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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 provide delegated elements of nursing care in accordance with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) Enrolled Nurse Standards of Practice. They work under the delegation and supervision of a Registered Nurse. Enrolled Nurses are accountable for their own practices in providing delegated nursing care and are accountable for their own actions. Entry into practice education for Enrolled Nurses is at diploma level in the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Enrolled Nurses are educationally prepared to work across a range of clinical specialities and may also work in non-clinical practice areas. They are employed across a diverse range of settings including:

  • hospitals
  • community or residential health care facilities
  • General Practitioners’ practices (public and private)
  • defence forces
  • residential mental health care services
  • hospices
  • correctional services
  • schools/education providers.

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 within.

Information sourced from the Enrolled Nursing IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast (forthcoming).

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

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Enrolled Nursing Industry Reference Committee

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The National Health Workforce Dataset indicates there were 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. In 2018, there were 28,800 Enrolled and Mothercraft Nurses, a similar number to the 27,500 in 2000.  Employment numbers are expected to decline slightly to 26,300 by 2023.

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 and completions in enrolled nursing qualifications increased between 2014 and 2017. In 2017 there were almost 28,000 program enrolments and just under 7,000 program completions. All enrolments in 2017 were at the diploma or higher level. The qualifications are all aimed at the intended occupation of Enrolled Nurse.

In 2017, TAFE institutes provided the majority of training at around 60%, followed by private providers at 29%. In relation to funding sources, 59% of training is government-funded and 27% is domestic fee-for-service. The remaining 14% is international-fee-for service.   

About 32% of enrolled nursing students were located in Victoria, 25% located in Queensland, 13% in New South Wales and 12% overseas.   

There has been a decline in enrolled nursing apprenticeship and traineeship commencements since 2010 and in 2017 there were only 24 commencements. Completions similarly have declined (25 in 2017). All the apprenticeships and traineeships were aimed at the occupation of Enrolled Nurse.  Almost all the apprenticeships and traineeships were reported in Victoria (96% with the remaining 4% in South Australia).

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

Industry insights on skills needs

The Enrolled Nursing IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast identifies a number of factors which will have an impact on the Enrolled Nursing workforce and training requirements. Factors include:

  • Reforms to aged care has changed models of support, with consumer-directed funding greatly influencing service delivery. The implications of these changes on the Enrolled Nursing workforce are yet to be fully understood as service delivery to the elderly and those with a disability are mainly undertaken by support workers.
  • 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 arranging, attending and hosting clinical placements.
  • The increase in the number of people with chronic health conditions due to the ageing of the population.
  • Advancing technologies in the health care system means the workforce needs training to ensure skills are sufficient to utilise new technologies.
  • There are multiple challenges facing the Enrolled Nurse Workforce. These include an ageing workforce, poor retention rates, a projected shortfall in the number of nurses and increasing numbers of patients relative to staff. 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.
  • Career opportunities for Enrolled Nurses to move into other roles and sectors are diverse.
  • There are several priority population groups in Australia regarding health including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; people in rural and remote areas; socio-economically disadvantaged people; veteran; prisoners; culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) individuals; people with mental health issues; people with alcohol or other drugs related issues; people with chronic conditions; and refugees.

The top knowledge areas specifically for Enrolled and Mothercraft Nurses mentioned in the Skills Forecast and sourced from Job Outlook include:

  • medicine and dentistry
  • customer and personal service
  • psychology
  • English language
  • therapy and counselling.

Job vacancy data shows that the top generic skills demanded by employers in job advertisements for Enrolled Nurses include: communication, computer literacy and time management.

The report Future job openings for new entrants by industry and occupation forecasts strong growth in employment for Midwifery and Nursing Professionals to 2024 (2.5% per year). There are also expected to be 16,200 job openings per annum from 2017 till 2024 (129,600 in total) for this profession. About half of the job openings will be due to replacement of workers leaving the profession.  

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSCO 4 digit Enrolled and Mothercraft Nurses, employment projections to May 2023.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards 6291.0.55.003 - EQ08, viewed 1st November  2018

  • Employed total by ANZSCO 4 digit Enrolled and Mothercraft Nurses, 2000 to 2018, 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:
    • HLT64115 - Advanced Diploma of Nursing
    • HLT61107 - Advanced Diploma of Nursing (Enrolled/Division 2 nursing)
    • HLT43407 - Certificate IV in Nursing (Enrolled/Division 2 nursing)
    • HLT54115 - Diploma of Nursing
    • HLT51607 - Diploma of Nursing (Enrolled/Division 2 nursing)
    • HLT51612 - 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, 2017 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 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 2017 commencements
  • 2010 to 2017 completions 
  • 2017 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2017 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Enrolled Nursing IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2018, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2018,

Data shown represent most requested generic skills and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2015 and June 2018 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

ANZSCO occupations have been used as industry filters because they provide more relevant job vacancy data for this sector.

  • Generic skills/employers
    • 4114 Enrolled and Mothercraft Nurses .
Updated: 12 Sep 2019
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