**Update September 2014: Stability of Nursing Jobs in Australia
Job security has always been a great factor of nursing. In my experiences on the job, it’s pretty rare that a nurse gets fired – you basically have to be grossly incompetent, breach some serious code of conduct or be solely responsible for some dire situation that occurred.
This is not to say that nurses take registration lightly, or become sloppy because of the knowledge that their job is pretty secure.
On the contrary, I think most people are very aware that the threat of litigation and the need to be deemed competent underlies every shift we work, and generally speaking nurses are really very careful with things like medication checks, following protocols and working hard within their level of expertise. They are also very aware that any given situation could potentially end up in court, maybe with no fault at all on their behalf, leaving the nurse to defend or clarify their actions, involvement and/or documentation for a particular situation.
One of the stories that came out of the Sunday Telegraph last month titled Nursing’s a healthy option for students has highlighted what I’ve always felt about nursing – it’s a pretty secure profession. After all, even in times of economic downturn, people want good education and good health care. You can’t really say “well, lets cull a few hundred nurses because they’re costing too much.”
From the article:
“Job security is luring more students into nursing and teaching careers.
University chiefs believe the global financial crisis – and generous new HECS subsidies – have led more students to pursue stable career options.
Applications for a nursing degree at the Australian Catholic University in 2010 are up 44 per cent on last year, while education applications have risen 38 per cent.
The University of Technology, Sydney, has recorded similar increases.
An extra 375 students have applied to study the popular nursing program next year, with an additional 99 applying for the teaching degree.
Applications for the two degrees have doubled at the University of Notre Dame.
University pro-vice chancellor and executive dean of nursing Margot Kearns said the global financial crisis seemed to be influencing students’ subject choices.
“In this economic climate, people are looking for a more structured career path,” she said. “With education and nursing, they’re actually professional degrees and vocational degrees.”
“If you do a Bachelor of Nursing, you become a nurse; whereas with some other generic degrees, the actual career paths are not as well-defined.”
Perhaps this is partly a reflection on the current economic situation. Maybe more people are thinking about job security and long term career paths, rather than pursuing other lines of study they may also be interested in. I know that for me personally, I had several interests at the end of high school, and ended up studying a completely different field before my transition to nursing. When it comes to job security, I’m glad I made the move.
Professions like nursing and teaching certainly have the advantage of leaving you with a clear idea of what your job entails. What are your experiences – is job security a factor when considering career choices?
For those interested in nursing, or not sure where to start, I’d also recommend that you check out Nursing in the Australian Health Service.
For Travel and Overseas nurses, don’t even think about coming to Australia without grabbing a copy of Nursing in Australia: A Guide to Working and Living as a Nurse Down Under.