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How can I become a nurse?

Taking the decision to become a nurse means that you have decided to take on a challenging, demanding but ultimately very satisfying career. There are a wide number of types of nursing you can specialise in, and a lot of opportunities for advancement if you are willing to work hard. There are a number of academic and personal goals to achieve first.

Academic requirements

Getting your nurse degree To become a registered nurse, you must first complete a three year degree course in the subject. There are a number of universities that run nursing education degrees. To get into these courses, you must have the appropriate school qualifications in at least English and Biology. If you don't have these, then there are a number of colleges that run access courses. What does the degree entail To get your nurse qualifications, you must study ethics, anatomy, patient care, hygiene and many others. You will also spend a lot of time working in clinical settings in order to gain practical experience.

Types of nursing

Types of nursing careers Before you start your course, you need to decide which type of nurse you would like to be. You have four choices: 1. Registered nurse (RN) - This means you will be a qualified nurse that can work with adults in a number of medical and surgical settings. 2. Registered mental health nurse (RMN) - this means that you are qualified to work in a wide variety of psychiatric settings, helping people with illnesses such as schizophrenia, Bi-polar disorder, addictions and eating disorders. 3. Registered learning difficulties nurse (RNLD) - You will be working with people with a range of learning difficulties. Midwife- you will be qualified to work in antenatal and post natal facilities.

Where to work?

Nursing opportunities There are many different areas to choose to work in once you have finished your degree and gained your professional qualification with the NMC (nursing and midwifery council). For many, the real learning begins once you qualify. By getting your first job in a busy ward, whether that be an acute psychiatric admissions unit or a surgical, medical or accident and emergency unit, you will gain invaluable experience that will aid your professional development. The next step in your nurse career You may wish to specialise further, whether it is doing a master's degree in paediatrics or old age psychiatry, or applying to work with an addictions or prison team. The sky is the limit in nursing if you are willing to work for it and have the skills and personality suited to the unique career of nursing.

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