For anyone that recently became a registered nurse or is changing careers in the field hoping to obtain a job in nursing in 2019, rest assured. Nursing job seekers are likely to have promising results with job vacancies on the rise and a growing demand for registered nurses. 2019 is looking positive for the Nursing industry!


Growing supply and demand for nurses

A recent report published by the Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business for the 2017-2018 financial year revealed a favourable outlook for jobs in nursing. The report highlights that in 2017, 79.3% of university nursing graduates were employed full-time four months after graduating.[1] Additionally, the number of vacancies for registered nurses increased by 3.2 per cent over the year to May 2018 and by an average annual rate of 14.3 per cent since May 2013.[2]

Nursing graduate numbers, nurse registrations and demand for nurses has all risen over the years. There has also been a strong increase of internet vacancies for nurses with an increase by 66% since June 2013 and near historical peaks in June 2018.


Shortage in regional areas

Anyone looking for a nursing job in regional areas could have even higher chance of securing a position in 2019. Employers in regional areas generally have greater difficulty recruiting for nurses. In 2017-18, 65% of regional vacancies were filled with only 3.5 applicants on average per vacancy, compared to 76% of metropolitan nurse vacancies filled with an average of 9.7 applicants per vacancy.


Positive trends for mental health nurses

  1. Mental Health perspectives

There is an increasing shift towards viewing mental health care needs as a step system. This means that mental health is no longer seen as a disease that people either suffer in severity or not at all. Instead there is now acceptance that mental health is on a spectrum, that there are different levels of mental health. This shift means there’s more room for professionals to become specialised regarding each level of care. As a result, more nurses are needed in various areas of mental health care, in order to build a complete and professional step system.


  1. Plugging the gap between physical and mental health

Often mental health problems can cause chronic physical health care conditions. Depression has been linked to a 67% increased risk of death from heart disease and 50% increased risk of death from cancer. There are various factors that influence the connection between mental and physical health, including one’s lifestyle choices and long term health conditions. Nurses are in a unique position to understand and work with patients on both their physical and mental health.


  1. Greater career opportunities for specialised mental health care workers

The health sector is already booming in Australia, being one of the top three industries providing employment. The focus towards a step care program diversifies the already broad number of career opportunities available within mental health, in particular for those with more specialized skills and knowledge.

This can include jobs within the field of education, corrections, community support workers and facilitators, peer support workers, consumer and care consultants, housing officers, employment offices, and police liaison officers, to name a few.


Positions available

There are available positions in all sectors of the nursing industry, including public and private hospitals, aged care facilities, corrections, and home care services. However, due to our aging population, there will be a growing demand for in-home caregivers and positions in aged care facilities.


Importance of experience and skills

Despite everything being said, simply being a nursing graduate does not guarantee a job. Qualified nurses made up a large proportion of applicants for nurse vacancies, however, over two thirds were not suitable for the role. This was primarily due to a lack of experience in a specialisation or lack of general experience in the position, but other reasons include poorly written applications, poor interview performance, and a lack of desired soft skills.

Ultimately, while career prospects in the nursing field are positive, applicants must ensure they take time to prepare for their applications and interviews, but most importantly, that they have undertaken the necessary experience for the specified position.



[1] Nurses Australia 2017-18 Report

[2] Department of Jobs and Small Business, Internet Vacancy Index, May 2018, 12 month moving average

[3] Current Trends & Shifts in Australia’s Mental Health Care Sector