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December 5, 2017

Top 10 Nursing Careers – Which Appeals To You?

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Not all nursing courses point in the same direction.

Whatever happens in this world of ours, it will always need nurses! Their tenacity, courage and brilliance support both patients and doctors to the benefit of the patients.

Becoming a nurse is an immensely rewarding role and one that will enable you to make a tangible difference in people’s lives. But perhaps you didn’t realise that there are many diverse career paths you could choose and this could affect which degree course you choose to study.

Take a few minutes to look through this list of ten of the most popular career choices. Pause on each one and imagine yourself in the role that’s described. You’ll soon begin to realise what you want to specialise in.

two nurses standing in front of a blackboard

Adult Nursing

Salary Range: £22,000 to £48,000
Qualifications Needed: BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing

As an adult nurse, you are responsible for treating adults of all different ages, cultures and descriptions. Your primary duty is to care for and improve the lives of your patients. On a day to day basis you may fulfil your duties by performing medical and emergency procedures, administering medication, assisting with personal hygiene, offering counselling and advice or teaching patients how best to manage their own conditions.

Children’s (Paediatric) Nursing

Salary Range: £22,000 to £41,000
Qualifications Needed: BSc (Hons) Children’s Nursing

Qualified children’s nurses are responsible for the care and development of children from birth to 18 years of age. They work together with the individual, the family and other health professionals to ensure the highest quality of care for every child. Dedicated children’s nurses work shifts around the clock to fulfil their duties. Successful professionals must be resilient, empathetic and capable of forming strong and lasting bonds with children and their families.

Learning Disability Nursing

Salary Range: £22,000 to £41,000
Qualificatations Needed: BSc (Hons) Learning Disability Nursing

As society develops, people with learning disabilities are beginning to receive the care they need to live independent and fulfilled lives. This would never have happened without the help of qualified nurses who specialise in helping people with learning disabilities. Professional nurses in this sector work in hospitals, prisons, schools and workplaces to ensure vulnerable individuals have access to the care they need to progress in life.

nurse helping a blind woman read

Mental Health Nursing

Salary Range: £22,000 to £48,000
Qualifications Needed: BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing

As many as one in four people will be directly affected by mental health problems in their life. In light of these statistics, there has been a dedicated effort to educate society about mental health issues and train professionals to help the people affected. Mental health nurses work tirelessly to develop strong and lasting relationships with their clients and help them to develop coping mechanisms which will improve their quality of life.

District Nursing

Salary Range: £26,250 to £41,250
Qualifications Needed: BSc (Hons) Nursing and an NMC approved specialist practitioner qualification in district nursing

Instead of working in hospitals, district nurses usually visit patients in their own homes or residential care homes. District nursing is a rewarding role as it allows professionals to develop positive and beneficial relationships with care receivers in a comfortable, natural environment. On a daily basis, district nurses help their patients with all of their medical needs and teach clients and their families how to administer certain care independently.

General Practice Nursing

Salary Range: £21,000 to £35,250
Qualifications Needed: BSc (Hons) Nursing

General practice nurses work in GP surgeries alongside doctors, therapists and pharmacists. Depending on the size of the GP surgery, you could be one of many nurses, or the only nurse working there. From day to day, you would be dealing with a varied number of cases. From sexual health and family planning, to vaccinations and treating minor injuries, GP nurses hold a pivotal role in local community healthcare.

nurse examining a child

Health Visitor Nursing

Salary Range: £26,250 to £41,000
Qualifications Needed: BSc (Hons) Nursing or Midwifery and a qualification in specialist community public health nursing or health visiting

Health visitors are qualified nurses or midwives who have undergone additional training. This training allows them to make home visits to children aged five and under and support families during the crucial development period. All families are entitled to this service, however families with greater needs will benefit from a more intensive service. Health visitors will have to be organised and motivated workers as they take responsibility for their own caseloads.

Neonatal Nursing

Salary Range: £26,554 to £42,046
Qualifications Needed: BSc (Hons) Nursing followed by a professional development programme focused on neonatal nursing

Neonatal nurses are responsible for the care of premature babies who are in need of medical attention during the first few months of their lives. These children are often in a very vulnerable position and need experienced and qualified professionals to look after them around the clock. As a neonatal nurse, you would be responsible for providing holistic, family-centred care which will help the infant to thrive in future years.

Prison Nursing

Salary Range: £22,128- £35,250
Qualifications Needed: BSc (Hons) Nursing and an understanding of the criminal justice system.

As a prison nurse you could be responsible for dealing with a whole range of patients. Many inmates have mental health issues or substance abuse problems, which makes this a challenging and sometimes emotional role. This means that prison nurses have to be resilient and confident practitioners with the best needs of each patient at heart, regardless of their background. When looking for work, it’s worth noting that you could seek employment through the prison or the NHS.

School Nursing

Salary Range: £22,000 to £41,000
Qualifications Needed: BSc (Hons)  Nursing and an NMC approved specialist practitioner qualification in district nursing

School nurses work in a school environment and are responsible for the health of school age children. Some professionals are employed by a single school, while others are hired by local authorities and work across a number of institutions. Some of the main responsibilities of a school nurse include administering immunisations, discouraging poor lifestyle choices, promoting healthy living and running drop-in surgeries for young people.

So how do you gain entrance to your chosen pathway?

A BSc (Hons) degree in nursing is, in fact, one of the most flexible and valuable qualifications you can possess. This will need you to specialise in one of the four areas below.

  1. Adults
  2. Childrens
  3. Learning Disability
  4. Mental Health

So knowing the kind of nursing you’re thinking of practicing will determine the type degree course you need to take

Once you have graduated from your chosen nursing course, and registered with the NMC, the nursing world is your oyster.

No A Levels? – No Problem

Nursing courses that you can access without A-Levels

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2 Responses

  1. Emily Hawkins says:

    I am currently working as a qualified dental nurse in a private practice. With experience in both general dentistry and more complex surgical procedures. I have a diploma in dental nursing, my dental radiography qualification and 9yrs experience. I have my English and maths GCSE both above grade C and three a levels.
    Currently at a stage where I am wanting to challenge myself and learn more. I have a strong interest in theatre nursing. Can you advise?
    TIA x

    • Kate Byrne says:

      If you are happy to provide us with a telephone number and appropriate time, we can have a member of the course advice team contact you regarding this.

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