Nurse - Registered


Registered nurses assess, plan, provide and evaluate preventative, curative and rehabilitative care for patients, clients and residents in a wide variety of settings.

Duties & Tasks

Registered nurses may perform the following tasks:

  • provide physical and technical nursing care and support for patients
  • provide emotional and psychological support and health information to patients and their families
  • supervise or carry out nursing care of patients
  • observe, monitor, assess, report and document patients' conditions and responses to treatment
  • administer medicines and other prescribed medical treatments to patients, in accordance with relevant legislation
  • monitor and adjust medical equipment used in patient care and treatment, which can be highly technical and complex
  • prepare patients for surgical operations, assisting with surgical procedures and the provision of post-operative care, such as wound care and nutritional management
  • plan and provide rehabilitative care of patients, including discharge planning and care
  • provide first aid, perform routine physical examinations, give advice about health matters and maintain sickness and accident records (where employed by large industrial or commercial organisations)
  • contribute to the clinical training of nursing and midwifery students
  • supervise nursing support staff and other hospital staff.


Clinical Nurse Specialist

A clinical nurse specialist a registered nurse who has demonstrated competency in advanced practice or has developed competency in an area of specialisation.

Community Health Nurse

A community health nurse works in the wider community, providing nursing care, health counselling, health forums and group programmes to individuals, families and groups. They may develop and facilitate community development programmes with a health promotion focus.

Mental Health Nurse

A mental health nurse provides nursing care to patients with psychological and emotional problems who are undergoing treatment and support in hospitals, clinics, community settings or private homes.

Nurse Educator

A nurse educator assists with the design, implementation and assessment of education programmes; delivery of education and staff development programmes; and the management of educational resources.

Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner has highly developed skills and knowledge in a specialty field (wound care, sexual health or aged care, for example). They work independently in their area of specialty and can prescribe medications and tests.

Nurse Researcher

A nurse researcher conducts research into nursing and health issues.

Practice Nurse

A practice nurse employed by general practitioners to conduct general treatments. They may also work in chronic disease management and health promotion or perform other general practice and administrative duties.

Working Conditions

In hospitals, nurses usually work according to a rotating seven-day roster that includes morning, afternoon and night shifts, as well as weekends and public holidays. In other areas, the hours depend on the service.

Personal Requirements

  • good communication skills
  • able to assume responsibility and a leadership role
  • able to take initiative in emergencies
  • tolerant, patient and tactful in dealing with people from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures
  • able to work both independently and as part of a team
  • able to cope with the physical demands and psychological aspects of the job.

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