Northumbria University – How to get a career in nursing

March 8, 2017

Nursing is one of the longest-standing professions, with some of its earliest traits being seen from as far back as 300AD. Alongside being long-established, it is also one of the most fulfilling careers you can have. Whether you’re looking to start your career or change your current direction entirely, Northumbria University has created a complete guide to your career in nursing:

Job titles in nursing and yearly salaries*

There are different job titles and salaries within nursing that you need to know about, including different specialisms. With information from Payscale, the National Careers Service and Prospects, here is a selection of nursing roles, duties and qualifications you’ll need:

Adult Nurse, Registered Nurse Practitioner

Salary range: £22,000 to £48,000

Average salary: £23,244

Qualification requirements**

• Essential: Completed a pre-registration nursing programme

• Essential: Registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC)

Skills requirements and experience

• Essential: Teamwork

• Essential: Communicating with others and earning trust

• Essential: Remaining calm under pressure

• Essential: Good practical skills

Work locations

• Hospitals

• Nursing homes

• Prisons

• Clinics

• Health centres

Job duties

• Working with doctors to decide what care to give

• Advising patients and their relatives

• Giving drugs and injections

• Setting up drips and blood transfusions

• Taking pulse rates, blood pressures and temperatures

• Cleaning and dressing wounds

• Assisting with physical examinations

• Handling confidential information

Mental Health Nurse, Registered Psychiatric Nurse

Salary range: £22,000 to £48,000

Average salary: £26,174

Qualification requirements

• Essential: Registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC)

• Essential: Completed a pre-registration nursing programme (you can specialise in mental health)

Skills requirements and experience

• Observation skills to make accurate assessments of subtle changes in patient behavior

• Communication skills for interacting with patients and family members

• Physical strength and stamina

• Quick-thinking

• Cool under pressure

Work locations

• Specialist units

• The patients’ homes

• Community healthcare centres

• Residential units

• Hospital outpatients’ departments

Job duties (these may vary depending on the company)

• Support people with anxiety, depression, personality disorders, eating disorders, drug and alcohol addiction

• Building relationships with patients

• Working with patients to decide on the best course of care for them

• Managing the emotions and behavior of the patients, minimising distress

• Administering medication and monitoring its effects

• Observing legal requirements on levels of care

• Helping with CBT techniques.

District Nurse, Community Practitioner

Salary range: £26,250 to £41,250

Qualification requirements

• Essential: Registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC)

• Essential: Completed a pre-registration nursing programme

• Essential: NMC-approved specialist practitioner course in district nursing

• Essential: Clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Skills requirements and experience

• Two years of professional experience as a qualified adult nurse

• Observational skills

• Communication skills

• Teaching skills to show others how to do routine nursing procedures

• Organisational and record-keeping skills

Work locations

• Patients’ homes

• GP surgeries

• Residential care homes

Job duties

• Giving drugs and injections

• Taking pulse rates, blood pressures and temperatures

• Assisting with physical examinations

• Cleaning and dressing wounds

• Advising patients and their relatives

• Administering medication and monitoring its effects

How to get into nursing

Once you’ve decided nursing is the right track for you, you need to take the steps towards the right experience and qualifications.

For all of the different types of nursing, you need to complete a NMC-approved course. To be eligible for the courses, you will need to be able to prove the following:

• Declare any past criminal convictions

• Have at least two – but usually three – A-levels OR

• Qualifications at level 3, plus English, maths and science GCSEs

• Be in good health – and identify any needs relating to a disability

There are a number available, including undergraduate and postgraduate nursing courses. The NHS Health Careers website lets you search all the NMC-approved courses here.

These courses will be practice-based, so you’ll be working on the job and gaining practical experience of nursing.

Funding opportunities

From 1 August 2017, most nursing, midwifery and allied health professional pre-registration courses will have access to the standard student support package of tuition fee loans and support for living costs. More information about funding is available at The Funding Clinic.

*Salary information taken from www.payscale.com, from National Salary, without bonuses

**Information taken from nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk

 

 

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