So, you’re sold that Health and Social Care is the path for you. That’s great and all, but where on earth do you start...
- Help sick, injured and those with disabilities to improve their health and wellbeing
- Rewarding but challenging work where you'll need compassion and dedication to the role
- Excellent opportunities to progress into senior roles or to specialise in a particular area of nursing
- Take temperatures, blood pressures and pulse rates
- Help doctors with physical examinations
- Give drugs and injections
- Clean and dress wounds
- Set up drips and blood transfusions
- Use medical equipment
- Check patients' progress
- Work with doctors to decide what care to give
- Advise patients and their relatives
Your working environment might be physically and emotionally demanding.
As a nurse, you'll work in hospitals, nursing homes, health centres, clinics or prisons. In an NHS hospital you could work in accident and emergency, cardiac rehabilitation, outpatients, neonatal nursing or an operating theatre.
To be a nurse, you'll need sensitivity and understanding, the ability to work well with others, a desire to help people, knowledge of psychology, thoroughness and attention to detail, customer service skills, and the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure.
You can do a degree in adult nursing approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Some degree courses let you study another area of nursing alongside adult nursing. You might be able to join the second year of a nursing degree if you already have a degree in a health-related subject, psychology, life sciences, or social work.
You might be able to do a degree apprenticeship in nursing if you want to work in a healthcare setting like a hospital. This apprenticeship is around 4 years long and you must be supported by your employer to take this route.
Paid or voluntary experience in social care or healthcare work would be useful before applying.
You'll also need to pass enhanced background checks.
With experience, you could become a nursing sister, ward manager or team leader. You could train as a midwife, neonatal nurse, health visitor, district or practice nurse. You could move into management, as a matron or director of nursing.
With a master's, you could become an advanced nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist then a nurse consultant. You could also become self-employed or work overseas.