Selection Criteria Examples Nursing Roles Australia

by | Dec 19, 2023 | Examples

Obtaining a nursing position in Australia often requires meeting specific selection criteria set by healthcare institutions and employers. Read our nursing selection criteria examples below and gain insights into how to demonstrate your skills, experience, and commitment to delivering exceptional patient care.

Formatting Your Selection Criteria

In Australia, each state’s public health department has its unique application process and requirements when it comes to addressing selection criteria for nursing positions. Some departments request that applicants address criteria within a traditional cover letter format. Others request answers to targeted questions. The length of responses may vary from one application to another.

Before you start writing your selection criteria, you should carefully review the application guidelines and expectations, which usually includes information on the preferred format and word limits. This will help you determine how many words you should spend on each criterion. For example, if you are allowed 2 pages, and there are 7 selection criteria, you should write around 130 words per criterion (this will allow you space for writing a strong introduction and conclusion paragraph).

The STAR Method

The STAR method stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It is a structured approach used to provide concise and well-organised responses to selection criteria. It goes like this:

Situation: Describe the specific situation or context in which the event or challenge occurred. This sets the stage for your response and provides necessary background information.

Task: Explain the task or goal you needed to accomplish in that situation. What was expected of you or what problem needed to be addressed?

Action: Detail the actions you took to address the situation and accomplish the task. This is the most substantial part of your response and should include specific steps you took, your decision-making process, and any skills or competencies you applied.

Result: Conclude your response by explaining the outcomes of your actions. What were the results of your efforts? Be sure to quantify or qualify the results whenever possible, and highlight any achievements or lessons learned.

8 Selection Criteria Examples Nursing

While selection criteria might be written in different ways in job postings or applications, the qualities employers are looking for in a nurse tend to be similar.  This means selection criteria can be grouped under any of these common themes:

1. Clinical Skills

You might find a selection criterion addressing clinical skills being written something like this:

Demonstrate advanced level clinical and problem-solving skills; expert planning and coordination skills in the clinical management and delivery of comprehensive person-centred care.

What are they asking for?

The employer is searching for a nurse who is skilled at taking care of sick people using their expert nursing knowledge and can solve problems. They also need a nurse who can organise everything really well when they’re taking care of patients. Most importantly, the employer wants a nurse who always thinks about the person they’re helping and gives them the best care possible.

Example Response in the STAR Format:

While working as a Registered Nurse in ICU at Memorial Hospital, I encountered a critical patient admitted with severe respiratory distress due to acute pneumonia and impending respiratory failure. The patient’s oxygen saturation levels were alarmingly low, and immediate clinical interventions were crucial. I needed to provide specific clinical interventions to stabilise the patient’s respiratory status and prevent further deterioration. The patient’s life depended on quick and effective action, requiring a comprehensive and targeted approach to their care.

I initiated specific clinical interventions that included:

  • Oxygen Therapy: I administered high-flow oxygen therapy using a non-rebreather mask to rapidly increase the patient’s oxygen levels.
  • Intravenous Fluids: To maintain hemodynamic stability, I initiated intravenous access and administered crystalloid fluids.
  • Bronchodilators: I administered bronchodilators through a nebuliser to improve bronchial dilation and oxygen exchange.
  • Continuous Monitoring: I closely monitored the patient’s vital signs, oxygen saturation, and respiratory rate, making real-time adjustments to interventions as needed.
  • Chest X-ray Request: Simultaneously, I requested a chest X-ray to assess the extent of lung involvement and guide further treatment decisions.

As a result, the patient’s condition gradually improved. Their oxygen saturation levels stabilised, and they showed signs of respiratory relief within hours.

2. Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Example criterion: Build and maintain strong relationships, open communication within a healthcare team.

What are they asking for?

The employer wants to ensure that the nurse they hire can work effectively with others, share information, and contribute to a collaborative and supportive team atmosphere to enhance patient care outcomes. Note, this criterion may sometimes reference verbal and/or written communication skills, it is essential you address what they are asking for in the specific critierion.

Example Response in the STAR Format:

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while working as a Clinical Nurse in the emergency department of XYZ Hospital, I noticed low morale and hostility amongst the healthcare team. At a team meeting, I raised this issue, and encouraged each team member to voice their concerns and perspectives openly. It became apparent that as well as general anxiety in the team about the evolving situation, there was uncertainty about who was responsible for certain critical tasks, such as patient triage and personal protective equipment (PPE) management. I facilitated a productive discussion that led to a consensus on communication protocols and clarified the roles and responsibilities of each team member during the pandemic response. We established regular team huddles to ensure that everyone stayed informed and aligned in our approach to COVID-19 care. Additionally, I worked closely with our Infection Control team to ensure that we had a steady supply of PPE and that it was distributed effectively. Our response to COVID-19 became more coordinated and efficient as a result, and morale significantly improved within our team.

3. Teamwork

Example criterion: Working collaboratively and in partnership with consumers, carers, external agencies and other health professionals/workers across the care continuum.

Example Response in the STAR Format:

While working as a Registered Nurse in the surgical ward at ABC Hospital, I encountered a complex case involving a patient who was not only recovering from major surgery but was also experiencing homelessness.  I initiated a compassionate and inclusive care approach. First, I held a meeting with the patient, actively listening to his medical history, preferences, and concerns while acknowledging the unique challenges posed by his homelessness. I ensured that he felt respected and heard as a partner in his care. I collaborated closely with local homeless support organisations to arrange transitional housing and access to social services for the patient. This partnership helped secure a safe place for him to recover and access essential resources. I actively collaborated with surgeons, wound care specialists, and social workers to address the patient’s medical and psychosocial needs. We conducted regular multi-disciplinary rounds to discuss his progress and develop a tailored care plan that considered both his medical condition and his housing situation. The patient not only recovered successfully from his surgery but also had a stable living arrangement upon discharge.

4. Quality Improvement

Example Criterion: Participate in developing and undertaking quality initiatives and audits, identifying and addressing inconsistencies between policy and practice

What are they asking for?

This criterion indicates they are looking for a nurse who is dedicated to making sure that healthcare is safe, follows guidelines, and always tries to improve their own and colleagues’ adherence to guidelines.

Example Response in the STAR Format:

In my role as an Infection Control Officer at St. Mary’s Hospital, I was allocated responsibility for managing the NSQHS Standard of Preventing and Controlling Infections. It became apparent that specific policies related to hand hygiene and personal protective equipment (PPE) usage were not consistently adhered to among the hospital staff, particularly on the surgical ward. To address this concern, I conducted a thorough audit of hand hygiene practices and PPE usage on the surgical ward over a two-week period. The audit revealed that compliance with hand hygiene protocols was at only 60%, and PPE was not consistently worn according to the hospital’s guidelines. I initiated a staff training program that included both online modules and hands-on workshops. These sessions emphasised the critical importance of hand hygiene and proper PPE usage in preventing the spread of infections. I also worked closely with the hospital’s education department to develop engaging training materials. I collaborated with the hospital’s infection control committee to review and revise the existing policies related to hand hygiene and PPE usage, making them more accessible and understandable for the staff. Through these efforts, we witnessed a significant improvement in staff compliance with infection control policies. Hand hygiene compliance rates increased to 95%, and PPE usage aligned with hospital guidelines consistently.

5. Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

Example Criterion: Demonstrate ongoing learning and professional development to provide quality person centred care and health education to patients/residents/ clients and others.

What are they asking for?

The organisation is looking for a candidate who not only possesses the necessary qualifications but also actively seeks opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills in healthcare. This includes staying up-to-date with the latest industry advancements, best practices, and evidence-based care approaches. Overall, this criterion seeks a healthcare professional who values ongoing learning as an integral part of delivering excellent and patient-focused healthcare services.

Example Response in the STAR Format:

As a Graduate Nurse in the medical-surgical unit of ABC Hospital, I encountered a complex case involving a patient with a rare autoimmune disorder. The patient’s condition presented unique challenges, and I realised that I lacked in-depth knowledge about this specific disorder and its potential complications. To address this gap in my knowledge, I researched the rare autoimmune disorder, via medical journals and reputable online resources. I reached out to the hospital’s medical library to access the most current research articles and clinical guidelines related to the condition. I sought mentorship from a Registered Burse on the unit who had experience with similar cases. We engaged in regular discussions where I could ask questions, share my findings, and receive valuable guidance. I also enrolled in an online course on autoimmune disorders to deepen my understanding and stay updated on the latest advancements in the field. I gained a comprehensive understanding of the rare autoimmune disorder and its management. I was able to provide person-centred care that addressed the patient’s medical needs.

6. Problem-Solving

Example criterion: Demonstrate critical thinking and reasoning, problem solving skills and clinical judgement in the Unit.

What are they asking for?

This criterion indicates they are looking for a healthcare professional who can think critically to assess situations, make informed decisions, solve complex problems, and exercise sound clinical judgment when providing care to patients or clients in that unit. The candidate should be able to demonstrate their ability to navigate clinical challenges and make decisions that align with the best interests of the individuals under their care while considering all relevant factors and information.

Example Response in the STAR Format:

While working as a Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of ABC Hospital, I encountered a critical situation involving a patient who had undergone a complex cardiac surgery. Shortly after the procedure, the patient’s condition deteriorated rapidly, and it became evident that immediate intervention was required. I quickly assessed the patient’s vital signs, reviewed the post-operative notes, and conferred with the surgical team. It was apparent that the patient was experiencing cardiac tamponade, a rare but life-threatening complication where fluid accumulates around the heart, compressing it and impairing its function. I initiated immediate interventions. I guided the team in performing a pericardiocentesis, a procedure to drain the excess fluid from around the heart. Simultaneously, I coordinated the administration of intravenous fluids, vasopressors, and other medications to stabilise the patient’s blood pressure and cardiac output. I continuously monitored the patient’s response to treatment, interpreting subtle changes in their condition. I adjusted the interventions based on real-time assessments, ensuring that the patient’s clinical status improved. The patient’s vital signs gradually improved, and they were transferred to the recovery phase.

7. Compliance with Policies and Procedures

Example criterion: Follow defined service quality standards, occupational health and safety policies and procedures relating to the work being undertaken in order to ensure high quality, safe services and workplaces.

What are they asking for?

A candidate who can demonstrate their ability to adhere to established service quality standards, occupational health and safety policies, and procedures relevant to the specific job or tasks they are undertaking.

Example Response in the STAR Format:

While working as a Clinical Nurse in the Pediatric Unit of a busy hospital, I encountered an issue related to Workplace Health and Safety (WHS). During my routine rounds, I noticed a significant trip hazard in the form of a loose electrical cord that was stretched across a frequently used pathway within the unit. In response to the identified trip hazard, I took immediate action to mitigate the risk. I cordoned off the area surrounding the loose electrical cord using caution tape to prevent any staff, patients, or visitors from inadvertently walking near it. Simultaneously, I reported the issue to the hospital’s maintenance department, providing them with specific details about the location and nature of the hazard. I also conducted a brief safety briefing for the nursing staff on the unit, highlighting the importance of remaining vigilant for potential hazards and reporting them promptly. I emphasised the need for clear communication and teamwork to maintain a safe environment. The maintenance department promptly addressed the issue by securing the loose electrical cord, eliminating the trip hazard. The precautionary measures taken during the safety briefing helped ensure that all staff members were aware of potential hazards and were committed to maintaining a safe and secure working environment.

8. Values

Example criterion: Consistently demonstrates behaviours that reinforce the CORE Values of our organisation; Collaboration, Openness, Respect and Empowerment. Demonstrates these behaviours with all stakeholders; colleagues, direct reports, as well as our patients and consumers, and those that care for them.

What are they asking for?

Each hospital or health service will have its own set of values, which embody behaviour they want to see in their employees. In this criterion, the organisation is seeking a candidate who consistently exhibits behaviours that align with the organisation’s CORE Values, which are Collaboration, Openness, Respect, and Empowerment. You’ll need to choose an example where you can demonstrate one or more of these values.

Example Response in the STAR Format:

In my role as a Clinical Nurse, I encountered a patient who was feeling profoundly disempowered due to their prolonged hospitalisation and the specific circumstances of their medical condition. The patient had been admitted for a severe spinal injury, which resulted in paralysis from the waist down. As a result of their condition, they had lost the ability to perform basic daily activities independently, such as mobility and self-care. I initiated conversations with the patient, creating a safe space for them to express their fears, frustrations, and sense of loss. I actively listened to their concerns, acknowledging the emotional impact of their condition. I collaborated closely with the rehabilitation team to design a tailored rehabilitation plan that focused on the patient’s specific needs and goals. This included regaining as much independence as possible through mobility training, adaptive techniques, and exercises. I provided the patient with comprehensive education about their spinal injury, the rehabilitation process, and adaptive tools and techniques that could enhance their daily life. I encouraged them to actively participate in learning and practicing these skills. I advocated for the patient’s needs and preferences within the healthcare team, ensuring that their voice was heard in the decision-making process regarding their care. Through these efforts, the patient’s sense of disempowerment gradually transformed into a feeling of agency and hope. They actively engaged in their rehabilitation, relearning essential life skills, and adapting to their new circumstances. Over time, they regained a sense of control over their life and their healthcare journey, which significantly contributed to their emotional well-being and physical recovery.

Remember, each state’s public health system will have their own requirements, for example view our Queensland Health Clinical Nurse cover letter example.

We hope these nursing selection criteria examples have been helpful. If you would like further assistance with your application, please contact our expert selection criteria writers for a quote.

Nicole Wren

Nicole Wren

Senior Writer

Nicole is the principal resume writer at Resumes to Impress. Nicole loves writing and sharing her knowledge about all things job hunting and career guidance.

Recommended Services:

Digital Marketing by EWD | Popular Searches