Exploring the role of the second-level regulated nurse in the Australian nursing workforce: an integrative review

Publication Name

Contemporary Nurse


Background: The enrolled nurse is the second-level regulated nursing role in Australia and internationally. Reports and research indicate that the nursing profession requires greater understanding of the role, so it can be utilised to its potential. Aim: To explore issues that may impact the EN role in the Australian nursing workforce. Design: An integrative review. Methods: A seven-step framework was used to review scholarly papers, government documents, and grey literature. Results: Three themes from 24 documents were identified: understanding the EN's scope of practice, standardised practice, and career development. Discussion: A lack of understanding of their scope of practice creates role confusion and a lack of standardised practice, with an expected progression to become a registered nurse. These factors contribute to ENs' not feeling valued. Conclusion: The nursing profession do not understand the enrolled nurse role, and further work is required to value its place in the Australian nursing workforce.

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