Interested in nursing in Australia, but would like to know what to expect in terms of salary?

Determining pay can be tricky, and it’s not because it’s a secret of any sort – it’s because there are so many variables taken into consideration. Every state in Australia has its own Award system based on your nursing level and years of experience. Registered Nurses (RNs) in Australia earn an average salary of $65,000 per year (HealthTimes). However this number can vary, particularly for Agency nurses who will usually earn a higher hourly rate than their permanent counterparts. This variation in pay is due to the lack of certainty of ongoing work for agency/casual nurses, and to counteract the fact that they do not receive benefits that permanent nurses do, such as paid holiday and sick leave.

Source: HealthTimes

What factors determine the rate of pay?

In addition to experience and seniority, there are various other factors that are taken into account when determining pay. These include;

Location: Which Australian state will you be nursing in? And are you going to be nursing in a rural area or a city? Each Australian state has its own Award system/pay rates, and working in a rural or remote area can attract incentives such as relocation assistance and help with housing.
Day of the week: Weekends and public holidays may attract a higher rate of pay.
Distance to work: In some instances you can be incentivised to accept a shift that is further than usual, and can be paid a travel allowance.
Overtime: If you work overtime, your pay will increase accordingly depending on overtime allowances.
Specialisation: Different specialities may attract a different rate of pay.
Public/Private Hospital: The rate of pay in the public system is governed by a set Award, whereas a private hospital may offer a higher rate of pay depending on what has been negotiated.
Experience: Last but not least, as previously mentioned, pay increases as your nursing grade and experience does.

Don’t forget

In light of the fact that experience is the number one factor determining pay, it is important that you don’t forget to bring your Statements of Service from the hospitals you have previously worked in. This will help ensure you are paid accurately, based on the accumulative hours you have worked.