Nurses are an integral part of the healthcare service which every individual relies upon throughout their life. Nursing positions vary greatly but all nurses provide medical care and support that looks after our health and wellbeing.
Who can I work for?
Nurses are predominately employed by the NHS or private hospitals. Schools, prisons, hospices, medical practices, the armed forces and large corporations also employ them.
Where and when can I work?
Some nursing staff are employed during regular working hours, such as a GP or school nurse, but the majority of positions are within hospitals or other institutions that operate 24 hours per day.
What can I earn?
Graduate nurses in the public sector earn approximately £19k per annum and, with greater experience, can expect their salaries to increase by approximately £5- £6k. Private sector senior nursing consultants or specially trained nurses can earn over £40k per annum.
What are the benefits?
Nursing roles can be demanding both physically and mentally but the job satisfaction, knowing you have helped improve or save a persons life, can be very rewarding.
Are there chances of promotion?
Competent nurses progress to senior staff nurses and may then become ward sisters. Some individuals choose to study for a PhD, which allows them to become involved in research or hospital management. Staff nurses may also decide to become nurse consultants, who specialise in particular fields of nursing such as paediatrics or geriatrics.
What will I be responsible for?
Nurses are responsible for making initial diagnoses and carrying out basic procedures such as monitoring blood pressure, inserting and removing stitches and treating wounds. Nurses also have a social responsibility so they ensure the welfare and safety of their patients by teaching them self-care techniques and educating patients about their particular condition.
What qualifications do I need?
Training is essential to become a nurse; individuals can take a diploma or a degree course. Diploma courses usually take three years to complete, whilst degree courses may take an extra year to finish.
Do I need any experience?
Student nurses gain invaluable experience before entering a work environment since training is based around both theory and practical experience.
What attributes are needed?
Nurses need to possess technical skills as well as certain personal skills such as sensitivity, remain calm under pressure, sense of duty and physical fitness.