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Registered nurse (community health)

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Summary of occupation

Community health nurses work all over the state providing health education and nursing services in a community setting to children and their parents. They may need to work with people from many different cultures and ethnicity, including indigenous people. They may also work with disadvantaged and disempowered people. Especially in remote areas, they may be called upon to carry out many and varied nursing tasks.

ANZSCO description: Provides nursing care, health counselling,  screening and education to individuals, families and groups in the  wider community with a focus on patient independence and health  promotion. Registration or licensing is required.
Alternative names: Public Health and District Nurse
Specialisations: Registered Nurse (Health Education and Promotion), Registered Nurse (Public Health), Registered Nurse (School Nurse), Remote Area Nurse
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A community health nurse needs:

  • to be able to assume responsibility and a leadership role
  • to be able to take initiative in emergencies
  • good communication skills
  • to be able to work alone or as part of a team
  • patience and discretion when dealing with people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds
  • to be physically fit
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Working conditions

Working conditions for a community health nurse will depend on location. Community health nurses in remote locations can work long hours in difficult conditions.

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Salary details

On average, community health nurses, classified under registered nurses, can expect to earn between $1 250 and $1 499 per week ($65 000 and $77 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a community health nurse develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase. 

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Tools and technologies

Community health nurses need to be proficient with a wide variety of tools and technologies associated with nursing as they may be called upon to perform many different tasks in remote areas.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a community health nurse you need to study nursing at university.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Once you are qualified as a registered nurse, you can complete a specialised postgraduate course to become a community health nurse.

To work as a registered nurse in Western Australia, you must obtain professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, and hold a current Working with Children Check issued by the Working with Children Screening Unit of the Department of Community Services​.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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Related links

Related videos

Registered nurse Video Registered nurse Occupation

Community health nurses (Registered nurses) work all over the state providing health education and nursing services in a community setting to children and their parents.

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