Kangan Institute Blog

Career Pathways in Nursing and Midwifery

Healthcare is an industry that impacts the Australian population directly and significantly. Healthcare professionals work around the conditions of the country’s residents to provide each person with an appropriate form of care.

Nursing and midwifery are two popular career options in the health sector and have a significant impact on the everyday lives of people. Becoming an enrolled nurse means no two days will ever be the same. Each day will offer exciting and new situations to learn and grow from.

There are many career pathways in nursing and midwifery, which can make deciding which direction is the best to take, confusing. Choosing the right career pathway for you depends on where you would like to make a difference. Here are some career pathways in nursing and midwifery to help make the decision simpler.


Midwives work closely with women to provide adequate support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour, birth and during the postnatal period. Midwives can work in a range of settings including public and private hospitals, clinics and patients’ homes.

Midwifery does not require you to have a nursing qualification, but you must have an accredited midwifery qualification. Some institutions provide students with the option to study a TAFE course such as the Diploma of Nursing (HLT54121) which gives them credited units for entry into a Bachelor of Nursing. This is a great pathway into midwifery.

Aged Care

With a rise in life expectancy, there is also greater demand for nurses to work in aged care. Aged care nurses generally work in nursing homes, residential facilities, hospitals or through home care services. They perform a range of duties including administering medication, changing dressings, monitoring patients/residents and liaising with the patient’s doctor.

Alongside their medical duties, aged care nurses manage paperwork involving their daily tasks. They are required to document everything they do, such as each patient interaction, their health status and any noticeable changes in their health. Aged care nurses also take care of the paperwork involved with new admissions.

It can be a highly rewarding career pathway for hard working individuals who appreciate working with the elderly.


Rehabilitation nurses assist patients with chronic illnesses, long-term physical injuries and limitations. They work closely with patients to help them reach their highest level of functionality possible while helping them adapt to their changed circumstances.

Rehabilitation nurses work with patients and their families to overcome obstacles and develop a recovery plan with short and long-term goals. They help patients deal with emotional challenges and motivate them to continue on the course of rehabilitation.

It is one of the most rewarding career pathways in nursing to work in because you have the opportunity to work with patients for a long period of time as a key person in their recovery journey. Many people find that they develop a strong and enjoyable relationship with their patients in this time.

Mental Health

Mental health nurses work with individuals who are suffering from a mental illness or disorder. This also includes patients who are suffering stress or emotional issues due to reasons other than a mental disorder. These nurses often work with patients who suffer from depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or psychosis.

Working as a mental health nurse can be extremely rewarding, but requires a lot of patience. Mental health nurses must have the ability to assess and judge a situation quickly, especially because patients with mental health disorders can be unpredictable.

The career prospects for mental health nurses are growing, so it is a fantastic career pathway to choose, with a range of branches within the mental health sphere that you can explore.

Community Care

Community care nurses provide multidisciplinary services in a community setting. They work with individuals, families and communities in their place of residence to prevent disease, promote health and increase wellbeing. The large majority of community nurses work in the government sector within a multidisciplinary team.

Some of the typical tasks a community care nurse might undertake are post-hospital care for patients, general care and assistance with chronic illnesses, and palliative care for terminally ill patients who need support at home.

For some areas of community nursing, an undergraduate degree is not always required. A TAFE course can provide you with the necessary foundations for becoming an enrolled nurse in community care.

Nursing and midwifery are key areas in the health sector and can be a rewarding career pathway for individuals. There are many roles and settings that professionals can work in, with each providing new challenges and opportunities to learn. Start your career by enrolling in a Diploma of Nursing (HLT54121) and begin making a difference each day.

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