⁠Best Nursing Courses In Australia 2024

Last updated: November 23, 2022

Are you working an unrelated job but looking to make a career switch into nursing? Searching for the best nursing courses in Australia that are convenient and flexible? We have a list of attractive options that may just fit the bill.

So you may not have any relevant qualifications or previous work experience to get into the nursing sector. That’s perfectly alright.

The ship hasn’t sailed just because you’re doing something totally different. You can still get into a nursing course in Australia even if you don’t have any relevant work or study experience in the nursing field.

But searching for the right course can be an absolute headache, right?

Well, we’ve got your back. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best online nursing courses in Australia that offer part-time or full-time study. We’ll also cover what job outcomes, career prospects, and learning experience you can expect from doing these courses.

Don’t worry—the entry requirements from these courses do not include relevant work experience or study qualifications.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

The nursing sector in Australia

While nurses and midwives make up the largest percentage of the health workforce in Australia, there is still a shortage of nurses.

As the healthcare sector grows rapidly, the demand for relevant workforce is hiking, too. Right now, Australia is face-to-face with a nurse shortage. And the need for nurses isn’t expected to dwindle anytime soon. In fact, there is a projected shortfall of around 85,000 nurses by the year 2025 [1].

So if you’re thinking about breaking into this sector, you’ll be greeted by numerous opportunities—not to mention that nursing can be a highly rewarding role to pick up.

So how do you become a nurse in Australia?

Well, it’s pretty straightforward. To become a Registered Nurse, you’ll need a Bachelor of Nursing. And if you’d like to become an Enrolled Nurse, a Diploma of Nursing is the way to go.

Bachelor of Nursing vs Diploma of Nursing

So what are the key differences between a Bachelor of Nursing course and a Diploma of Nursing?

The main difference between both nursing degrees is the job outcome and opportunities. A diploma will allow you to become an Enrolled Nurse. This is a fantastic option if you’re fresh and new to the nursing scene and looking for a good place to kickstart your nursing career.

On the other hand, a Bachelor of Nursing allows you to explore more career options and command a higher salary. The most common job outcome from this course is a Registered Nurse.

And how about the course duration?

Well, a Bachelor of Nursing typically takes 3-4 years of full-time study to complete. Meanwhile, a Diploma in Nursing would take you around 2 years of full-time study.

If you’re currently an Enrolled Nurse but intend to become a Registered Nurse, you can take a Bachelor of Nursing course. Before enrolment, it’s best to clarify whether you would be able to transfer credit from your diploma towards your Bachelor’s course.

What makes a great nursing course?

We understand that finding the best nursing course in Australia can be tedious (and stressful!). But you can look out for some red flags and green lights when picking a provider for yourself!

Here are some factors to take into consideration while picking a course.

  • Accreditation. The most common accreditation you’ll see is by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC). They are an independent accrediting authority responsible for accrediting Australian education providers in the nursing and midwifery field. It is strongly advised that you take a diploma or Bachelor’s program that is accredited by the ANMAC. This ensures the study program meets the quality standards for delivering nursing education.
  • Flexibility. Many education providers offer both part-time and full-time study programs, so that’s something you can choose based on how much you can commit. We’ve included courses that mainly deliver their classes online (mainly for the sake of convenience). Some of these courses may also run on learning at your own pace, which is really neat! You’ll complete pre-recorded materials at your own schedule and time, though there is usually a deadline to keep you on track (procrastination is real).
  • Entry requirements. The entry criteria vary slightly from one provider to another. And some have their entry requirements set by the ANMAC. Some common requirements are completion of year 12 or a Certificate IV with work experience. You’ll also have to meet the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) specified level of English language skills. The easiest way to find out if you meet the course’s specific requirements is to check with their representative.
  • Work placements. Most nursing courses (if not all) will require you to undergo a clinical placement program to ensure you gain hands-on and practical experience. This may be the only phase of the course not conducted online. Travelling can become an issue, so you should contact your course provider to get a list of their approved work placement locations before signing up (and regretting it later!).
  • Cost. Australian and New Zealand students could be eligible for a Commonwealth Support Place (CSP). If you’re eligible, the Australian government will subsidise part of the course fees, usually by quite a large amount. Don’t miss out on it—you can quickly check your eligibility with your course provider!

What are the best nursing courses to land a job?

Here’s our list of some of the best online nursing courses to take in Australia.

These require little to no qualifications but help pave the way towards higher education or landing a job in the nursing field.

Though most of the lessons, classes, and exams are conducted online, do note that you will still be required to undergo physical work placement to complete the course successfully.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!


4 years full time

Delivery method




Why we recommend it:

If you’re looking to graduate from one of the top 2% of universities in the world, here’s a great option. This Bachelor of Nursing degree will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to analyse a patient’s needs and provide high-quality care.

The university offers full-time study for four years. During this time, you’ll complete 18 theory-based subjects and six professional practice experience subjects.

The course plan adopts a flexible approach, meaning you can log on and do your learning at any time of the day that fits your schedule.

While the materials are delivered online, you will have to complete six residential sessions at an on-campus simulated healthcare facility and five sets of clinical placements in an actual healthcare facility.


3 – 6 yearsCourse Completion

Delivery method

On campus Online



Why we recommend it:

The Charles Sturt University offers a 3-year full-time study course (or the part-time equivalent). There’s also the option for on-campus or online study, depending on your preference.

The online route allows you to study on your own time. Nonetheless, the program will also support you in completing at least 800 hours of workplace learning at different healthcare facilities to ensure you gain a solid amount of real-life working experience.

You are expected to spend around 10-12 hours per week doing course activities for each 8-point subject you enrol in. Taking four 8-point subjects in one semester is equal to working a full-time job.


18 months

Delivery method



~$3000-9000 (Subsidised)

Why we recommend it:

This Diploma of Nursing is available online and on-campus. For flexibility purposes, the institute offers online classes and blended sessions. So if you’d like to attend physical lessons, you can. But if not, you can opt for online study. All recorded lectures will be made available to students to watch and review at their own time.

Your trainers and learning support staff will be available for a large proportion of the week, and their 24-hour IT helpdesk ensures you receive sufficient e-learning support. This is a 78 week (18 months) full-time course that will require you to undergo over 1500 of relevant training.

During this time, you’ll learn and practise critical skills, such as wound management, administration of IV medications, and other nursing skills within the scope of an Enrolled Nurse.


2 years

Delivery method



~$9500(Subsidy available)

Why we recommend it:

Via this nationally-recognised Certificate IV, you will learn the following:

How to recommend meal plans based on dietary guidelines
Helping your clients modify their meals according to their health goals
Interpreting medical terminology
With these skills and knowledge, you’ll be able to pursue a career as a nutrition assistant, dietetic assistant, or allied health assistant.

There are no entry requirements at all for this course. While the theory part is delivered entirely online, you will need to undergo 120 hours of mandatory work placements. This Certificate IV runs for 2 years through self-paced learning.

What are the career outcomes of taking a nursing course?

Nursing graduates may find themselves working in various healthcare settings and sectors, such as acute care, mental health, paediatric care, and aged care.

Here are the main job outcomes from taking a relevant Diploma, Bachelor’s, or Certificate III.

Registered Nurse

Bachelor of Nursing graduates can work in both healthcare facilities and community settings. After graduating with your Bachelor’s, you’ll have to apply to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Compared to Enrolled Nurses (EN), RNs will typically handle more responsibilities and complex tasks. Their day-to-day duties may include:-

  • Taking comprehensive patient assessments
  • Administering medications and observing outcomes
  • Mentoring and supervising ENs
  • Providing patient education
  • Collaborating with healthcare professionals to develop a nursing care plan

RNs and Bachelor of Nursing graduates may look towards furthering their education and careers via a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing. Registered Nurses make an average of $70,000-80,000 per annum.

Enrolled Nurse

ENs assist in providing nursing care but under the supervision of an RN. Their duties may include:-

  • Measuring and recording vital signs
  • Educating patients
  • Assisting with physical therapy or rehab
  • Helping with hygiene tasks and daily routines, such as bathing and eating
  • Administering medications
  • Carrying out care plans written by the healthcare team

ENs may choose to further their education to become an RN via a Bachelor of Nursing degree. An Enrolled Nurse’s salary in Australia averages at around $60,000 per year.

Assistant In Nursing (AIN)

As an assistant in nursing, you will be working under the supervision and direction of an RN. Your job scope typically includes:-

  • Helping patients with their daily routine and hygiene tasks, such as bathing and eating
  • Assisting with their mobility needs
  • Observing your patient’s condition
  • Reporting any changes in condition to the RN
  • Cleaning equipment
  • Dressing wounds
  • Doing basic documentation

To become an AIN, you’ll have to complete a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance (HLT33115). The average salary of an assistant in nursing in Australia is around $50,000 per year.

Final Takeaway: Final Takeaway: Nursing Courses in Australia

Getting into a nursing course isn’t reserved for just the cream of the crop. The entry requirements aren’t demanding, and you won’t need relevant work or study experience to qualify.

Becoming a nurse is difficult, and working as a nurse wouldn’t be any easier. It is not the job for everyone. You’ll have tons of poo stories to share. And some days can be emotionally, mentally, and physically challenging. You are helping people who are sick—so don’t expect everyone to shoot you happy smiles and talk with a gleeful tone all day.

But with that aside (hopefully, we haven’t scared you away), you’ll realise that you’re making a difference, as cliche as it sounds.

You’re part of someone’s recovery journey. You’re helping someone’s father pull through physiotherapy. And you’re caring for someone who’s feeling afraid and vulnerable.

What you do really matters. And nothing beats the satisfaction when a patient thanks you for helping them through a difficult season.

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications do I need to become a nurse in Australia?

There are two main qualifications to choose from. You will need a Bachelor of Nursing to become a Registered Nurse or a Diploma of Nursing to become an Enrolled Nurse.

What are the requirements to do nursing in Australia?

These are the typical entry requirements to take a nursing course in Australia. This may vary slightly from provider to provider. You may also have to undergo a Police Record Check and Working With Children Check.

Diploma of Nursing

  • Australian Year 12 or equivalent
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Meeting English proficiency standards

Bachelor of Nursing

  • Australian Year 12 or equivalent (you’ll need to achieve certain scores for Mathematics and English)
  • Meeting English proficiency requirements
  • Diploma of Nursing (for certain providers and intake dates)

Certificate III In Health Services

  • Nothing specific, but satisfactory writing, numeracy, reading, and computer skills.

How much does it cost to study nursing in Australia?

An undergraduate degree such as the Bachelor of Nursing would cost around $20,000-25000 per year without any subsidy.

However, there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available. Australian or New Zealand citizens can enrol for a Commonwealth-supported place. And the fees will then be heavily subsidised by the government.

Is nursing hard to study in Australia?

This is subjective. Getting into nursing school in Australia isn’t as difficult as in other countries, but the course itself can be demanding.

The coursework and theory part is manageable. But people have shared that work placements can be very exhausting and taxing. Often, it’s during your first placement experience that you’ll figure out whether nursing really is for you.

It isn’t the course (or job) for everyone. But it is rewarding and fulfilling, nonetheless.

Can you study nursing while working?

Yes, it is possible to study nursing while working. There are universities and education providers that offer part-time courses to students who have other commitments.

It can get tiring to work and study at the same time, though⁠—especially during work placement blocks (which can be very demanding).

How many years does it take to become a nurse in Australia?

This depends on the course you take. It typically will take around 2 to 3 years, and sometimes 4, to complete a nursing course in Australia.

What’s the difference between an Enrolled Nurse and a Registered Nurse?

An Enrolled Nurse will work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse. Some of the tasks of an RN may also be more complex compared to an EN. They can undertake processes and duties that are higher-skilled, and they will be mentoring and supervising ENs and AINs.

An RN will usually earn a higher salary compared to an EN. To become an RN, you’ll need a Bachelor of Nursing, and to become an EN, you’ll need a Diploma of Nursing.

Is it easy to find a job as a nurse in Australia?

Yes and no. There is a demand for nurses in Australia. Yet, it can be harder to land a job in certain sectors or settings compared to others.

Aged care is a good place to look out (due to the high demand for aged care workers), but it may be hard to transition somewhere else after that, as working in aged care doesn’t give you as much clinical experience. Another option is a nursing agency.

Fresh grads may have some trouble finding their ideal job but keep at it. Look in a different location, a different sector, or a different setting. You only need one “yes!”

What is nursing in Australia like for males?

It really depends. There is a need for male nurses in Australia, but in many cases, they’re tasked to manage heavier or more aggressive patients. Some patients may request for a female instead of a male nurse. That’s something you may experience, but the general public perception is changing—for the better.

You should be sensitive when handling patients and be aware of certain cultures and religions where someone may not feel comfortable being taken care of by a male.