Choosing a New Career - Is Nursing the One?

By Nick Murden

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Choosing a New Career – Is Nursing the One?

Nursing offers a challenging yet rewarding career to all those who would like to make a difference to other people’s lives. As a nurse you take responsibility for the care you provide while constantly responding to new challenges. Nurses are accountable for their own actions and judgements and act as a carer, clinician and leader.

If you are considering a career in nursing, it is crucial to remember that nursing is not just another job- nursing is a vocation, you have to want to help people. Taking this career path just for financial gain can be very frustrating. However, if you are prepared to go through the demanding training and you do not mind working unsociable hours whilst missing out on any semblance of a normal social life, then this could be the right career choice for you.

Career Potential for Nurses

Nurses don’t just work in hospitals. There are several other opportunities to work in occupational health services, GP surgeries, nursing and residential homes, hospices, clinics and various voluntary organisations.  The pharmaceutical industry, leisure cruise ships, residential care, the military and university education are a few more career options. 

Nurses who choose midwifery as a specialty work in maternity and are often the key health professional offering support, guidance and care to the mother and the baby during the pregnancy, delivery and even through the postnatal period.

Studying To Become A Nurse

GCSEs required 

To qualify for most diploma courses you will need around 5 GCSEs or equivalent of Grade C and above, including a science subject, mathematics, English language or literature. 

A-levels required

To qualify for any nursing degree course you would require at least 2 A-levels or higher.

Diploma or Degree

Today, all nurse training is conducted by universities. Earlier universities offered nursing diplomas and degrees but diplomas are being phased out and by September 2013, all universities will only be offering nursing degrees. The duration of the diploma and degree courses is usually spread over three years and consists of theory and practical work.

The first year’s curriculum includes subjects such as Anatomy &Physiology, Theory of Nursing, Chemistry, Comp. & Literature and an Introduction to Psychology.

During the second year you will expand on the same topics you learned first year in addition to Social Health and Wellness, Microbiology, Nursing care and Research for Evidence.

The third year’s topics include Pathopharmacology, Nursing Leadership, Caring for Adults, Children, Women, Family Centred Nursing and Social Gerontology.

Professional Body Association

After you’ve completed your training and certification, you will have to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council before you can start practising as a nurse in the UK. A nurse in the UK earns an average of £25,000 to £30,000 per year. 


Diana Jones is a nurse of 15 years from South East England and writes regularly on topics that concern nursing and the medical profession. Diana wrote this on behalf of

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