Enrolled Nurse Upskilling Course: Definition and Types

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 10 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The medical industry is constantly developing. A career as an enrolled nurse involves commitment to broadening and refreshing your skill set. Learning the available upskilling courses can help you decide which area you're interested in studying. In this article, we help explain what upskilling courses are, discuss why they're important, explore courses available for enrolled nurses and describe when you might consider taking an upskilling course.

What is an enrolled nurse upskilling course?

An enrolled nurse upskilling course can help you further your skills in one particular focused area. The courses offered by TAFE providers, online educational sites and universities typically offer upskilling courses that vary in duration. They're typically shorter than a Diploma or Bachelor of Nursing that some enrolled nurses complete to enter the profession.

Some upskilling courses may have no entry requirements, whereas others might specify preconditions to enter the course. For example, course providers may require prerequisites such as a bachelor's degree, diploma or a specific number of years of experience as an enrolled nurse or in the medical field. You can find and apply for the courses online or you can call your chosen educational institution to speak about courses they offer for your preferred area of focus.

Related: Enrolled Nurse vs. Registered Nurse: (With Definitions)

Why are upskilling courses important?

Here are the benefits of upskilling courses:

Increase your skill set

Increasing your skill set is important for career development. Broad and improved skills can help you retain your current role or progress to a new position in nursing where you can negotiate a pay rise.

You may consider taking an upskilling course if you want to specialise in a particular area of nursing such as aged care, disability or mental health care. This could give you additional skills such as how to support a person with a particular disability or how to identify mental health conditions and complete a mental health assessment.

Related: 10 Highest Paid Nurses in Australia (With Salaries And Duties)

Refresh your knowledge

If you have been out of the workforce or have been pursuing other career opportunities before returning to nursing, an upskilling course could be beneficial to you. Refreshing your skills and knowledge might help you return to nursing with confidence. Depending on the amount of time you have been out of the workforce, it may even be a requirement by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia to complete a re-entry practice course. You can find these courses via an internet search.

Australian College of Nursing offers a refresher course for those that are required to complete one due to being out of the industry for a time period of one to five years.

Continuing professional development (CPD)

CPD is a term used by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia to ensure their members are continually maintaining and broadening their skill set. It's often a requirement for an enrolled nurse to complete 20 hours of CPD per year. You can include upskilling courses in your CPD, but it's important to check with your chosen educational institution that the course you're considering may count toward your CPD.

There are many options for achieving CPD hours. The Nursing and Midwifery Board website explains in depth the requirements of CPD and how you can achieve them. A lot of healthcare organisations provide opportunities for development that might count toward your CPD. NPS MedicineWise website provides a list of online courses, clinical case study activities, webinar opportunities, journal readings and reports that all count towards CPD hours.

Related: Upskilling for Career Development and Progression

Available upskilling courses for enrolled nurses

Enrolled nurses have access to a multitude of upskilling courses across a broad range of educational institutions. Some courses are available online, while others offer face-to-face workshops. Below is a list of available upskilling courses for enrolled nurses. Please remember that this isn't an exhaustive list of courses and dependent on the educational institution offering the course they might be subject to change:

Wound Assessment

Ausmed offers this course to enrolled nurses and any healthcare professionals working in areas where wound care and assessment skills are necessary. This course might increase your confidence with comprehensive wound assessments, learn to differentiate types of wounds and determine individualised treatments for patients, evaluate wounds and complete effective assessments and documentation. You can complete this course remotely, as it's conducted online.

Pain Management

Ausmed offers this course to enrolled nurses online. They target the course toward any healthcare professional that may administer opioids and analgesics as part of pain management. This course reviews pain concepts and assessment skills to support the effective pain management of patients in your care.

Disability Series (Experienced Bundle)

Enrolled nurses can complete this course by Healthcare Australia online. It's a helpful bundle composed of ten subjects relating to advanced disability care. The topics covered aim to increase your confidence in working with urinary catheters, bowel stomas, PEG tubes and maintain skin integrity. The course can help you develop your skill set by supporting a person with dysphagia, mental health, epilepsy, diabetes and help you support skill development and oral health. Healthcare Australia also offers upskilling courses for the above subjects individually.

Managing Intoxication and Overdose

Australian College of Nursing offers this online course, targeted to healthcare professionals as an upskilling course. The course increases knowledge relating to management of intoxicated or at risk of overdose patients. The course covers commonly used substances including alcohol, hallucinogens, psychostimulants, opiates and benzodiazepines.

Introduction to the Aged Care Standards

Australian College of Nursing offers this online course. It's available to healthcare professionals, including enrolled nurses, that are interested in improving their knowledge of aged-care standards. The outcome is to gain an understanding of implemented and supported standards and investigate resources available to inform yourself of the legislative frameworks and the structure of the standards.

Related: Working in Aged Care: Jobs, Duties, Salaries and FAQs

Mental Health

Australian College of Nursing offers this online course to enrolled nurses. The course might increase your skill set relating to mental health conditions. It's designed to help nurses explain their role and duty of care relating to mental health, identify and select an appropriate method of mental state examination and describe how to conduct a suicide risk assessment. Students can also discover various strategies for managing difficult behaviours and making a referral.

Physical Assessment

The Australian College of Nursing offers this online course for remote learners in the medical industry. As an enrolled nurse, it might increase your confidence and refresh your knowledge of conducting general physical assessments. The course provides a model of learning that you can apply in a variety of situations.

Wound Management

The Australian College of Nursing offers this two day face-to-face workshop for registered nurses (RN) and enrolled nurses (EN). The workshop can develop skills relating to the anatomy and physiology of skin, wound healing and negative impacts on wound healing. It addresses recent developments, updates, reviews and theories regarding wounds.

Statement of Attainment in Medical Terminology

TAFE providers offer this online course to anyone seeking to gain or improve their knowledge of specialised vocabulary in the industry. This course might aid you in understanding how to complete routine tasks, use medical terminology appropriately and interpret instructions using medical terminology. This might be beneficial to establish excellent communication skills in the workplace.

Graduate Certificate in Advanced Nursing

Several universities offer this course to nurses who are looking to gain knowledge in advanced clinical settings. The course focuses on gaining advanced skills, applied pathophysiology, and implementing evidence in nursing. The course is available online and studied part-time. Some universities specify prerequisites such as a bachelor's degree or the equivalent to enter this course.

Critical Care Nursing Online - 2022

Medcast offers this self-paced course to nurses who are currently working in critical care environments or are looking to progress their careers into critical care units. The course provides current knowledge and strategies related to any critical care setting. You can complete the course online and it takes approximately 30 hours.

When to take an upskilling course

Some appropriate times to upskill include:

  • Refresh your current skill set: Given the ever-evolving nature of the nursing industry, it's important to keep your skills up-to-date. If you haven't had the opportunity to use a particular skill recently, you might benefit from enrolling in an upskilling course for that area.

  • Look to achieve a more senior position: Consider which upskilling courses could aid you in achieving a more senior position. Consider speaking with your manager or mentor about possible opportunities for progression and the skills you could develop to advance.

  • Learn a new technique: Taking an upskilling course can help you feel more comfortable performing physical tasks on patients, such as dressing wounds or administering medicine. You might also learn a new technique that works better for you.

  • Look to enhance your resume: Development and competency of a range of skills is a great asset for your resume. Adding an upskilling course to your resume is also a sign of self-motivation and enthusiasm.

    Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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