Below are some of our key pieces of advice for those who are thinking about becoming a nurse.
1. It’s hard, but it’s worth it
No two days will be the same, with such a varied and challenging role you’ll be sharing a common interest - to make a difference to people’s lives.
2. Nursing is not just medical care
Your responsibilities will be incredibly varied and can include any of the elements of looking after a patient and also sometimes their loved ones.
3. Prepare to be relied on
The patients aren’t the only ones relying on you, you’ll be an integral part of a multi-disciplinary team so you need to have excellent communication skills and be calm under pressure. A nurse’s role is to work alongside other healthcare professionals – but many nurses also have to practice autonomously at times, so an ability to think on your feet and make informed decisions about patient scenarios is crucial.
4. Inspire trust and confidence
Initially it can be daunting that patients and other staff are relying on you for your professional opinion and care. It’s important to come across as confident and knowledgeable (even if you don’t quite feel like that when you first start out). It’s good to remember you will have the support of professionals around you.
5. Ensure your heart is in it
Most importantly you have to care. A career in Nursing requires empathy and compassion and can be one of the most rewarding careers. At times it can be stressful, emotional and tiring. Ultimately if you are passionate about making a difference you will be part of a rewarding career; the difference you create will make it all worthwhile.
Nursing myths uncovered
1. Nursing is a dead-end job
If you’ve got the right training you can work anywhere in the world, as well as further your career in specialised fields, such as midwifery.
2. Nurses don’t get paid well
Salaries start from around £23k and can go up to £40k in just a few years.
3. All nurses are women
There are male nurses too – a total of 65,755 nurses, representing 10.21 per cent of the workforce are male.
4. A nurse’s role is to assist doctors
Many nurses practice autonomously and are integral to the success of a multi-disciplinary team.
5. There’s no job satisfaction
There is a fantastic sense of teamwork and is ultimately a very rewarding job.