Nursing involves being both a carer and a clinician. As a nurse, you will probably be required to undertake various tasks in different fields of medicine.
These will generally include: administering and monitoring medication, monitoring patient’s conditions and recording changes; educating patients about health conditions and treatment; and arranging treatment and care outside the clinical environment
This page answers the following questions about nursing:
- What makes a good nurse?
- Where can I study nursing?
- What are the entry requirements for nursing?
- What is the training for nursing?
What Makes A Good Nurse?
Nursing requires a high level of technical competence and clinical decision-making skills, as well as compassion and a real commitment to helping others.
There are some key skills you’ll need to become a good nurse:
- People skills.
- The ability to take initiative as well as take instruction.
- The ability to deal calmly and efficiently with emotionally charged situations.
- As a nurse you’ll be working as part of a team that includes lots of different healthcare professionals, so teamwork is essential.
- As the first port of call for patients, you’ll need to be able to answer questions and offer advice.
The NHS has a personality quiz to help you decide if nursing is right for you, as well as which branch of nursing would suit you best.
Where Can I Study Nursing?
There are lots of places you can study to become a nurse. The full list of approved nursing programmes can be found on the Nursing and Midwifery Council website.
What Are The Entry Requirements For Nursing?
There aren’t any national minimum entry requirements for getting into nursing, so you should check with individual institutions before you apply. However, most universities will require that you have the following:
- A minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades A-C.
- At least two A Levels, although some ask for 3.
- The ability to read and write in English.
- A good standard of numeracy.
As well as meeting the entry requirements, you’ve got to show you have what it takes to be a good nurse.
What Is The Training For Nursing?
To become a nurse, you must first obtain a degree in pre-registration nursing. Then, once you are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), you can get a job as a practising nurse.
Pre-registration nursing degrees are offered in the following four areas:
- Children (paediatric)
- Mental health
- Learning disability
You’ll usually need to choose which area to specialize in before you apply.
At university, your time will be split equally between theory and practice. Lectures, seminars and non-clinical practice sessions will make up half of your study, and practical placements in hospitals and surgeries will comprise the rest.
A Note On Funding For Nurses
All students are eligible for help funding their degrees. This usually means that most students have their tuition fees paid by the NHS, and receive a grant each year for help with living costs.
You can also apply for a means-tested bursary. You can read more about financial support that is available here.