A career in nursing might possibly be one of the most challenging in the entire medical field for a variety of reasons. At the same time it is also one of the most rewarding. Nurses run the gamut from direct patient care in hospitals and clinics all the way up to teaching and administrative positions.

Yet the one thing they all have in common is the goal of helping make the lives of patients better through proper care and quality delivery of healthcare services.


Becoming a nurse in the UK is not necessarily a difficult proposition, but it does require an investment in time and energy in order to complete your education. Once that’s done, you’ll have the opportunity to go to work in a hospital, clinic, nursing or residential home, research facility, or the military, just to name a few. There are so many options available to nurses that it’s easy to find something you’ll enjoy and thrive in. But remember, it all starts with education.


The Nursing Degree Program

For a long time nurses could complete their education through a diploma program at a qualified college. That all changes beginning next year when all nursing programs become degree level. The increased graduate level work is necessary due to the complex environment of today’s nursing careers.


During your degree program you’ll spend about half your time in local hospitals and other facilities gaining hands-on experience under the supervision of licensed professionals. The rest of your time will be spent in the classroom learning all the things you’ll need to know to be a successful nurse. Some students find the classroom portion of the program to be more difficult while others have a harder time with the hands-on program. Either way, you’ll have to demonstrate proficiency in the skills you’ve learned before you can begin working as a nurse.


Types of Nursing Jobs Available

Once you complete your nursing education you will most likely start work in an entry-level position providing day-to-day care to patients in a clinic or hospital setting. Some nurses will continue their education further in order to become instructors or administrators. How far you want to go in your education and career is entirely up to you. For those who choose to stay involved in day-to-day patient care, there are a number of different career options.


Children’s Nursing – According to the Royal College of Nursing, children’s nursing specializes in working with patients from infancy up to 18 years old. Nurses in this sector can be specialists in an infant care unit or work with teenagers and some of their unique medical needs. What makes children’s nursing so challenging is the extra measure of compassion needed to deal with children who may be frightened by their circumstances. Children’s nurses also need the ability to be able to comfort and educate parents and other family members as needed.


Adult Nursing – The Royal College of nursing says that the opportunities for adult nursing are “huge.” As an adult nurse you are dealing with patients over the age of 18 in all sorts of settings. Adult nurses work in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and so on. Adult nurses can also choose between specialties such as emergency room care, women’s health, and school nursing.


Adult and children’s nursing are the two most common types of nursing jobs in the UK. If you’re interested in something different you might consider mental health nursing, disability and special needs a nursing, nursing administration, and even midwifery. All of these professions enjoy their unique challenges and opportunities. For more information you are encouraged to contact the Royal College of Nurses or a university with a nursing degree program.


About the Guest Author:

Debbie Paige runs a free information website dedicated to nursing education. She provides retargets for students including career advice, and help finding schools and nursing programs.