We asked The Nurse Break Facebook Group filled with thousands of Australian nurses, what their tips and advice is for having a long nursing career 20-40+ years. Here is just some of their words of wisdom!

Nursing….a career with so many options and pathways unlike almost any other profession. You’ll work with interesting people, sometimes…the most interesting people ever! And even more importantly, you’ll help shape, nurture and prolong life. There are so many reasons to choose a career in nursing and before we go to the tips and advice from real Aussie nurses, let’s look at some of the things that make nursing such a great career.

You’ll make a real difference. You can actively be involved in saving lives!

There are endless learning opportunities, including online and face to face, making the education pathways very flexible.

There is a high level of job satisfaction overall, and it is a very secure profession. Nurses will  always be in demand. 

Exciting work awaits you. Work on cruise ships, airforce planes, oil rigs, remote islands, major cities, humanitarian zones, in peoples homes, via the phone, online and so so much more…

Choose hundreds of specialities and never get bored. 

OK so HERE is the advice from Aussie nurses on how to last in nursing for a long long time!
  • “Going part-time after having kids and moving to completely different country to nurse 8 years ago!”


  • “You’re never to old to learn something!”


  • “Never think you know everything and take the time to listen to you patients”.


  • “Try to plan a trip/vacation so you have something to look forward to whenever you’re feeling stressed. A much-needed R&R often does the trick.”


  • “Secondments with support of your organisation. Invaluable. Ongoing education. Great work culture.”


  • “Part-time or casual working part-time hours, short contracts.”


  • “Finding a new & different focus within the same job (ie education, mentoring, or research).”


  • “Go do some extra study in an area of interest (wound care, new procedure/technology etc).


  • “Move/avoid/leave toxic management!”


  • “Wine and a helpful husband”


  • “Variation! Trying new specialities, fields and different nursing disciplines. When I was doing my midwifery, I worked in several different departments within one facility, I found it helped take the monotony out of it.”


  • “Mix it up & don’t stay in one hospital or ward your entire career.”


  • “Protect your back… both literally and figuratively.”


  • “Enjoy what you do because if you don’t, then you will burn out. Manage shift patterns into an acceptable work/life balance for you.”


  • “Listen to your gut instinct telling you that something is wrong with your patient! Believe in yourself!”


  • “It’s a job and NOT a way of life! It is almost impossible to NOT “be the nurse” when required, as it became instinctual.”


  • “For me, it was 50 years of following a dream, mixed with diversity within the realms of my love (cardiology), study and now a unique niche as an NP. Just love being a nurse”


  • “Lots of naps”


  • “Have a good support network of fellow nurses.”


  • “Debrief regularly with your network.”


  • “Stay out of workplace politics unless they are going to improve the workplace.”


  • “Treat yourself with care and respect.”


  • “Having 3 kids in 4 years and taking maternity leave”.


  • “Go out with your work buds and have a laugh… banter at work helps get through the long shift”.


  • “Try and work out what works better for you. Nights, days, weekends?”


  • “After nearly 40 years I agree about working part-time. I found it kept me loving my work (district nursing) right up till I retired. Remember why you are there: for your patients. Don’t worry about all the other stuff: restructures, changes, meetings.”


  • “Go with the flow and be kind to your colleagues and keep your sense of humour. Nursing is the best career if that is what you are called to.”


  • “An area that allows you to expand your skills and encourages your input and ideas”


  • “Humour!”


  • “Be open-minded and understand your limitations. Challenge your thinking”


  • “If you make a mistake…own up to it…report it, reflect, learn and move forward ( we all make mistakes)”


  • “Network with other nurses and health professionals. Everyone has something of value to give and their strengths”


  • “Don’t put up with rubbish. If people treat you poorly address it early.”


  • “Work life balance. Self and family first.”


  • “Don’t be judgemental towards people that come into your care.”


  • “There will be challenging days but if you have a great team and a good support network it makes it so much easier”


  • “If you’re not sure about something ask.”


  • “Nursing is amazing… it’s challenging and rewarding and you just never know where your career will take you! So many avenues. All the very best!”


Do you have any more advice you’d like to have added up here? Email us! thenursebreak@gmail.com