Didn’t Get the ATAR Score for Nursing? Here Are Some Options to Pursue Your Nursing Career
If you didn’t get the right ATAR score for Nursing at university, don’t stress! We’ve got you covered. There are other viable pathways available for you to get into the career in nursing that you want. Plus, a vocational pathway to nursing has many benefits when compared to university.
Nursing is a fantastic career choice because the health sector is growing and the need for more nurses is expected to increase into the future, particularly with the rollout of the NDIS and Australia’s ageing population.
Step 1. Certificate III in Individual Support
The first step in your journey to becoming a Nurse is to obtain a qualification in a relevant industry, such as a Certificate III in Individual Support or similar. This is an entry-level qualification to help you get your foot in the door into the health sector and is completed at a vocational education and training (VET) provider like Centacare.
A Certificate III in Individual Support will qualify you to become an Assistant in Nursing, Support Worker or Multi Skilled Carer. There are three different specialisations you can choose from:
- Ageing – learn how to learn how to provide effective support to people living in aged care facilities.
- Disability – learn how to empower and support people living with disabilities.
- Home and Community – learn how to provide effective support to people in a home or community environment.
Some training providers (like Centacare) offer dual qualifications to give you an even better idea of the industry and make you a more versatile employee who can work across different areas.
The Cert III in Individual Support includes 120 hours (approx. 3 weeks full time) work experience, which is a fantastic opportunity to get a taste of what it’s like to work in the health sector and can help you decide if Nursing really is the career for you.
Another plus side is that it is a nationally recognised qualification, which means you have the freedom to move interstate without affecting the validity of your hard-earned Certificate.
Centacare’s Certificate III in Individual Support takes 16 weeks to complete (including 3 weeks’ work experience) and is delivered from our central state-of-the-art training facilities in West Perth.
Step 2. Diploma of Nursing
This is the qualification you need to become an Enrolled Nurse and is completed at a vocational education and training (VET) provider like a registered training organisation (RTO) or TAFE.
Enrolled Nurses work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse and can facilitate and contribute to the healthcare plan of a patient, however they cannot make changes to it or administer medication like a Registered Nurse can.
There are some prerequisites for this course, which depend on whether you are a school-aged or mature-aged student and whether you have been educated in Australia or overseas. For example, if you are a mature-aged student who has previously been educated in Australia, you will need to have completed 5 years of full time secondary, tertiary and/or vocational education. The requirements can vary for each individual, so it is best to contact a TAFE or registered training organisation (RTO) that delivers the qualification for full details.
Step 3. Bachelor of Science (Nursing)
This is the qualification you need to become a Registered Nurse. A Registered Nurse generally has more responsibility than an Enrolled Nurse and has better opportunities for leadership or supervisor roles.
If you are already a qualified Enrolled Nurse, you don’t need to complete the entire degree at university, which would usually take around three and a half years of full time study. Instead, you can apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to reduce your study time.
This generally involves undertaking a conversion program to turn your Enrolled Nursing qualification in a Registered Nursing qualification. The details of how this process works can vary for each individual, so it is recommended that you contact a university directly for more information about their requirements.
Start your journey with Centacare
If you are passionate about helping others and want to start your journey to a career in Nursing, the first step is to enrol in a Certificate III in Individual Support. Centacare offers all three specialisations, so check out our website for more information or give us a call to discuss your options.