Nurses and midwives

Nurses and midwives make up the largest clinical workforce in Australia. Find out about nursing and midwifery, how these professions are regulated in Australia, and how we support this important sector of our health workforce.

About nurses and midwives

What nurses and midwives do, and what the different titles mean.

What we do

How we support nurses, midwives and the patients who need their services.

Nurses and midwives in Australia

Facts and figures on the Australian workforce, and the registration process.

Support and education

How to become a nurse, find available scholarships, and access support services.

As 2021 comes to a close, I want to thank and acknowledge the tremendous professionalism of Australia’s nurses and midwives.

Our nation, and the world, continues to battle the COVID pandemic.

It is health professionals like you who ensure all Australians continue to have access to safe, quality health care when and where they need it.

As the Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer I acknowledge that you have gone above and beyond what was expected of you.

You have all made an enormous contribution as highly trained health professionals but also as patient advocates, skilled service providers and care givers.

The role of nurses and midwives has never been more important. As the pandemic rolls on you continue to meet the healthcare needs of patients not affected by COVID, but still requiring our care – often with complex and chronic conditions.

Whether you are a nurse or midwife working in vaccination or respiratory clinics, primary care, hospitals, testing centres, 

aged and disability care, or community settings, across metropolitan, regional or remote locations 

– every single nurse and midwife in the country has been impacted by the pandemic, as have your families and friends. 

You have adapted to change whether it be infection, prevention and control measures including the wearing of PPE. 

You have managing patients and their families through difficult visitor restrictions and students have seen delayed clinical placements

COVID has impacted on the way care has been provided to women. 

Midwives, you have continued to be flexible and maintain continuity and safety of services, during a life changing time for women and their families.

You adapted models of care to help expecting mums to adjust and prepare for birth in a COVID world.

But above all, you have continued to provide the support and care needed during this one in 100 year pandemic. Expectations were high and you delivered.

You have demonstrated resilience, flexibility, courage in uncertainty, and strength and commitment to provide quality care. 

These attributes will continue to hold us in good stead for the future.

As nurses and midwives, we provide 24-hour care. 

We wear many hats as clinicians, advocates, educators, researchers, health promoters and carers, communicators, leaders, supporters and collaborators.

I acknowledge the significant burden COVID continues to have on nurses and midwives, in our professional roles and all the other important roles and responsibilities we fulfil in our private lives

I extend my deepest condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of the Melbourne emergency nurse who recently died from COVID. This loss is deeply tragic.

Her death demonstrates the continuing impact of Covid—how real the risks are and how significant the cost and sacrifice is for our nurses and midwives.

We all need to reach out because mental health challenges are inevitable at times like this, it is a strength to realise none of us are impenetrable and we all need to seek help.

As nurses and midwives, we can be stoic and forget to look after ourselves from time to time. 

Moving into 2022, our priority must be to support each other to continue our vital work that all Australians rely on.

Thank you again for all that you do, I am humbled and proud of the work you have done and I look forward to working with you as we face the challenges ahead.

Professor Alison McMillan CNMO says thank you nurses and midwives

Professor Alison McMillan, Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, thanks nurses and midwives for their hard work and commitment to providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch the video

Nurse & Midwife Support

1800 667 877

Nurse & Midwife Support is a 24/7 national support hotline for nurses and midwives, nursing and midwifery students, employers, educators and concerned family and friends. It provides access to confidential advice and referral.

COVID-19 vaccination training

A free, mandatory COVID-19 vaccination training program is available for nurses administering COVID-19 vaccines.  

Get the training

Latest health sector resources

Latest health sector resources

Fact sheet – HELP for Rural Doctors and Nurse Practitioners

This fact sheet outlines eligibility criteria and obligations for the HELP for Rural Doctors and Nurse Practitioners initiative. It also covers frequently asked questions and case studies relevant to the initiative.

Health Workforce Data

Our Health Workforce Data site gives you access to reports and summary tables about the health workforce in Australia.

Midwife discussing pregnancy and alcohol with women (best practice example)

This best practice example shows a midwife using the 5As approach (ask, assess, advise, assist and arrange) to talk about pregnancy and alcohol with a pregnant woman. This video is a part of the Women Want To Know initiative.

Professor Alison McMillan CNMO says thank you nurses and midwives

Professor Alison McMillan, Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, thanks nurses and midwives for their hard work and commitment to providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic.