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Purpose and Mission
An enrolled nurse is a trained support nurse who provides general nursing care while under the direction of a registered nurse. The work of an EN usually focuses on general medicine, and the RN can be directly or indirectly supervising the EN based on the nature and complexity of the task.
That said, an enrolled nurse retains responsibility for her actions and decisions, and is accountable to provide the delegated nursing care in an effective and timely manner.
ENs are typically employed at hospitals, clinics, universities, schools, nursing homes and teaching hospitals. In most cases, enrolled nurses will report to the lead RN or a nursing supervisor, but the direct supervisor may vary by facility or department.
Senior ENs may have limited responsibilities over less experienced ENs or nursing assistants, but most ENs are more focused on patient care responsibilities than supervising other members of the healthcare team.
In order to become an EN, you must undertake an 18 month or two-year course at an accredited university or teaching hospital to earn a Diploma in Enrolled Nursing.
Some ENs take extra training to earn an additional endorsement allowing them (EENs) to administer various types of medications and perform basic medical procedures on patients.
Responsibilities of a General Nurse / Enrolled Nurse
Enrolled nurses perform a wide variety of roles in Australian hospitals. These roles, depending on their specific training and area of employment, may include:
Also note that while enrolled nurses can and do contribute to patient care planning, they may not act independently, and the RN (or midwife or doctor) has general responsibility. Also keep in mind that when ENs are delegated a task, they may not re-delegate that responsibility to another member of the healthcare team.