Becoming a registered nurse can pave the way for a fulfilling and challenging career. The more training and experience you have, the more your career will open up in front of you. So how do you go about becoming a nurse and how can you develop your career once you get there?
What sort of nurse would you like to be?
Deciding on the type of nurse that you want to be Before you start your training, you must decide whether you wish to become an RN, which is a medical nurse with adults or an RNM, which is a registerered mental nurse or another branch of nursing. Once you have decided where you would like to work once you qualify, you need to find out where you are going to study.
Academic and professional qualifications
How to become qualified for nursing in the UK
To become a nurse, you will need to complete a degree in nursing that can last between 3-4 years. To qualify to get on these courses, you are required to have relevant school qualifications in at least English and biology. If you don't have these qualifications, then there are a number of access courses that you can embark upon.
What is involved in the nurse's training course?
The degree course is a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical skills. You will learn about anatomy, the nursing process, pathology, physiology, mental and physical health problems and many other relevant nursing essentials. You will get a lot of practical experience in medical work, surgical work, psychiatry and other placements within clinical areas. You are required to pass these placements before you can progress.
Once you have sat your final papers and have passed all of your placements, you have to contact the Nursing and Midwifery Council to get your registration and become a qualified nurse.
Starting your career
Starting your career as a nurse The real learning often starts once you qualify. When you are applying for nursing positions, it is worth bearing in mind that the most sought after nurses are the ones who have the widest breadth of experience. Get as much experience as you can in as many different wards and clinical settings as you can. Once you have had around five years experience, then you can start to aim towards a specialisation. Further education If you wish to move up in nursing employment , you will need further education as well as experience. There are endless opportunities for education, whether it is to gain a post graduate qualification and become a Nurse Practitioner or a shorter course designed to enhance your existing skills.