Future Students JCU Stories 5 things to expect when you study nursing at JCU

5 things to expect when you study nursing at JCU

Taking the first step down any career path can be an exciting, confusing and busy time. If you’re considering becoming a nursing student at JCU, or are interested in becoming a registered nurse, then you might be wondering what studying nursing is like.

Read on to discover 5 things you can look forward to when you study nursing with JCU.

A nurse leans over to speak to her elderly female patient in a wheelchair.

1. Hands on experience

With a nursing or midwifery degree at JCU, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in extensive supervised professional practice from day one. Across the life of your degree, you’ll complete at least 920 hours, or 23 weeks, of placement experience.

Developing a dynamic skillset to deliver effective clinical and health care is a key focus when you study nursing. A common question students ask is ‘where should I study nursing in Queensland?’ as there are a range of opportunities available. At JCU, you’ll have the choice of diverse study locations and clinical placements, including the Tropics, the Outback and various metropolitan destinations. Here, you'll learn on the job as you encounter patients in a variety of age groups and treat different conditions, preparing you for a career where every day is different.

2. Tailored support

JCU provides you with opportunities to study nursing and midwifery together, or study nursing as a single degree. Whichever you choose, you can be assured that JCU’s expert and friendly lecturers will provide guided support at every stage of your degree.

There's no better way to prepare for your studies than to learn from someone who has just completed the same courses as you. Access JCU’s Student Mentor Program from your first year of nursing at JCU. You’ll be matched with an experienced student mentor who supports your progress and shares their knowledge and experience.

Learn about the flexible and tailored support available during your nursing degree and discover JCU’s Learning Centre, or explore the range of Student Support programs available.

3. Flexibility to study when and where you want

If you’re balancing work, family or a busy lifestyle, you’ll find the flexibility you need is built into your JCU nursing degree. Depending on the course you select, you can study a nursing degree online, or in-person at our Townsville, Cairns, Mackay and Mount Isa campuses, meaning you can schedule study around other commitments.

If you’re looking to complete either a Bachelor of Nursing Science [Pre-Registration] or a Bachelor of Nursing Science [Pre-Registration] [Mixed-mode] to become a Registered Nurse (RN), our flexible offerings are rich with practical experience opportunities. Several subjects offer short workshops and residential study at JCU campuses.

If you're already a Registered Nurse (RN) and are seeking to upskill, you can study online with JCU and progress your career. Both the Graduate Certificate of Nursing and the Master of Nursing can equip you to specialise in areas such as leadership, management and education.

4. Freedom to choose your path

Once you have completed a university degree in nursing, you'll have the opportunity to pursue a wide variety of specialisations as a RN. JCU nursing graduates can gain roles in diverse settings, including public and private hospitals, schools, medical practices, aged care facilities and pharmacies.

You may also want to expand your skills and experience with a Postgraduate Nursing Course at JCU. These postgrad nursing options include the Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master of Nursing. Take the unique opportunity to upskill and explore career paths such as a nurse educator, researcher, or even take on a leadership role in the nursing field.

If you are looking to specialise and wondering how to become a midwife, a Graduate Diploma of Midwifery at JCU can give you the skills and experience to get there.

5. Recognised qualifications for a career that's in high demand

The demand for nurses in Australia and around the world is only growing. It has been projected that by 2025 there will be between 20,000 to 40,000 vacant roles available across Australia for those who study nursing. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also predicted that there will be a shortfall of 10 million health workers globally by 2030.

If you were already wondering how to become a nurse, now is the perfect time to study a nursing degree with JCU. The hands-on learning opportunities will equip you to purse the growing number of opportunities and career paths available in diverse health settings.

A James Cook University Nursing lecturer instructs students in the use of hospital theatre equipment.


To become a Registered Nurse (Division 1), you must successfully complete an accredited bachelor's degree, such as a Bachelor of Nursing Science [Pre-Registration], and then apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

There are many different factors that can determine how long it will take you to become a nurse.

At JCU, you can complete a Bachelor of Nursing Science [Pre-Registration] or Bachelor of Nursing Science [Pre-Registration] [Mixed-mode] in 3 years full-time if you commence at the beginning of the academic year. You can also study nursing part-time.

A Bachelor of Nursing Science – Bachelor of Midwifery takes 4 years full-time to complete.

Choosing the right nursing degree is all about where you would like to take your career. At JCU, there are different study options and pathways that can support you to get into uni, prepare you with hands-on experience and clinical placements, and provide the skills and knowledge for a successful career in healthcare.

In the Australian healthcare system, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia sets out the different professional standards of nursing practitioners and outline what nurses and midwives do.

After graduating from one of the Bachelor of Nursing Science degrees at JCU, you can apply to become a Registered Nurse (Division 1) — also known as a RN. These nurses are responsible for planning and overseeing the management of people in their care, as well as supervising Enrolled Nurses and student nurses.

You can also become a midwife with either a joint nursing and midwifery degree, or further postgraduate study. Midwives are nurses who work with women during and after their pregnancy and help to plan their care. Midwives' roles and duties include support before, during, and after labour, delivering babies, advising parents on newborn care, and providing breastfeeding and nutritional support.

A nurse holds the hand of their patient. Only torso and hands are visible.

Study nursing at JCU

Want a hands-on career where you can make a difference? Whether you're a recent high school graduate or looking for a new opportunity, JCU has a course in nursing for you.

Enrol today and start your healthcare journey.