AUSTRALIA'S ageing population will mean increased career opportunities in the medical and healthcare sector in coming years, particularly in nursing, aged care and related fields.
MyCareer's employment forecast consistently finds shortages of nursing staff in regional and remote areas, with enrolled nurses, registered nurses with specialist experience and senior nursing staff being particularly difficult to recruit.
While a shortage of nursing staff - especially in remote areas - may be cause for some concern, it also translates in strong career prospects for those considering a career in the industry.
Sandra Moore, executive officer at Mater Hospital Mackay said a healthcare facility's ability to deliver high-quality care had a direct relationship to the quality of its staff.
"Nurses are critically important members of the team for every successful healthcare facility and Mercy Health and Aged Care Central Queensland recognises their significant contribution to the delivery of the high quality care and service that is central to the heart of who we are and what we believe in," she said.
"Our ability to achieve high quality nursing care and to be a successful healthcare provider depends on our employees. We employ approximately 1400 people within the Central Queensland region, of whom 696 are nurses."
Ms Moore said those most suited to a career in nursing would be empathetic, focused and committed to providing the best possible care for their patients.
"Our nurses are skilled and committed people who are interested in challenging work and finding innovative solutions guided by the values of compassion, human dignity, justice, service and special concern for the poor," she said.
"Our nurses are true professionals who focus on the care of individuals, families and communities where they provide assistance to those who require help in attaining, maintaining or recovering optimal health and quality of life."
To work as a nurse requires at least the completion of a TAFE certificate (Cert III in Aged Care or Home and Community Care, or Cert IV in Nursing or Aged Care, for example).
To be eligible to practise as a registered nurse, candidates must complete a recognised Bachelor of Nursing or Nursing Science, and earn a licence from the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency.
Nursing degrees are generally three years full-time, with a large proportion of the degree devoted to clinical practice.
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