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Aboriginal Health

Nursing and midwifery: career information

Nursing as a career path

Nursing is about providing care to patients in clinical, community and home settings. There are many job opportunities in nursing ranging from an enrolled nurse, registered nurse, to a registered midwife, or a nurse practitioner.

What is an assistant in nursing?

An assistant in nursing works under the supervision of a registered nurse or midwife to provide assistance with patient care. This may include meal delivery, assisting with showering and data recording.

What is an enrolled nurse?

An enrolled nurse has a TAFE qualification such as a Diploma in Enrolled Nursing. Enrolled nurses are able to work in a range of clinical settings under the supervision of a registered nurse or midwife.

What is a registered nurse?

Registered nurses have a university Bachelor Degree. Their main responsibilities vary from direct patient care, care coordination, health promotion, research and education. Registered nurses can also choose to specialise in areas such as emergency, cardiology, surgery, neonatal, remote nursing or school health.

What is a midwife?

Midwives provide care to women and families during pregnancy, birth and after to ensure the safe delivery and care of babies and mothers.

Midwives may work in hospitals, birthing centres, special care nurseries or in the community.

What is a nurse practitioner?

Nurse practitioners are experienced nurses and midwives who have undergone further study which allows them to undertake more advanced roles.

Nurse practitioners employed in a designated site provide total patient care which includes, but is not limited to, ordering diagnostic pathology, ordering X-rays referring to other health professionals and prescribing medications.

How can I become a nurse?

There are various pathways you can take to become a nurse.

Marr Mooditj and Western Australian TAFE providers offer the Diploma in Nursing for enrolled nurses. Once qualified and after further study you can become a registered nurse or midwife. Four universities in Western Australia offer Bachelor Degrees in Nursing.

Bridging courses are also available at these universities to assist students in gaining entry into Bachelor Degrees. These include:

  • ECU’s Uni-Preparation Course
  • Curtin’s Aboriginal Bridging Course
  • Curtin’s Nursing/Midwifery Mentor Program
  • Murdoch’s Koort-Mooditj pre-Nursing
  • Notre Dame University Nulungu
  • Marr Mooditj

What is the career pathway for nursing professions?

Flowchart of nursing and midwifery career options

Additional information

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations provides programs, training and support for Indigenous students.

Curtin’s Gunada Centre for Aboriginal Studies located in Bentley, Perth can be contacted on (08) 9266 7091 or go to

Edith Cowan’s Kurongkurl Katitjin School of Indigenous Australian Studies can be contacted on (08) 9780 7710 or go to

Marr Mooditj (Perth) can be contacted on (08) 9351 9344 or go to

Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service Council can be contacted on (08) 9193 6043 or go to

Bega Garnbirringu (Kalgoorlie) can be contacted on (08) 9091 3199 or go to

Nursing Workforce Information can be contacted at Nurse Link on 1800 112 272 or go to

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