How to develop your nursing career
Whatever your nursing specialism, there are many opportunities and resources available to enhance and develop your career.What is a typical nursing career path?The NHS banding system allows nurses to see their progression, from entry-level staff nurse roles, up to senior staff nurse, advanced nurse practitioner and director of nursing positions.Each band will offer more responsibility and nurses will be paid accordingly.There are many other ways to progress your career beyond the linear approach – for example, you may wish to move into specific areas, or you could choose to work in community. What training is available to help nurses develop their careers? Training is vital and you will be assessed on this as part of your registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). All nurses are required to undertake 35 hours of relevant continuing professional development (CPD) in the three-year period between registration and renewal. There are many different types of training available; statutory training is required by law (such as basic risk assessment or manual handling) and mandatory training is determined by your employer to ensure the safe delivery of services. This could include areas such as infection prevention and control, mental capacity and safeguarding or hand hygiene. The Royal College of Nursing has a helpful article on their website which explains more about different training opportunities available for nurses. Can I use networking to boost my nursing career?Networking is a great way to develop your career and can improve your learning and knowledge. You may choose to use online platforms such as LinkedIn to communicate with others or attend workshops, conferences and job fairs to meet likeminded nurses and build relationships.How can I make the most of community nursing roles? Working in an NHS role is a great way to build experience, but you can also develop nursing skills through sabbaticals and secondments; you could work within care homes, schools, community settings or prisons. Making the most of different opportunities will allow you to improve skills in different ways – making you a more accomplished nurse practitioner.Can agency nursing jobs develop my career? As an agency nurse, you can move into different settings in and out of the NHS to give you broader experience and knowledge. This will not only help you improve your skills but also identify the aspects of nursing that you enjoy the most.To find out how to develop your career, get in touch with your Sanctuary consultant.
How to start a career in nursing
Playing a vital role, nurses can expect a rewarding career. We explore the different routes into the profession and the variety of roles available.What skills do I need to be a nurse? The following skills will be expected from nursing practitioners: Empathy Flexibility Good communication (particularly listening) Multi-tasking Observant Patience Team player Do I need a degree to work as a nurse in the UK? Yes, you will need a nursing degree. Before starting your training, you will need to choose your preferred specialism; adult, children, mental health or learning disability. Each has its own clinical decision-making skills and technical expertise. Nursing degrees are vocational – you can expect to spend half of your time on placements in clinical settings, working directly with patients. Nursing is a hugely popular choice for higher education because more than 90% of nurses are employed within six months of graduation. Can I qualify as a nurse via an apprenticeship? Nursing apprenticeships were launched in 2017 as an alternative route into the profession. They were designed to make nursing careers accessible as your employer will fund them. They offer structured training and are nationally recognised, approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). There are two types of apprenticeship available; • Nursing Associate (Level 5) • Nursing Degree (Level 6) The NHS Jobs website is the best place to look for apprenticeship opportunities. Will I get paid to train as a nurse? To recognise the impact that nurses have and the vital role that they play within the NHS, nursing students can benefit from financial support of between £5-£8k a year.What types of nursing roles are available? Nursing as a profession is incredibly varied. You could work in hospitals, community settings, private healthcare settings, schools or even within the prison service. You may choose to provide support to those with learning disabilities or specialise in mental health care. Each type of nursing job role has its dedicated specialisms. For example, if you work in a hospital you may work on busy wards, or you could work as a theatre or neonatal nurse. At Sanctuary, we recruit for a wide range of nursing jobs across many different settings throughout the UK. How do I register as a nurse? To work as a nurse in the UK you must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The NMC is responsible for ensuring that standards are upheld throughout the profession. How much can I expect to earn as a nurse? Pay scales are rewarded through the banding system – the higher your band, the more you can expect to get paid. Newly qualified nurses will start at the bottom of band 5 and their starting salary will be approximately £24k per year. At very senior levels (bands 7 to 8c), salaries can range from £37k to £73k. You can choose to work in permanent employment, or you could benefit from the flexibility of bank staff or agency nursing. For more information and resources on starting a nursing career, please visit our careers hub.
Tell me about yourself...
If you are experienced at interviews, you’ll know that there’s nothing more ambiguous than being asked the question “Tell me more about yourself…” One of the most important things that you should do ahead of your next job interview is to prepare yourself to answer this inevitable question. Here is our advice for making the most of your response. Things to include in your answer The reason why so many people struggle to answer this initial question is that it’s so broad. You may not be 100% confident about what is being asked of you, even though logically it should be easy to talk about yourself. It’s a question which is designed to help recruiters and hiring managers learn more about you; not just your expertise and knowledge, but your personality, ambitions and who you are beyond your career. This is a question that requires a speech-like answer. It should tell a story and engage the hiring panel to want to learn more about you. You may find that preparing your answer and practicing saying it out loud could allow you to feel much more confident in future interviews. We recommend ensuring that your answer covers the following: What have you accomplished? This is designed to showcase your expertise. You don’t want to talk through your CV (they’ve already seen that) – instead, you should pick out any notable accomplishments or moments where you’ve had great success. If you’re applying for a nursing job, then use this to talk about key moments where you’ve delivered exceptional patient care; for a physiotherapy job, you could discuss a case where you’ve helped a patient to successfully recover from an injury. This is your opportunity to talk about what you’re good at and why you are passionate about what you do. Why are you interested in this particular position? The hiring panel wants to know what makes you a great fit for this particular job, so here’s your chance to sell yourself effectively. How does your specific experience relate to this job description? Do you have a history of their specific requirements, or is it a step further up your career ladder? Try and give examples of how you meet the job requirements. If you’re aiming for a more senior role such as a higher band nursing job, or you're considering moving away from an NHS occupational therapy job into a local authority (or even private practice), then show how you’ve been developing the skills.What do you want to achieve? It’s always good to show ambition; we know that our health community has a drive to continually improve and this is something that your prospective new employer will want to see to. It may be that you’re aiming to become the head of a department, or it could be that you’re simply wanting to undertake training in a new area to further develop your skillset. Try and show how your ambition links in with the job role; the hiring panel will be looking to see how you plan to collaborate with them to achieve your aims. What not to say Firstly, you should never mention any reference to marital status, children, political or religious beliefs. Not only are they not relevant to the job description but by law, you shouldn’t be discriminated by these elements which is why a hiring panel is not allowed to ask you about these. You need to be able to talk about your career history with ease. They’ve already seen your CV and know the basics of what you’ve achieved, so don’t repeat information they already know. You only need to give them the basics – after all, this question is likely to be at the start of the interview, so they’ll have plenty of time to ask further information. If you need support ahead of your next job interview, then please get in touch.
7 common community nursing interview questions
If you’re a nurse and you’re looking to find your next job role, then it can be daunting to feel confident in how to fully demonstrate your knowledge and expertise during an interview scenario. To help you prepare, here are some sample questions and how you can answer them effectively.1. Why do you like working as a nurse?This will almost certainly be one of the opening questions. The interviewer will want to know what you enjoy about your job role. You could share your thoughts on what personally motivates you to work within the NHS and explain what your professional values are. If you work well in a team and gain satisfaction from helping patients with their recovery, here’s your chance to say so. It would be beneficial to think of some nursing practice examples which you can include within your response. 2. What is your nursing experience to date?Although the hiring panel will have reviewed a copy of your CV prior to your interview, they will want to hear about your experience in your own words. You may benefit from writing down a few notes on your CV which could help you to summarise key experience and achievements. Start by stating when you passed your nursing degree then list the work and ward placements you have held since. 3. Describe a situation where you have dealt with a difficult or aggressive person.The panel will be looking to find out how you coped in these instances. To help explain the situation, you could structure your answer into a ‘story’ format. Start with the description of the scenario and who's behaviour you had to manage, add more detail on the specific steps you took to calm the situation and then describe the positive results of the action you took. 4. If a colleague performs a practice that does not conform to nursing protocol, what would you do?This is an unlikely situation, but it’s designed to find out how you can ensure that a patient’s wellbeing is paramount in all that you do. You may be given a hypothetical scenario so that you can explain how you would intervene to prevent your colleague from continuing this practice. You will also need to describe how you would report the incident; informing your manager or senior nurse and completing an incident form. 5. What is your understanding of infection control? As a community nurse, you’ll be working across a variety of different environments so it’s important to have a good understanding of NHS Infection Control. It is a process to prevent, control and reduce the possibility of infectious diseases amongst patients and staff. You will need to explain the techniques you use, including hand hygiene, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), injection safety and waste disposal procedures. 6. What do you want to achieve in this role?You could explain how you wish to continually improve your skills and knowledge for the benefit of patients. As community nurses are becoming increasingly important within the NHS, you should demonstrate your understanding of how the role is likely to expand in the future as well as how it relates to your personal ambitions. You may be involved in joint care management, working alongside social care services or offering educational and/or advisory services for patients and their families. If so, talk about why you think this element of your practice is so important. 7. What are your expectations of us as your new employer?Make sure that you’ve done your research and that you know what your new employer’s ambitions are. Your Sanctuary Health consultant will work with you to explain more about the specific employer, but if you’re looking for support to improve your skills or you’re keen to progress your community nursing career into a key specialism, then this is your opportunity to share your preferences. If you need some support to help you prepare for your next community nurse job interview, get in touch with your Sanctuary consultant.