misconceptions of nursing, nursing career development, nursing earning potential

The truth and misconceptions of nursing

By Dan Allard

​Nursing dates back to the 19th Century when Florence Nightingale made sweeping changes to improve the professionalism of nurses, by incorporating new standards of hygiene and better training. Since then, nursing has transformed to become a highly-regarded profession. But there are still many misconceptions about nursing, which we have discussed below.

“Nursing is a job for women”

False; although the nursing workforce is predominantly female. In recent years, many campaigns have been launched to tackle this gender imbalance. In 2019, the NHS England-led “We are the NHS” campaign saw a huge rise in the number of males apply to study nursing.

The National Audit Office shows that while women occupy 88% of all hospital and community nursing roles, men are more likely to work within mental health nursing jobs (20%) than acute trusts (10%) or community settings (7%).

“Nursing is just clinical work”

False; there are many different types of nursing and countless opportunities to use your qualifications away from direct face-to-face patient care.

For example, you may choose to use your nursing degree to work as a clinical advisor for services such as NHS 111 (ideal for those who want to work from home), or you could choose to work with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to deliver independent assessment services to understand how a person’s health can affect their ability to work.

“Nurses do what doctors tell them”

False; whilst a doctor may diagnose, the nurse is responsible for delivering the treatment. They can refer to other departments, write prescriptions and give clinical advice.

In many settings, particularly GP surgeries, appointments may be with nurse practitioners who can identify and diagnose common ailments.

“There’s potential for career development”

True; there are many ways to advance your nursing career; our previous blog explores this further. You may choose to specialise in a specific area (such as intensive care, haematology or oncology) or you may wish to generate experience across a variety of different wards.

You could choose to work in a hospital setting, or you may prefer to work as a community nurse in care homes or health centres. You may even decide that you want to work in secure settings as a prison nurse.

“There are opportunities to earn more”

True; your nursing earning potential will follow the banding system. Nurses start their careers at band 5, giving them an entry-level salary of approximately £24,000. As you rise the ranks, you can expect to be paid much more.

Some nurses choose to supplement their income through ad-hoc bank staff roles, whilst agency nurses can benefit from higher rates of pay, as well as flexibility to work at a time that suits you.

To find out more about a career in nursing, please get in touch .