Becoming a nurse gives you the chance to make a difference to hundreds of lives over the course of your career. Nursing is a diverse and rewarding career that can take you all over the world once you’re qualified.
As well as working in hospitals, nurses can find roles in GP surgeries, nursing and residential homes, clinics, voluntary organisations, the military, and many other roles within the community.
So, what would studying for your degree involve and why apply for Nursing?
Nurses are a vital part of the modern healthcare system and in recent years they have taken on roles and responsibilities traditionally carried out by doctors.
As a nurse you’ll need to be quick thinking, able to stay calm in emotional situations, patient, an excellent communicator, empathic, and willing to work long and sometimes anti-social hours.
However, as all nurses will tell you, the rewards of nursing are worth all of the effort you’ll put in to having a successful career.
The most common route into nursing is to go to university and study for your degree in Nursing.
Each university sets its own entry requirements, so you’ll need to check before applying, but you’ll usually need five GCSEs and at least two A Levels.
When applying for your degree you’ll need to decide which of the four nursing specialisms you’d like to study. The four specialisms are:
At some universities you will have the opportunity to gain a combined qualification for two of the four areas of nursing – for example, adult and mental health nursing.
There are alternatives routes into Nursing that will still lead to you gaining your degree. These include becoming a Health Care Assistant and approaching your hospital to ask if they’ll support you to meet the entry requirements for you degree through an apprenticeship scheme.
After graduating you’ll need to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) before you can practice as a nurse.
There are universities across the UK that offer Nursing degree courses including:
You can also study for your Nursing degree with the Open University.
1. You’ll be making a real difference to people’s lives
This is the main reason that people begin a nursing career. Knowing that you’re making a real difference to people’s lives canl help you stay focused during the more difficult parts of the job.
2. There are plenty of career options
As we said above, nursing doesn’t just mean working in a hospital and you are unlikely to struggle to find a job after graduation.
There is a chronic shortage of nurses worldwide and many ways that you can specialise after graduation so you’re all set for an exciting career in healthcare.
3. You’ll learn a wide range of skills
Nurses are highly trained professionals and there are plenty of career development options after you’ve graduated.
During your degree you’ll look at all aspects of your future career and have training in many areas including health science, social science, theory, practice, and technology.
4. You’ll be working in a challenging and fast paced environment
Situations can change quickly in any healthcare setting, for example if a patient’s health deteriorates or the emergency ward you’re working on fills up with victims of a major accident.
Successful nurses say that they thrive on the dynamic, fast paced environment so if you think you’ll enjoy a career where no two days are the same, nursing could be perfect for you.
5. There are plenty of career development opportunities
Once you qualify as a nurse you’ll have the opportunity to complete further training that will bring you a higher level of training and responsibility.
Further training enables you to become a specialist in your chosen clinical area. This further training or education could lead to another degree course such as a Masters or PhD.