Nursing support worker

What they do

Nursing support workers assist registered nurses to give general patient care. They assist nursing staff by supporting patients with tasks including helping them with their hygiene and personal care, as well as their mobility and communication needs. They will also assist in the administration of basic treatment and delivery of medications.

Working conditions

Assistants in nursing may be required to work evenings, weekends, public holidays or rostered shifts.

Tools and technologies

Assistants in nursing can be required to use a range of tools and technologies including: lifting aids, shower chairs, personal hygiene tools eg shaver, nail trimmers.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become an assistant in nursing you usually need a formal qualification in health support services or health services assistance.

The Certificate III in Health Services Assistance is offered at TAFE colleges and registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. To find a training provider near you, browse the Jobs and Skills WA website or visit the My Skills website.

You can also undertake a traineeship in health service assistance (level 3). The traineeship usually takes 12 months to complete and is available as a school-based traineeship.


Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Required registration and licensing

To work as a nursing support worker, you may need a National Police Certificate from the Australian Federal Police when seeking employment in aged care homes.

To work with children in Western Australia, you will also need to hold a current Working with Children Check (WWC Check). Visit the Working with Children website for information on how to apply for a WWC Check