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. Find out more about choosing between perm, locum and bank nursing jobs.We have written a selection of pieces around starting and navigating your nursing career. If you need help in developing your nursing 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. You may benefit from our blog on switching to nursing if you have relevant experience.What skills do I need to be a nurse?The following skills will be expected from nursing practitioners:EmpathyFlexibilityGood communication (particularly listening)Multi-taskingObservantPatienceTeam playerDo 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.Find out more about choosing between perm, locum and bank nursing roles.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. It is also worth checking a number of different things before choosing which nursing recruitment agency to work with.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.We have written a selection of pieces around starting and navigating your nursing career.