Title: Public Health System Nurses' and Midwives' (State) Award 2023

Author: Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales



The "Public Health System Nurses' and Midwives' (State) Award 2023" is a comprehensive document issued by the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales. Its primary purpose is to outline the terms, conditions, and various entitlements applicable to nurses and midwives working within the public health system of New South Wales.

The document includes detailed sections on work arrangements, salaries, allowances, leave entitlements, and other workplace conditions. It serves as a crucial guide for understanding employment standards and remuneration for nurses and midwives in the state's public health sector.

The Award is structured to provide clarity on the specific roles and responsibilities of nursing and midwifery staff. It covers a wide range of topics from hours of work, salary scales, special allowances, and educational leave, to specific conditions related to different nursing roles. This extensive coverage ensures that all aspects of employment within the public health system are comprehensively addressed, providing a clear framework for both employers and employees in the nursing and midwifery fields.


The author of this document is the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales, an authoritative body responsible for regulating industrial relations in the state. The Commission oversees the creation and enforcement of awards and agreements that set out employment conditions. It plays a vital role in ensuring fair and equitable treatment of workers, including those in the healthcare sector.

Key Takeaways

  1. Comprehensive Employment Guide
    The document is an essential guide for nurses and midwives, detailing employment terms, conditions, and entitlements in NSW's public health system.
  2. Detailed Salary and Allowance Information
    It provides specific salary scales and various allowances, crucial for financial planning and understanding compensation structures.
  3. Leave and Work Hours
    The Award outlines leave entitlements and work hour regulations, important for work-life balance and career planning.
  4. Role Specific Conditions
    Different roles within nursing and midwifery have specific conditions and requirements, which are clearly detailed in the document.
  5. Career Progression Insights
    For those looking to advance their careers, the document offers valuable information on educational leave, special rates, and grading, which can influence career decisions.


MONETARY RATES - 01/07/2023
Table 1 - Salaries

Description Salary ($ Per week)
Assistants in Nursing / Midwifery
1st Year 964.70
2nd Year 995.40
3rd Year 1026.70
4th Year and Thereafter 1058.40
Enrolled Nurse Without Medication Qualification
1st Year 1183.90
2nd Year 1209.90
3rd Year 1235.60
4th Year 1261.90
5th Year and Thereafter 1288.60
Special Grade >08/12/1999 1328.70
Enrolled Nurse
1st Year 1209.90
2nd Year 1235.60
3rd Year 1261.90
4th Year 1288.60
5th Year and Thereafter 1314.70
Special Grade 1354.90
Registered Nurse / Midwife
1st Year 1342.50
2nd Year 1415.30
3rd Year 1488.40
4th Year 1566.80
5th Year 1644.60
6th Year 1721.90
7th Year 1810.50
8th Year and Thereafter 1884.90
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Clinical Nurse / Midwife Specialist
Grade 1 - 1st Year and Thereafter 1961.50
Grade 2 - 1st Year 2107.10
Grade 2 - 2nd Year and Thereafter 2176.30
Clinical Nurse / Midwife Consultant
Appointed prior to 31.12.99 2412.10
Grade 1 - 1st Year >31.12.99 2357.90
Grade 1 - 1st Year >31.12.99 2406.10
Grade 2 - 1st Year >31.12.99 2453.70
Grade 2 - 2nd Year >31.12.99 2502.60
Grade 3 - 1st Year >31.12.99 2598.60
Grade 3 - 2nd Year >31.12.99 2646.90
Clinical Nurse / Midwife Educator
Year 1 2040.90
Year 2 and Thereafter 2107.10
Nurse / Midwife Educator
4th Year as at 1/7/08 2412.10
Grade 1 - 1st Year 2292.50
Grade 1 - 2nd Year and Thereafter 2357.90
Grade 2 - 1st Year 2453.70
Grade 2 - 2nd Year and Thereafter 2502.60
Grade 3 - 1st Year 2598.60
Grade 3 - 2nd Year and Thereafter 2646.90
Nurse / Midwife Practitioner
1st Year 2598.60
2nd Year 2646.90
3rd Year 2714.50
4th Year 2782.40
Nursing / Midwifery Unit Manager
Level 1 2364.80
Level 2 2476.80
Level 3 2543.40
Nurse / Midwife Manager
Grade 1 - 1st Year 2357.90
Grade 1 - 2nd Year and Thereafter 2406.10
Grade 2 - 1st Year 2453.70
Grade 2 - 2nd Year and Thereafter 2502.60
Grade 3 - 1st Year 2598.60
Grade 3 - 2nd Year and Thereafter 2646.90
Grade 4 - 1st Year 2743.00
Grade 4 - 2nd Year and Thereafter 2791.20
Grade 5 - 1st Year 2886.70
Grade 5 - 2nd Year and Thereafter 2935.60
Grade 6 - 1st Year 3031.80
Grade 6 - 2nd Year and Thereafter 3080.40
Grade 7 - 1st Year 3271.90
Grade 7 - 2nd Year and Thereafter 3320.70
Grade 8 - 1st Year 3513.30
Grade 8 - 2nd Year and Thereafter 3561.20
Grade 9 - 1st Year 3753.50
Grade 9 - 2nd Year and Thereafter 3801.90
Registered Mothercraft Nurse
9th Year 1599.70

Related: Nurse Salary Australia: Official Pay Rates

RN Salaries

Registered Nurses (RNs) form the bulk of the nursing workforce in NSW, with salaries that depend on experience. Starting at $1342.50 per week for first-year RNs, their pay increases with each year of service, reaching up to $1884.90 per week for those in the eighth year and beyond.

Specialised nursing roles such as Clinical Nurse Specialists and Nurse/Midwife Consultants are compensated even more generously. These positions, requiring advanced skills and responsibilities, start at around $1961.50 per week for Grade 1 roles, escalating to approximately $2646.90 for more experienced Grade 3 roles.

Related: What Is a Registered Nurse in Australia?

Highest Paid Nursing Roles

Nurse/Midwife Practitioners in New South Wales are among the top earners. In their first year, they earn a weekly wage of $2,598.60. With progression, this salary increases significantly. By the fourth year, it reaches $2,782.40 per week.

Clinical Nurse/Midwife Specialists also command high salaries. At Grade 1, they start with $1,961.50 per week. For Grade 2, the starting salary is $2,107.10, rising to $2,176.30 in subsequent years.

For Registered Nurses/Midwives, salary growth is notable over time. They start at $1,342.50 per week. By the eighth year, the salary grows to $1,884.90 per week.

Related: Highest Paid Nurses in Australia (Ranked)

Continuing Education Allowance

In New South Wales, nurses and midwives are eligible for a Continuing Education Allowance (CEA) when they acquire additional qualifications beyond their initial registration credentials. This allowance is applicable to various nursing roles, including Registered Nurses and Midwives (from years 1 to 8), Clinical Specialists, and Nurse/Midwife Managers across different grades.

Table 2 - Other Rates and Allowances

Nurse Type Qualifications Payment Rate (Per Week) Payment (Annual)
Enrolled Nurse
  • Certificate IV
$32.20 $1,680
Enrolled Nurse
  • Advanced Diploma of Nursing (Enrolled/Division 2 Nursing)
$40.50 $2,113
Registered Nurse/Midwife, Clinical Specialists, Managers
  • Post Registration Hospital Certificate
  • Post-Graduate Certificate
$44.70 $2,332
Registered Nurse/Midwife, Clinical Specialists, Managers
  • Post-Graduate Diploma or Degree
$67.20 $3,506
Registered Nurse/Midwife, Clinical Specialists, Managers
  • Masters Degree or Doctorate
$80.70 $4,211

Related: Continuing Education Allowance Rates for Nursing in Australia

The key criterion for receiving this allowance is that the additional qualification must be directly relevant to the clinical competencies and skills required in their current position.

If a nurse or midwife holds multiple relevant qualifications, they are only entitled to the allowance of the highest monetary value. The allowance is not included in the ordinary rate of pay but is considered during periods of paid leave and for salary-related allowance increases.

Clinical Nurse Specialists

In NSW, a Clinical Nurse Specialist or Clinical Midwife Specialist is a Registered Nurse or Midwife with a high level of clinical knowledge and skill. They provide complex care in specific practice areas, requiring minimal direct supervision. These specialists contribute to clinical practice development, mentor others, and focus on personal professional development.

The role is categorised into Grade 1 and Grade 2, with Grade 2 requiring more experience and involving extended decision-making autonomy and advanced clinical skills. This structure allows for progression in expertise and leadership within nursing and midwifery.

Related: What Is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Australia?

Roles for Clinical Nurse Educators

In New South Wales, Clinical Nurse Educators (CNEs) and Clinical Midwife Educators deliver and evaluate clinical education programs directly at the ward or unit level. They have roles that are clearly defined in the Award.

These educators not only deliver nursing education but also contribute to the development of their colleagues. They mentor less experienced staff, act as preceptors for new staff, and provide essential support for skill development in clinical procedures. Additionally, they help develop clinical policies and manage ward or unit-based in-service programs.

As CNEs gain experience, there are opportunities for progression to higher roles such as Nurse Educator or Midwife Educator. These roles come in various grades, each entailing a wider range of responsibilities:

  • Nurse Educator/Midwife Educator Grade 1 is responsible for the development and delivery of nursing/midwifery education courses at the hospital or community service level.
  • Grade 2 educators handle nursing/midwifery education programs for specific clinical divisions or community-based health services.
  • Grade 3 focuses on comprehensive education programs across Local Health Districts or in tertiary referral public hospitals.

CNEs who successfully complete 12 months of effective service qualify for higher pay as they progress in their roles. Additionally, CNEs with postgraduate qualifications in education or clinical areas receive special allowances, known as "continuing education allowances." Suitable qualifications include Graduate Certificate in Nursing Education and Masters in Nursing Education.

Related: Clinical Nurse Educator Role in Australia

Nurse Unit Manager

In New South Wales, a Nursing/Midwifery Unit Manager (NUM) Level 1 oversees a ward or unit in a public hospital or health service. Their responsibilities are grouped into three categories.

  • Coordination of Patient Services. Liaise with healthcare disciplines for patient care, orchestrate post-discharge services, and monitor catering and transport.
  • Unit Management. Implement policies, disseminate information, ensuring environmental safety, manage equipment, oversee stock and supplies, and maintain cleaning services.
  • Nursing Staff Management. Direct nursing activities, train and appraise staff, rostering, and implement new nursing practices.

Higher levels, such as NUM Level 2 and Level 3, assume these responsibilities with additional duties and broader scope in patient services, unit management, and staff management.

Related: How to Become a Nursing Unit Manager in Australia

Perioperative Staffing Requirements

The Award specifies that in the public sector nurse enterprise agreement of New South Wales, specific perioperative staffing requirements are required.

For each operating session in Operating Rooms, the minimum staffing must include two nurses. One of these must be a Registered Nurse and the other can be a suitably qualified and endorsed Enrolled Nurse. These nurses fulfill the roles of scrub/instrument nurse and scout nurse. Additionally, there must be one Anaesthetic nurse or another trained and qualified anaesthetic staff member. This ensures a high standard of patient care and safety during perioperative services.

Related: Role of an Anaesthetic Nurse in Australia