About Nursing in United Kingdom
Nursing in the United kingdom dates back to the era of Florence Nightingale (the lady with the lamp). The profession has gone through many changes in role and regulation. Nurses now work in a variety of settings in hospitals, health centers, nursing homes, and in patients’ own homes.
Presently, nearly 400,000 nurses in the United Kingdom work for the National Health Service (NHS). To practice, all nurses must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
In the UK , all nursing courses, both diplomas and degrees, teach a core number of topics in the first year, before allowing students to specialize in one of four areas – adult, learning disabilities, mental health or children’s nursing.
Courses will comprise 50% theory and 50% practice in hospitals, and whether you decide to study a three-year diploma or a three or four-year degree in nursing, you will graduate with both an academic and professional qualification allowing you to practice.
Before deciding whether to study a diploma in nursing or a degree consider where you want your career to go in the future. If you want to apply for senior level positions or work in education or management at some point you will need to have completed the degree program.
During your studies you will learn what is needed to assist doctors and help patients and families with their healthcare needs.If after working as a nurse you decide to become a midwife you can take a specialized course that will build on your existing skills. Alternatively, you can study for a diploma or degree in midwifery with no prior nursing qualification.
During your training as a midwife, you will learn how babies develop, how to help deliver babies and how to support women and their families during and after pregnancy.
Yes, you will literally soil your hands that means, you have to empty a few bedpans, but you will probably be the first point of contact with patients so will have the important job of putting them – and their families – at ease. You will have developed diligence and patience and the ability to stay calm in a crisis.
You will have learned how to assist on procedures, look after patients as they undergo treatment, and advise them on managing their health.
You will know the ethical and moral implications of the nursing job, knowing when to make your own decisions (autonomy), delegate skills to other members of the healthcare team and when to call on a superior.
You should have developed good communication skills, be able to manage your time, and know how to prioritize and be able to work in a team.