Pathways into Nursing

By Tom Ollerenshaw on 29-08-2016
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If you’re thinking about beginning a career in nursing, there are lots of ways to get started. You don’t necessarily need a background in health-specific experience. If you’re considering a change in career and entering into nursing, you may already have what it takes. This post takes a look at how you can make a start. 

Transferable Skills 

If you’re looking into changing careers and nursing strikes a chord with you, here’s just a few of the transferable skills that will stand you in excellent stead in the nursing profession: 

Interpersonal skills
As a nurse, you’ll not only have to provide care to patients, but you’ll have to liaise with families and often work closely with other medical professionals. 

Verbal & Written Communication Skills
Communication works hand in hand with interpersonal skills; listening to your colleagues and to patients and their families is part and parcel. You’ll also have to study hard, to get qualified, so writing and speaking skills are essential. 

Time Management & Organisation
Prioritising your time effectively and getting organised is very important when you’re in charge of patient care.   

Literacy & Numeracy
To become a nurse, you’ll have to complete a series of tests depending on the route you go down to gain the relevant qualifications. 

Leadership & Project Management
There are often instances in nursing where you’ll need to assume the role of leader. Having responsibility like this means being accountable, honest and strong.  

A Wealth of Choice

The nursing profession is truly vast, and for every area of medicine, be it trauma, oncology, or paediatrics for example, nurses will always be in high demand. For this reason, depending on your own career interests, you have freedom to choose a path that leads towards a specialism.
Naturally some areas within nursing will be more heavily applied for than others, like child nursing, for instance. There are so many different areas in medicine you could start working your way towards; your nursing career may not even be in a hospital. 

Already Work in the Health Sector? 

If you already work within the health sector, it will generally be a faster process to gain access to nursing roles as funding may be available for you to take study leave in the NHS. The route you take into nursing will depend on your current role, range of skills, experience and competences; it could be through completing an NVQ or and Access to Nursing course.   

Joining the Health Sector 

Routes in to nursing from those with careers outside the healthcare sector will have to undergo years of studies and training. If you’re able to undergo full time study, a nursing degree programme could be an option.
Alternatively, if this doesn’t work for you, taking on a role in the NHS as a healthcare assistant on a part-time basis could leave you with time to gain a nursing qualification. Alternatively, you could choose to do an apprenticeship with the NHS involving gaining an NVQ. Once you go through these pathways, job opportunities will be more open for you.
Nursing requires certain qualities in a person; it can be a tough job at times, as well as a highly rewarding and in-demand role. If you’re interested in nursing, get clued up before you decide on your path.

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