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As a nurse, you’ll have a major impact on people’s lives and help them to feel better both physically and mentally. Without nurses, our healthcare system would descend into chaos – they’re the essential cogs that keep the system up and running.
To become a nurse you’ll need to take a course approved by the Nursing and Midwifery council (NMC), which will typically last for three or four years on a full-time basis. These courses will also involve elements of work experience and shadowing placements that will help you to secure a job at the end of your studies.
You will usually train within one of the following four fields: adult nursing, children’s nursing, learning disability nursing or mental health nursing. Sometimes courses are geared towards one of these specialisms from the first year, so make sure you have done your research beforehand.
After this, there are a huge number of areas that nurses can go into such as sexual health, mental health, accident and emergency, clinical, or paediatric. Although each of these will have slightly different demands, nurses across the board have to be caring, resilient and dedicating to delivering the best level of care possible to a patient through assessing, diagnosing, planning and evaluating treatment.
In a hospital nurses work in teams to make sure that continual care is delivered to patients. You may have to do patient handovers at the end of your shift and you will have to keep on top of multiple cases at the same time.
Nurses are required 24/7 in a hospital, so in this environment you can expect shift work that may involve unsociable hours, but you will be paid more for these. Other external clinics and GP surgeries tend to have a more typical 9-5 working day.
There is an incredible demand on the healthcare service that means a qualified nurse will not usually struggle to find a job. Over 90% of graduate nurses find employment just six month after graduating.