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Keywords:

  • education;
  • enrolled nurse;
  • registered nurse;
  • roles;
  • supervision

Jacob E, Sellick K, McKenna L. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2012; 18: 303–307

Australian registered and enrolled nurses: Is there a difference?

There are two categories of nurse registered to practise in Australia, the degree-educated registered nurse and the certificate/diploma trained enrolled nurse (EN). While it is argued that the roles of the two categories of nurse in Australia are different, recent changes to the educational preparation and supervision requirements of ENs have narrowed these differences. This paper examines the existing literature to determine the perceived differences and similarities between registered and ENs in Australia. Differences identified included registration requirements, educational preparation, supervisory requirements and role expectation. Further research needs to be undertaken to examine the educational preparation of registered and ENs in order to obtain a greater understanding of role expectations on graduation. Supervision processes also require reviewing to demonstrate differences between indirect supervision and independent practice for ENs.