Your Best Guide to Becoming an Aged Care Nurse
A career in aged care nursing is incredibly rewarding and offers a diverse range of invaluable experiences while working within the healthcare system.
As life expectancy continues to lengthen, the demand for qualified health professionals for ageing support grows, creating the perfect time to look into becoming a registered aged care nurse.
The aged care sector of the healthcare industry is a rapidly growing one with:
Strong future industry growth is expected for the next four years.
Work availability is flexible, with approximately 50% of aged care workers in full-time positions and the other 50% partaking in part-time work.
Aged care nursing is also in national demand with work available in every state and territory.
Furthermore, aged care nursing as a career has longevity! Of current registered nurses, over 60% sit between 25 – 54 years old, while another 19.6% sit between 55 – 64 years old.
This diversity in age means that becoming a registered nurse within an aged care setting is a viable possibility whether you’re older and wish to up-skill as a health professional or change careers completely!
The aged care sector of the health industry is large and is made up of multiple critical roles to ensure the best care towards older people. A registered aged care nurse is one of the most important roles.
(Range: $47k – $85k)
(Range: $26k – $60k)
What do aged care nurses do?
An aged care nurse’s responsibilities can include:
Registered nurses must also have an array of patient-handling skills, including:
Understanding human behaviour
Recognising patient needs and and responding to them in a way that gives clients satisfaction
Particularly when dealing with clients with intellectual disabilities (Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease etc.)
Interpersonal and communication skills
explaining diagnoses, and handling patients’ (and relatives’) reactions .
What do assistant nurses do?
Another essential role of aged care is assistant nurses. These people work closely with registered nurses and assist them with their duties alongside their own responsibilities, such as:
Assistant aged care nurses or support workers are qualified to assist health professionals within numerous establishments, including nursing homes and hospitals. To become an assistant aged care nurse, you can complete a Certificate III or Certificate IV in Aged Care Support.
Career Paths for an Aged Care Nurse
Residential Aged Care Facilities Nurse
Working as a nurse within an aged care home involves providing clients with 24/7 nursing care. Furthermore, you take on a more social role for your clients, including helping to plan and execute social activities, maintaining personal care, food preparation and hygiene maintenance.
Transition Care/ Home Care Nurse
After hospital stays, older patients require more in-depth, individual support. Many families request a transition nurse to assist during the after-care period. Responsibilities include medicine administration, bandage changing and dressing, pain management, hygiene maintenance, food preparation and general overall well-being maintenance. Home care nurses can also be hired on a more permanent basis for the elderly who do not wish to move to a residential facility.
When primary carers for the elderly need to take a break or a holiday, respite care and nursing are an option. Respite care includes short-term facility stays or in-home care. Nurses take on the responsibilities of the regular carer in this role.
Hospital Aged Care Nurse
Some hospitals have aged care units and, it’s here registered nurses in aged care predominantly work. In this role, you work closely with resident doctors to diagnose, treat and care for elderly patients in a more formal, medical environment.
Palliative Care Nurse
Palliative care assists those with terminal illnesses who need help maintaining a comfortable quality of life. Many elderly members of society will go through palliative care. Aged care nurses who work in this specialisation need in-depth knowledge of complex pain medication administration and maintenance.
How to Become a Registered Aged Care Nurse
To become a registered aged care nurse, you must complete either an Associate or Bachelor of Nursing.
of Aged Care Nurses hold a
have become successfully registered nurses after only completing an
Advanced Diploma of Nursing.
A Bachelor’s degree is the most common study option to become a registered nurse. It includes:
An advanced diploma of nursing is usually two years of full-time study, including professional work placement.
When you graduate, however, it’s uncommon you’ll become a registered nurse straight away. Many become Enrolled Nurses (EN’s), which allows for nursing employment; however, often EN’s are considered less knowledgeable when compared to their registered colleagues.
With industry experience, EN’s can request to become officially registered with AHPRA at a later date.
Is Aged Care Nursing for Me?
If you’re looking to extend yourself within your current healthcare role, or you’re looking to start a completely new career, becoming a registered aged care nurse could be for you.
This could be an excellent next step if you’ve already completed an aged care course, are working in the industry, and would like to advance your career.
If you’re patient, calm and wanting to make a difference in the lives of the older members of our society, look into becoming a registered nurse now.
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