A registered nurse cares for the sick and injured, and helps individuals, families, and groups to achieve health and prevent disease.

Nurses may choose to work in specialist areas such as mental health, aged care, cancer/oncology, critical care, surgical care, community health, policy, research, management, education and workplace health and safety.

Where registered nurses are employed

Registered nurses may work in public and private hospitals, community and home-based services, doctors' surgeries, community health centres and development programs, youth and women's shelters, and school and university health clinics. They may also work in remote and rural areas. An increasing number of nurses are self-employed as consultants or educators or working through nursing agencies.


Full-time registered nurses in South Australia generally earn between $1,000 and $1,249 per week.

Graph of pay scales for Registered Nurses

Job prospects

In 2011 there were 7,465 people employed full-time as registered nurses in South Australia compared with 6,246 in 2006.

How to become one

Usually you need a degree in nursing and can specialise through post graduate courses. At school consider doing English, maths, biology or chemistry.

For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian Universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

Licensing and registration requirements

In Australia all nurses must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. 

Recognition of qualifications and skills obtained outside Australia

If you have overseas qualifications in nursing you must have them assessed by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Board to gain registration to work. 

If you come to South Australia as a migrant with a pre-migration assessment from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) you must still apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Board for registration. You may need to study a bridging program to meet the requirements for registration.

For information about assessment of overseas qualifications, and looking for work in Australia visit Recognition of overseas qualifications or contact Skilled Arrival Services on 08 8303 2420 or email

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.

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