A registered nurse can have a varied job and fit into many roles. They will care for the sick, injured and physically disabled and will also give them support and advice. They usually work for the NHS but may also work in private hospitals, doctor’s surgeries, care homes or hospices as well as schools. It is important to have the right personality for this sort of job together with the right qualifications.
Nurses work in many different places and fulfill different rolls. They may work in accident and emergency, on a hospital ward, in outpatients, in operating theatres, in nursing homes, prisons and clinics. There are even opportunities to do self-employed work or to work overseas. They may have to take blood pressure, pulse rates and temperatures of patients and help doctors examine them. They may need to give drugs and injections. They may need to dress wounds and clean them, set up drips and blood transfusions and use medical equipment. They will need to check on patients and advise them and their families as well as helping doctors to decide on treatment. They will also be handling confidential information and so will need to be discrete.
Skills and Qualifications
A degree in adult nursing will be required so that a nurse can register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and they will also need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring service before able to work in the profession. There are opportunities for nursing degree apprenticeships. As well as the relevant qualifications, it is necessary to have a number of skills as well. Time management and organisational skills are crucial as well as good practical skills. Patients will need to feel confident in them and trust them. They will need to be calm even when under pressure and they will not only need to work as part of team but also on their own initiative. Listening and communication skills are really important as well.
A salary of a registered nurse will vary depending on their experience. A new starter should expect from £22,000 to £28,500 with a more experienced nurse getting £26,250 to £41,000. A highly experienced nurse could get up to £48,000 particularly a nurse consultant. Nurses will tend to work 37.5 hours a week but these will be shifts which include evenings, nights, weekends and bank holidays. Shifts can be long and they will be physically demanding with many nurses being on their feet for their whole shift. Nurses can move onto to different roles which will attract higher salaries. It is possible to become a nursing sister, ward manager or team leader with the right experience and qualifications. Some may specialise as a midwife, health visitor, practice nurse, neonatal nurse or district nurse. Some may get management qualifications and work as a director of nursing or a matron. With a masters degree it is possible to become a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist which could lead to a role as a nurse consultant.