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The Journey into Nursing

Recent reports have highlighted young people ‘slipping through the net’ when it comes to being supported with their mental health problems. However, mental health is not the only area in our UK health service that is suffering, with an ageing population in the UK the overall healthcare sector needs now more than ever to attract new talent into the market.

An article in The Guardian discusses the overall decline of healthcare professionals. The NHS plan to put in place a recruitment drive to address the shortage, targeting mature students into the industry.

If becoming a registered nurse is a career you are considering, we have put together an overview of possible routes into nursing. 
To work as a nurse, you must have a degree in nursing and be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Where to get your degree

Many universities offer a degree in nursing, with various courses full or part time, with their own entry requirements; the majority would request:
- 5 GCSE’S 
- 2 A Levels or equivalent 

An alternative route would be to look into a Healthcare Assistant (HCA) role. Healthcare assistants are essential supporting members of the team, providing personal care to patients, including washing, dressing and making sure they’re comfortable. This route gives you an understanding of the job requirements as a nurse whilst allowing you to work your way up to the level that you can apply for a degree course (if you haven’t gone down the academic route of A levels).

If, however you are already working as a Healthcare Assistant you may be able to go through an apprentice scheme, some employers offer this and can support you.
There are other routes available that gives you the opportunity to earn as you learn such as; a Nursing Associate and Nursing Apprenticeships.  Both these routes provide you the opportunity to study and work alongside healthcare assistants and nurses in various healthcare settings to get an understanding of the role.

Qualifying as a nurse

These different routes will lead you to the level of obtaining the all-important nursing degree. You will need to choose what the area of nursing you would like to specialise in: 

  • adult nursing – where you look after adults between 18 and 65 
  • paediatric nursing – where you look after children 
  • geriatric nursing – where you look after elderly people 
  • mental health nursing – where you look after people with mental health issues
  • district nursing – where you travel around an area looking after a variety of local patients
  • learning disability nursing – where you help people of all ages with learning disabilities to live healthy and independent lives
You will need to have a caring personality with excellent communication skills with the ability to deal with potentially stressful environments, however at the same time you will also know that you are changing lives. Nursing is a rewarding career and one that you could thoroughly enjoy. 

With nursing being in such high demand from all areas of the medical industry it has never been a better time. The government are investing in bursaries, pay improvements and putting training and development schemes in place to help with both retention and entrance of professionals in the sector.  

We at Cavendish Professionals have operated within the healthcare industry for over 30 years, partnering with many UK NHS and private hospitals and specialised medical facilities placing doctors and nursing staff. We have worked with various professionals from many walks of life and backgrounds changing their careers and entering the healthcare market.

If you are newly qualified or looking to make your next career step contact our healthcare team today and see how we can help and take a look at our latest roles available.

Tagged In: Healthcare
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