A career in social care and nursing provides individuals with the opportunity to make a real difference to those most in need. There are a wide variety of nursing roles available, each with their own distinct requirements and challenges. A staff nurse position is ideal if you enjoy caring for others, and it could be the start of a hugely rewarding career that sees you learn a wide variety of skills. 

which nursing career is right for you?

When entering a career in nursing, it’s important to assess the variety of different roles on offer and which one is best suited to your skill set. 

The most common type of staff nurse is an adult nurse, specialising in the care of individuals aged 18 years and over who are injured, ill or suffering from physical disabilities. In order to become an adult nurse, you will first need to study for a degree before registering with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Although the exact entry requirements for studying an adult nursing degree will vary depending on your study institution, applicants must normally have at least five GCSEs at A-C grade, including maths, English and a science, as well as two to three A-levels. You will also need to pass background and health checks. 

However, if you wish to enter a career in nursing, but are not sure whether a university course is the right path for you, there are alternative entry routes. Apprenticeships in healthcare are available which involve hands-on practical work while studying for a professional qualification, such as the Level 3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare. Visiting your local NHS Trust is often a good way of discovering what opportunities are available regarding apprenticeships and other entry routes into adult nursing. 

In terms of more bespoke nursing positions, individuals may also want to investigate opportunities for becoming a practice nurse, a paediatric nurse or one specialising in mental health or neonatal issues. Each role is unique and will develop your skills in different ways, so choosing the right career path is vital.

a typical working day as a nurse.

For a staff nurse, a normal working day may involve administering care directly in a hospital, health centre, residential setting or school environment. They are also important in spreading information about good health through clinics and education sessions. 

As a staff nurse, some typical tasks may include: 

• carrying out routine medical checks 
• writing up patient care plans and reports
• monitoring and reporting the condition of a patient
• administering drugs and injections
• communicating with patients and their relatives 
• mentoring more junior nurses
• responding to emergency health situations
• ensuring patient confidentiality

During your time as a staff nurse, there are a number of skills that will be tested and developed. As well as possessing a genuine desire to help others, nurses will need to have excellent communication skills in order to inform and reassure patients and their loved ones. Reporting information accurately will also be vital when sharing medical information amongst your colleagues. Nurses will be required to act calmly and precisely under pressure and always administer care in a sensitive manner. You’ll have to work well in a team environment as patient care often involves collaboration between a number of nurses and doctors. 

If you believe strongly in helping others and improving standards of health all over the country, then a job as a staff nurse could be the right social care job for you.