Steps You Need To Take Before Applying For Nursing Jobs In The UK
There is no dearth of nursing jobs in the UK. It is a rewarding career, primarily because it involves helping and caring for people as that makes it very satiating, but there are also financial rewards and job security. The healthcare industry seldom witnesses any major job cuts or rollbacks. Adult nurses can expect to start making £21,000 rising to £28,000 when they start and then earn more than £35,000 as they gain more experience. Senior nurses and those with excellent history of having worked in their specialization or area of expertise can earn upward of £60,000.
Preparing for Nursing Jobs in the UK
The first step is to sign up for pre-registration nursing. A degree in pre-registration nursing is necessary to qualify for the Nursing and Midwifery Council which will actually enable an aspirant to become a nurse and to practice. There used to be a nursing diploma that was necessary to apply for nursing jobs in the UK but that has been done away with.
Pre-registration nursing has four branches. An aspirant can choose from adult nursing, children or pediatric nursing, learning disability nursing and mental health nursing. Depending on the specialization, nurses would be trained to deal with adults, kids, people with learning disability or some mental health conditions. It is possible for an aspirant to have multiple specializations but that would depend on the specific university one signs up with. Many universities allow only one specialization but there are quite a few that allow combining adult and pediatric nursing, learning disability and mental health nursing. Dual specialization is very common and specialization in more than two branches is relatively rare. The branch may have to be chosen right at the outset in some universities but some would allow an aspirant to choose later, after getting trained on the basics of nursing. The basic premise of the training is almost the same for all specializations.
The Training Program
Pre-registration nursing degree programs are typically split into theory and practice, in equal measures. The whole course would have half of the time dedicated to theoretical learning and the other half would be practice.
The exact curriculum may vary from one university to another but they are all standardized. The training program will include lectures, presentations, seminars and tutorials. The practical assignments will include using lifelike models for safe administering of various treatments that a nurse should be capable of. Caring for patients, managing their medicines and various other welfare activities are practiced in such assignments.
Necessary Attributes for Nursing Jobs in the UK
There are certain prerequisites to qualify for the degree programs at various universities. An applicant must be literate and should demonstrate numeracy. A health questionnaire is often put forth to understand if an applicant has any disability or special needs. Any record of convictions or criminal prosecution will be factored in. A criminal record or any form of caution doesn’t necessarily reject an application. The grounds and the exact scenario would be assessed.
The initial tests to qualify involve reading and writing in English and/or Welsh. Computer skills are necessary and an applicant must be able to do common math involving addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, use of decimals, fractions and percentages.
A-levels at GCSEs are almost always a prerequisite. But alternative qualifications are also accepted such as GNVQ advanced level or NVQ level 3, SVQ level 3; GSVQ level 3 (Scotland), EDEXCEL Foundation (BTEC) National, higher national diploma and OCR Cambridge Technicals – level 3 Health and Social Care.
Other than the technical skills and training, nurses need to uphold professional values, must have good interpersonal skills, should be decisive, have leadership traits and must be able to work with others as a team.
Applying for Nursing Jobs in the UK
The specialization will determine where an aspirant must apply for nursing jobs in the UK. Adult nurses can apply for in hospitals, private healthcare centers and can also use the nationwide placement services of the government or of an agency. There are campus placements as well so one can take advantage of that. Pediatric nurses should apply for childcare centers or any healthcare facility that specializes in pediatric care. Nurses specializing in mental health and learning disability should apply at community hospitals, mental health nursing homes and similar facilities.
Getting nursing jobs in the UK is not difficult provided an aspirant has the required training and degree. Also, the scope of learning is never-ending so a nurse can always undergo more advanced training to further one’s career. Many organizations encourage and even pay for their nurses to enhance their skills, to increase their knowledge and to develop new specializations. It is also a necessity at times since healthcare and medical sciences are evolving continually.
This video talks about the type of jobs you can work in as a nursing student before you become a registered nurse.