AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Conferences & events Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Public Interest Disclosure Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subjectAdoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsOnline reportsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR - metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Customised data analysis request Data linking Data standards Privacy of data
By subject Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators (CHI) National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse Chronic disease indicators Deaths
Disability Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals Height and weight data sources Indigenous Australians International collaboration Maternity Information Matrix (MIM)
Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue National core maternity indicators (NCMI) Risk factors statistics Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee CKDMAC AODTS NMDS WG CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISS NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Indigenous temporary employment register Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Conferences & events Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
Nurses and midwives are trained to provide services to promote, maintain and restore health and well-being. Most work in acute care hospitals, while others work in nursing homes and in community health centres. In terms of skill levels and areas of responsibility, the nursing workforce is not homogeneous, but varies widely according to the type of care being provided, and between work settings from operating theatres to community care.
For ease of discussion, throughout this site the term 'nurse' includes midwives.
Overall, nursing supply increased by 6.2% between 2005 and 2009, from 1,040 full time equivalent (FTE) nurses per 100,000 population to 1,105 FTE nurses, based on a 38-hour week. This was mainly a result of both a 13.3% increase in the number of employed nurses, and a 0.9% increase in the average hours they worked over this period.
The number of nurses employed as nurses in Australia between 2005 and 2009 was estimated to have increased by 13.3%, from 244,360 to 276,751. Between 2005 and 2009, the overall proportion of nurses working 50 hours or more declined, from 6.3% to 5.9%, while the proportion working part-time decreased, from 49.8% to 47.7%.
The average age of employed nurses was 44.3 years (43.1 years for males and 44.5 years for females). Non-clinicians were, on average, slightly older than clinicians (46.4 and 44.1 years, respectively).
The age profile of the nursing population has shifted toward older age groups over recent years. In 1999, the 40–44 years age group included the greatest number of nurses of all the age groups. By 2009, it was the 50–54 years age group that included the most nurses.
Although nursing is a predominantly female occupation, the proportion of males has increased slightly. In 2009, males comprised 9.6% of employed nurses, which is up from 7.9% in 2005. The proportion of registered nurses who were male increased (from 8.0% to 9.8%) and the proportion of enrolled nurses who were male increased (from 7.1% to 8.9%) over the same period.
The profile of nurses by employment sector changed little between 2005 and 2009, with around two-thirds of nurses employed in the public sector (65.9% in 2005 and 67.3% in 2009). In 2009, nurses employed in the public sector worked an average of 2.1 hours per week more than nurses employed in the private sector (34.0 and 31.9 hours respectively).