Classification of Nursing Levels
A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse with the experience and expertise to diagnose and treat people of all ages with a variety of acute or chronic health conditions. NPs have completed additional university study at Master’s degree level and are the most senior clinical nurses in our health care system.
An Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) can be delineated from other areas of nursing practice by the additional legislative functions and regulatory requirements of the nurse practitioner endorsement. These requirements include a prescribed educational level, a specified advanced nursing practice experience; and continuing professional development.¿
A Registered Nurse (RN1) is regulated through the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (The National Law). They must have a license to practice, which assures they meet mandatory requirements stipulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). The minimum educational requirement for a registered nurse or midwife is a bachelor degree from a higher education institution or equivalent from a recognised hospital-based program. To maintain registration, nurses must have practiced for a specified minimum period in the previous 5 years (this is referred to as ‘recency of practice’, with the actual requirements depending on the registration board).
An Enrolled Nurse (RN2) is regulated through the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (The National Law). They must have a license to practice, which assures they meet mandatory requirements stipulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). The enrolled nurse provides nursing care, working under the direction and supervision of the registered nurse.
A Registered Midwife (RM) is a registered health professional with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), who provides care to childbearing women during their pregnancy, labour and birth, and during the postpartum period. They also care for the newborn through to six weeks of age, including assisting with breastfeeding.
An Eligible Midwife is competent to provide pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal care to women and their infants; and is qualified to provide the associated services and order diagnostic investigations appropriate to the eligible midwife’s scope of practice.
An Assistant in Nursing (AIN) is unregulated. They may or may not have a recognised qualification – either a Certificate III or IV.Other titles for assistants in nursing include “Health Care Worker”, “Care Assistant” or “Health Assistant” and they work predominantly in the aged care sector. An Assistant in Nursing works under the supervision and direction of the Registered Nurse.