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Enrolled Nursing


This page provides information and data on Enrolled Nursing, which is one component of the Health industry.

Enrolled nurses work as part of a health care team and provide person-centred care under the direct supervision of a registered nurse. Enrolled nurses are employed in a diverse range of private and public organisations within the health sector, including small to large general medical practices, community health practices, hospitals, aged care facilities and after-hour clinics. The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia Registrant Data Report reports that there were 60,938 registered Enrolled Nurses across Australia (between December 2015 and March 2016) with 86% of registered Enrolled Nurses employed.

Nationally recognised training for Enrolled Nursing is delivered under the Health Training Package.

For information on other health-related training and employment, visit the Health industry page and the various sectors.

Information sourced from the Enrolled Nursing Industry Reference Committee Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The National Health Workforce Dataset indicates there are 59,576 registered Enrolled Nurses in 2016. The ABS labour market data shows that the employment level for Enrolled and Mothercraft Nurses has fluctuated over the past few years. The general trend over this period, however, has been declining employment levels, with slight further declines projected in the coming years.

Other data shows the decline in the number of enrolled nurses coincides with an increase in the employment level of registered nurses.   

Over half of enrolled nurses work in hospitals, and about a quarter are employed in the Aged Care Residential Services industry.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in enrolled nursing qualifications have increased slightly between 2014 and2016. In 2016 there were over 27,000 program enrolments and 6,400 program completions.

TAFE institutes provide the majority of training, around 60%, followed by private providers at nearly 30%. In regards to funding sources, approximately 56% of training is commonwealth fee for service and 34% is domestic fee for service. The remaining 10% is international fee for service.   

Over 30% of enrolled nursing students are located in Victoria, 23% located in Queensland and 12% in each of South Australia and New South Wales.  

There has been a decline in enrolled nursing apprenticeship and traineeship commencements in recent years, which is in line with broader national trends for apprenticeships and traineeships in general.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET Students by Industry.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of total VET. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Infographic title: Priority skills: 2017 skills forecast,, Infographic data,, "Title: Top priority skills,,Top priority skills, Communication, Leadership, Critical Thinking, Aged Care, Technology ,, Title: Top generic skills,,Communication, Virtual collaboration, Social intelligence,,Learning agility, Information literacy, Intellectual autonomy and self-management,,Language, Literacy and Numeracy,,Design mindset,Thinking critically,System thinking,Solving problems,,Managerial/Leadership " Infographic title: Skills and occupations in demand: job vacancies,, Title: Top generic skills in demand,,Top generic skills in demand, Communication Skills,Computer Skills,Problem Solving,Planning,Writing,Organisational Skills,Team Work Title: Top 5 locations,, Top 5 Locations, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia Title: Top employers,,Top Employers, New South Wales Ministry of Health, Government of South Australia, State of Victoria Department of Health, Government of Queensland, Healthscope Limited  Infographic source, Priority skills source: Enrolled Nursing IRC Skills Forecast and Schedule of Work 2016-17, Job vacancy occupations in demand source: Burning Glass Technologies’ Labor Insight Real Time Labor Market Information tool

Industry insights on skills needs

The Enrolled Nursing IRC Skills Forecast and Schedule of Work identifies a number of factors which will have an impact on the Enrolled Nursing workforce and training requirements. Factors include:

  • An increasingly contestable health system with increasing competition between service providers, resulting in: new or changing job roles and specific skills, increased scope of support roles and impacts on professional roles such as nurses, allied health and medical professionals
  • An ageing population and an increasing need for aged care and health care services may see the roles of Registered Nurses and Enrolled Nurses adapt to accommodate increasing demand and changing care needs. In 2016 the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation released the National Aged Care Staffing and Skills Mix Project Report to identify the staffing needs for residential aged care facilities
  • The importance of work placements for students and the challenges for industry and RTOs in providing quality placements
  • Advancing technologies in the health care system means the workforce need to adapt to new practices and utilise new technologies
  • Workforce demographics such as ‘boom and bust’ demand for nursing professionals and the implications of the gendered nature of the workforce. More information about the Enrolled Nursing workforce needs can be found in Health Workforce Australia’s detailed report on the Nursing workforce and the companion snapshot.
  • Attracting workers to regional areas
  • Responding to consumer-directed care models of service delivery
  • The use of overseas workers
  • Retaining workers
  • The development of high-skilled Enrolled Nurses.  

The top five skills required for Enrolled Nurses as identified in the Enrolled Nursing IRC Skills Forecast include:

  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Critical Thinking
  • Aged Care
  • Technology.

Similarly, job vacancy data shows that the top generic skills demanded by employers in job advertisements for Enrolled Nurses include: communication, technology and problem-solving.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2017, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSCO 4 digit Enrolled and Mothercraft Nurses, employment projections to May 2022.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards 6291.0.55.003 - EQ08, viewed 1 September 2017<>

  • Employed total by ANZSCO 4 digit Enrolled and Mothercraft Nurses, 2000 to 2017, May Quarter.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by ANZSCO 4 digit Enrolled and Mothercraft Nurses, and 4 digit level industry sectors.                                                                                                                                            

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, and Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • HLT Health Training Package:
    • HLT43407 - Certificate IV in Nursing (Enrolled/Division 2 nursing)
    • HLT51607 - Diploma of Nursing (Enrolled/Division 2 nursing)
    • HLT51612 - Diploma of Nursing (Enrolled-Division 2 nursing)
    • HLT54115 - Diploma of Nursing
    • HLT61107 - Advanced Diploma of Nursing (Enrolled/Division 2 nursing).

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 subject enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

HLT Health Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2016 commencements
  • 2010 to 2016 completions 
  • 2016 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2016 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Enrolled Nursing IRC Industry Reference Committee’s 2017 IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work.

Burning Glass Technologies: Labor insight – real-time labor market information tool <> 2017.

  • Job advertisements from all of Australia from January 2014 to August 2017 are included in the analysis. Data shown is for the 4 digit level Enrolled and Mothercraft Nurse occupation and the top five locations and employers according to job advertisements.
  • Skills data has also been extracted from the Burning Glass labour insights job vacancy data tool. Data shown is the proportion of job advertisements which request generic skills for VET-related occupations in the industry and occupations listed above.
Updated: 04 Oct 2018
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