Nurse: job description
Nurses work as part of a team of professional and medical staff that includes doctors, social workers and therapists.
Typical duties of the job include:
- assessing and planning nursing care requirements
- providing pre- and post-operation care
- monitoring and administering medication and intravenous infusions
- taking patient samples, pulses, temperatures and blood pressures
- writing records
- supervising junior staff
- organising workloads
- providing emotional support to patients and relatives
- tutoring student nurses
24-hour shift work can be a requirement of the job.
- NHS trusts
- Residential homes
- Health centres
- GP practices
Advertisements appear in newspapers, NHS trusts' jobs lists and publications such as Nursing Times, Nursing Standard, Paediatric Nursing and their respective websites.
In order to qualify as a nurse you must study a three to four-year degree course. Graduates who already have a degree in a relevant subject such as life, health, biological or social sciences can qualify via a shortened two-year postgraduate diploma course. Nurse First, a pilot two-year fast-track programme for graduates who want to enter nursing, has recently been launched by NHS England, and combines hands-on experience and training with an educational course.
Degree course applications should be made through UCAS; those for shortened postgraduate courses should be made directly to the relevant institutions. Any experience of caring for or working with people (eg in a care home or hospice) can be helpful.
- Good health and fitness
- Caring and compassionate nature
- Excellent teamwork and people skills
- Observational skills
- Ability to use initiative
- Ability to deal with emotionally charged and pressured situations
- Verbal and written communication skills