Department of Health

Working as a nurse or midwife

Information for nurses and midwives who are working in the health sector.

If you are registered and working as a nurse or midwife in Victoria this information is for you. It includes guidelines for nursing and midwifery practice and different options for how you might further your career.

Scope of practice

There is often confusion about what nurses or midwives can and cannot do in practice.

Much of what we may think of a nurse being ‘allowed’ to do may be just routine. In fact, there are very few activities that are restricted.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) guidelines help nurses, midwives and their employers to make professional decisions about their practice.

They include information:

  • for nurses and midwives to help them develop their practice in new areas
  • about delegation and supervision of nursing and midwifery activities.

For more information, see Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) guidelinesExternal Link .

Employment opportunities

Full-time, part-time and casual nursing and midwifery jobs are available in more than 80 public health services and 180 public aged care facilities across metropolitan and rural Victoria.

Applications for nursing and midwifery positions in Victoria go directly to the employer.

Health services maintain career web pages displaying vacancies within their service and clinical environments.

Health jobs also has a list of available positions within the Victorian public health sector. Applications go to your employer of choice.


NURSE-ON-CALLExternal Link is a telephone health line providing Victorians with immediate, expert health advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For information about NURSE-ON-CALL, including providing feedback or about any job opportunities, see the NURSE-ON-CALLExternal Link website. See also Health jobs.

Maternal and child health nurse

In Victoria, maternal and child health (MCH) nurses are registered nurses who generally have postgraduate midwifery qualifications. They then go on to do extra qualifications in maternal and child health.

For more information on MCH nursing, see the Municipal Association of VictoriaExternal Link website.

Refugee nurse program

The Refugee Health Nurse Program (RHNP) recruits community health nurses with expertise in working with culturally and linguistically diverse and marginalised communities.

The nurses are based in community health services with high refugee populations. For more information, see Guidelines for the refugee health nurse program.

School nurse

For information about primary or secondary school nursing, go to the Victorian Department of Education and TrainingExternal Link website.

Victorian nurse immunisers

From 1 July 2010 there is no endorsement category for nurse immunisers under the national health practitioner registration scheme.

In Victoria, the possession and administration of vaccines by registered nurses is regulated by the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 and its Regulations (2006).

Any registered nurse, registered midwife or enrolled nurse (who does not have a notation) can administer a drug in accordance with an order for that client from a medical officer or nurse practitioner. This includes vaccines.

However, if registered nurses are to work as nurse immunisers, such as in council-operated immunisation clinics where doctors are not present, they can operate under a Secretary’s order.

Wages and entitlements

The Nurses and Midwives (Victorian Public Sector) (Single Interest Employers) Enterprise Agreement 2012-2016 contains the relevant information on wage rates and allowances in public sector nursing and midwifery.

For further information, see the Fair Work CommissionExternal Link , which has all the current awards and agreements for Victoria.

Preparing for a new role

Pre-employment or pre-placement safety screening (police checks)

You may need to have a pre-employment or pre-placement screening check (for example, police check) if you are employed in a public health and aged care facility and are in direct:

  • client contact
  • patient contact
  • management of these services.

Healthcare worker vaccination

For information regarding vaccinations, see Vaccination for healthcare workers.

Industrial relations

For information on the current enterprise agreement, see Enterprise agreements.

Education and training opportunities

Nurses and midwives have a responsibility to make sure their knowledge and skills are up-to-date. You can do this through both formal and informal training, available through public and private providers. This type of training can include:

  • short courses
  • educational forums
  • in-service programs.

If you have a Learning and Development team at your organisation, talk to them about what training you can access. See also in the right hand navigation for some further resources..

For nurses and midwives who would like to specialise, there's a range of courses available including:

  • postgraduate certificates
  • postgraduate diplomas
  • master's qualifications
  • doctorate degree.

There are postgraduate scholarships that offer financial support for nurses and midwives wanting to undertake further education in targeted areas of practice. For more information see, Scholarships for postgraduate nurses and midwives.

Nurse practitioners

Nurse practitioners have completed extra university study to be able to perform extra duties such as prescribe treatments and medications.

Find out more about the role, see Nurse practitioners.

Maternity Connect Program

The Maternity Connect Program (MCP) is a Department of Health initiative. It supports public rural and regional maternity services and their workforce to meet their maternity population care needs through clinical placements at larger regional or metropolitan hospitals.

Western HealthExternal Link is operating the program on behalf of the department.

Enrolled nurses

Enrolled nurses have a range of opportunities to build their clinical practice and career opportunities. Post-registration education modules are available through private or public registered training organisations.

Enrolled nurses are able to upgrade their nursing qualifications to a registered nurse qualification through formal tertiary study. The department is currently offering a scholarship you may be eligible for. For more information, see Enrolled nurse to registered nurse transition scholarships.

Health and wellbeing

For general information regarding health and wellbeing see

Safety for health workers

The Victorian Government is committed to addressing violence in healthcare settings and reducing violence against all healthcare staff, including nurses and midwives.

For information about the work being undertaken to prevent occupational violence in Victorian health services, see Worker health and wellbeing in Victorian health services.

Reviewed 23 February 2024


Contact details

Nursing and Midwifery Workforce

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