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How to Study Bachelor of Nursing Online in Australia

You can get a degree by distance education and start working as a registered nurse in Australia.

Male and female nurses in a hospital ward


People who are interested in becoming nurses often wonder whether they can study nursing online, what the challenges are, and if pursuing a Bachelor of Nursing online is worth it.

The simple answer is yes, you can study nursing online and become a nurse this way. However, "distance education" may be a more accurate description of online learning when it comes to Bachelor of Nursing degrees. While all the academic parts can be completed online, you will still need to spend occasional blocks of days attending a campus for hands-on instruction. Also, all nursing students must complete over 800 hours working in healthcare facilities.

Online study can make a nursing degree harder because it requires independent motivation and good time management skills. But the rewards are significant, especially if you cannot attend regularly in person or do not want to waste time and money commuting to campus daily. Online nursing degrees offer a flexible and convenient way to qualify as a registered nurse in Australia.

Steps to Become a Nurse by Online Study

Let's explain how to become a registered nurse through online study. Here are 6 steps that range from pre-enrolment through to applying for jobs.

1. Learn what's involved in studying nursing online.

An online nursing degree has three key participation elements: fully online classes, hands-on training blocks on campus, and 800+ hours of clinical placements. These are structured so you don't have to live near the nursing school.

The online classes cover theoretical knowledge like anatomy, digital technology, and pharmacology. Hands-on training is conducted in condensed blocks at the campus during designated times, known as residential schools or clinical simulation blocks. All nursing students, whether online or not, have to successfully complete the clinical placements, which can often be done near where you live.

Related: Diploma of Nursing Online in Australia: Pros and Cons

2. Shortlist suitable universities.

Identify universities that offer an online Bachelor of Nursing. Under the assumption that you will need to travel to the campus occasionally for multi-day sessions, consider these options:

Carefully review the travel and placement requirements of the online nursing programs. You should look for a university with a campus close enough to attend when required.

3. Read student reviews.

Explore student feedback for insights into each university's nursing program. You should be aware of any potential problems.

Use the University Reviews website for example, entering searches like "site:universityreviews.com.au/students/ nursing [name of university]" to find specific reviews. This step will help you understand the quality of education, the support provided by the university, and the experiences of current and past students.

4. Enroll in your chosen program.

Check if you meet the nursing degree entry requirements, typically a sufficient ATAR score, such as 65 or higher. Alternative pathways include certificate III, diploma, advanced diploma qualifications, or AHPRA registration as an enrolled nurse. Also, ensure you meet the English language proficiency requirements set by the ANMAC and have high school English and Science units.

Understand the inherent requirements for the degree, such as the ability to cooperate, communicate in spoken English, and complete auditory tasks.

Remember that nursing bachelor degrees are for those planning to work in Australia, requiring residence in the country even for distance learning.

For Australian students, tuition for a Bachelor of Nursing is well under $10k annually, with government loans available. Studying under a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) means fees are substantially subsidised. HECS-HELP loans are available, covering fees upfront and repaid based on income. International students, not qualifying for CSP, face higher fees and no access to HECS-HELP loans.

5. Create a study schedule and strategy.

For effective online learning, establish a study schedule and incorporate proven strategies. Key resources include:

These popular articles guide you in managing time, setting goals, and adopting habits crucial for success in online nursing studies. A nursing degree takes 3 years of full-time study, and you'll need to stay focused throughout the journey.

6. Graduate and register with the NMBA.

Work diligently through both the theoretical and practical components of your nursing course to successfully complete your degree. After graduation, apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) to become a practicing nurse. This step is essential for legally working as a nurse in Australia.

Now you can start apply from graduate jobs. You have successfully completed a nursing degree online and become eligible to work as a registered nurse.

Related: Online Degrees in Nursing