The difference between an enrolled nurse and a registered nurse

Smiling nursing student stands in training ward, with fellow students in background working on text equipment.

Holmesglen offers two types of study options for those wishing to follow a career into nursing – a diploma and a degree.

Both courses provide important skills to turn your healthcare aspirations into a successful career. However, just as there are different outcomes between these course options, there are different types of recognised nurses working in the field.

One of the most common questions asked is, what is the difference between an enrolled nurse and a registered nurse? So, let’s break it down.

Enrolled nurse

An enrolled nurse is a professional who has completed, at minimum, their diploma qualification.

An enrolled nurse, while working a significant role, has less authority in a hospital. They will work as part of a team, more than in a supervisory role.

For example, while an enrolled nurse will have learned how to administer and monitor medicines and intravenous therapy, they will not personally be able to create and oversee these management plans of a patient.

So how do you become an enrolled nurse? You study Holmesglen’s HLT54121 Diploma of Nursing. After you complete this course, you will be able to register as an enrolled nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (entry level criteria applies).

Registered nurse

Essentially, a registered nurse is someone who has finished their degree. They will have more function in the development and creation of patient management and care plans. It is the next professional stage from being an enrolled nurse, where workers have greater overview of all facets of the role. 

If you graduate from Holmesglen’s Bachelor of Nursing, you are eligible to apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia as a registered nurse. But more importantly, our Bachelor of Nursing is accredited by The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMAC).

To find out more, visit our Nursing courses page.

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