You will need either a degree in nursing to become a qualified Registered Nurse. You must also be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
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Individual universities will set their own requirements in academic qualifications to get a place on a degree course; however it is possible to study nursing part time with experience of working in a clinical support role without school qualifications.
For those wanting to specialise in something, for example a children’s nurse or a district nurse, there are study options available once a degree in nursing has been completed and this is worth thinking about before applying for your degree place.
Registered Nurses help and care for people of all ages and backgrounds, either in a hospital or in a GP’s surgery but they can also work in schools and prisons. Duties will include taking blood, giving injections, administering medication and examining patients. A Registered Nurse is responsible for ensuring patients are clean and comfortable in a hospital environment, and observing patients for any changes which may indicate further health problems or a worsening condition. A Registered Nurse will usually work as part of a team and encounter many different situations which they must be prepared for.
Related: Registered Nurse Cover Letter
A Registered Nurse will typically be part of a team of people providing 24 hour care to patients, so often shift patterns will be allocated on a rota system. The hours can be long and will sometimes involve weekend and night shifts, however if a Registered Nurse is working in a school or prison environment then there may be more of a routine to the working hours except in an emergency.
Skills and Training Development
It’s important to have a genuine desire to care for people as a Registered Nurse but also an acceptance that it may not always be possible to nurse someone to better health. You will encounter patients from a wide variety of different backgrounds all with different symptoms, conditions and reactions to treatment so you will need to be adaptable and versatile. A sympathetic, open approach will be needed but also the confidence to apply your medical learning to meet the needs of the patients.
NHS Nurses are paid according to the NHS pay scale system, but can expect to earn £21,000 a year as a minimum once qualified. Your pay will then rise in increments each year, earning around £27,000 as a Team Manager or over £30,000 a year for an experienced Team Manager. A Director of Nursing would expect to earn around £80,000 a year.