In the public healthcare system in Victoria, the typical starting pay for a beginning-level registered nurse is $50,856. Wages for experienced registered nurses are generally in the range of $65,000 to $75,000 per year. However, there are ample opportunities to increase your earnings. The following are 5 ways to earn more money as a nurse in Australia:
1. Become an Agency Nurse
Nursing agencies are businesses that help healthcare facilities to find nursing staff without having to directly hire the nurses. Agency nurses often have the opportunity to earn higher hourly paychecks than their counterparts who work full time at core healthcare facilities. If you’re willing to travel to work in a rural area, it’s likely that your nursing agency might pay for travel expenses and accommodations in addition to your wages.
2. Volunteer to Work Night Shifts
Night shifts are notoriously difficult for nurses – but someone has to care for patients during the nighttime hours. No doubt, late night work is not ideal for keeping your circadian rhythms balanced or for maintaining your personal life. However, night shift work does tend to be financially rewarding. In Victoria, you’ll typically earn the sum of $52.80 extra for each night shift you agree to work. In NSW, the typical public night shift penalty is +15 per cent. Working night shift regularly can really pay off.
3. Be Willing to Work on Weekends and Holidays
Sadly, patients don’t cease needing care on weekends and holidays. When you work on holidays in Victoria, expect to see a boost in pay that’s a minimum of 100 per cent over and above your usual base rate. In NSW, nurses are able to earn time and a half pay for working on Saturdays and time plus ¾ pay for working on Sundays.
4. Complete a Grad Certificate or Grad Diploma
If you complete additional training that is relevant to your current nursing position, you might be able to earn a qualification allowance. In Victoria, this could boost your pay anywhere from 4 per cent to 7.5 per cent.
5. Choose a Lucrative Nursing Specialisation
If you’re willing to return to school to earn your nursing masters degree, the additional education could result in an impressive nursing specialisation plus a significant rise in earning potential.
Earning a master’s degree is the likeliest possible path to becoming a nurse practitioner, which is a type of nurse who specialises in caring for people with serious illnesses. Nurse practitioners can also choose to further specialise in caring for aged patients who have chronic diseases or conditions. The base salary for a nurse practitioner in Victoria is $86,500 per year.
Another possibility is to become a clinical nurse / midwifery specialist. The typical annual salary range for this specialty in NSW is between $82,612 to $91,650 AU. There are other lucrative nursing specialisations that would also be possible to train for with a master’s degree.
These are 5 of the most straightforward ways to increase your earning potential as a nurse in Australia. If you’re eager to earn more money, these are all excellent options to consider.