of their prognosis, it improves their quality of life by relieving their symptoms. When a patient is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, this treatment might be initiated to help them cope with the condition.

Developing healthy and cultivating strong communication skills are essential for a career in palliative care nursing. This entails not just excellent listening abilities, but also the capacity to sympathise with patients and their loved ones.  The ability to talk openly about death, suffering, and family relationships is another need for a career in palliative care nursing. This is a highly individualised kind of treatment that takes into account the person’s or family’s specific diagnosis, cultural norms, and life circumstances.  The palliative care nurse’s professionalism and composure are tested while dealing with patients’ intense emotions.

To become a Palliative Care Nurse, you must first have the relevant qualifications as a Registered Nurse (RNs), and have extensive industry 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 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.  

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.


  • Approachable
  • Autonomous
  • Calm
  • Cheerful
  • Communicator
  • Confident
  • Courteous
  • Determined
  • Devoted
  • Diligent
  • Energetic
  • Enthusiastic
  • Focused
  • Integrity
  • Interpersonal
  • Organised
  • Patient
  • Perceptive
  • Positive
  • Procedural
  • Punctual
  • Welcoming

Key Skills

  • AHPRA Registration
  • Nursing Practice
  • Quality Improvement
  • Critical Care
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Patient Care
  • Developing and implementing care policies

Future Prospects

Registered Nurses can undertake further studies to obtain qualifications and progress their career into related roles or more senior positions such as;

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: