Nursing and teaching

A career in nursing or teaching allows you to draw on your psychological expertise to support others. You’ll use your understanding of human behaviour to help people through health challenges and design customised learning approaches for students.

Nurse or midwife

Nurses and midwives provide high-quality, patient-centred care in a range of settings and often draw on their in-depth knowledge of the complexity of human personality and behaviour.

Your future role

As a qualified nurse you could work in areas such as:

  • mental health nursing
  • acute/sub-acute care
  • medical and surgical care
  • aged care
  • rehabilitation
  • paediatrics
  • pregnancy care (from pre-conceptual health to labour and maternal health)
  • community nursing.

Your duties may include:

  • communicating between patients and doctors
  • caring for patients
  • administering medicine
  • observing and recording patients' conditions
  • advising patients on how to self-administer medication and physical therapy
  • providing emotional support to patients and their families
  • educating patients and the public on disease management and medical conditions.

Skills and experience

The skills and experience that will help get you started in this role include:

  • excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • strong teamwork skills
  • strong project management and organisational skills
  • ability to multitask
  • ability to be compassionate and empathetic
  • strong problem-solving skills
  • ability to adapt to different situations
  • ability to work well under pressure
  • good administrative skills and attention to detail.

Qualifications and requirements

While the skills and knowledge gained while studying psychology are useful in the nursing profession (such as the ability to understand people, show compassion and empathy, and work one-on-one with patients to make them feel comfortable), you will also need formal nursing qualifications such as:

  • a nursing course at the diploma level from a TAFE or similar institution
  • a nursing course at the bachelor level such as Deakin's Bachelor of Nursing and Bachelor of Nursing and Midwifery.

Employers

Employers include health service providers such as metropolitan, rural and regional hospitals, clinics and healthcare centres.

Teacher

Teachers draw on their in-depth knowledge of behaviour, including why and how people learn the way they do, to tailor learning approaches to the individual.

Your future role

As a teacher, your duties may include:

  • creating and teaching lesson plans (individually to students, or in small or larger class groups)
  • tracking and monitoring student progress
  • presenting information to parents and guardians
  • creating assessment tasks
  • creating and reinforcing boundaries and 'rules'
  • managing student behaviour
  • preparing students for their next phase of education
  • working with administrative staff.

Skills and experience

The skills and experience that will help get you started in this role include:

  • strong planning, project management and organisational skills
  • ability to understand how each person learns and progresses differently and customise teaching accordingly
  • ability to instruct effectively and explain new ideas and unfamiliar concepts with authority and in a clear and concise way
  • excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • leadership capabilities
  • public speaking ability
  • strong teamwork skills
  • ability to be compassionate and empathetic
  • strong problem-solving skills
  • ability to think creatively.

Qualifications and requirements

While the skills and knowledge gained while studying psychology are useful in the teaching profession (such as the ability to understand people, including how they learn and what motivates them), you will also need formal teaching qualifications such as:

  • an undergraduate teaching course, such as a Bachelor of Education or similar
  • a postgraduate teaching course (after completing an undergraduate psychology course, for example), such as a Master of Teaching.

Employers

Employers include education providers ranging from early childhood learning centres to primary schools, secondary schools and adult education centres.