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Pathways into Nursing

  • Publish Date: Posted 9 months ago
  • Author:by Rebecca Sprott

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a change in jobs and careers for some, encouraging individuals to pivot and retrain or turn their much-loved hobby into a new career. According to the Universities and College Admissions Service (UCAS), one sector that has seen a rise in student applications of all ages is nursing, due, in part, to the respect for healthcare professionals during the pandemic and wanting to help tackle coronavirus. For those considering a nursing career, t.

Undergraduate Degree

The traditional route to becoming a nurse is through completing an undergraduate degree; training that incorporates both practical and theoretical practices. The three-year course grants you the option to select a specialism if you wish to pursue a career within a particular field - adult, children, learning disabilities and mental health. However, some educational institutions now offer dual-field degrees, which allows for individuals to train in two fields, rather one. You will need two or three A-Levels and five GCSEs to be accepted onto an undergraduate nursing degree.

Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship (RNDA)

This year has also seen a change in how adult nursing courses are delivered, with some universities offering blended degrees with the theoretical elements available to learners online. But there is another option: a registered nurse degree apprenticeship (RNDA). This can be done part-time and involves the apprentice's employer releasing them to university and receiving training in various practice placements. These apprenticeships can take up to four years but could be less depending on previous experience and education.

Nursing Associate

Aside from RNDAs, another way is to become a nursing associate. These are newer roles, with nursing associates working alongside registered nurses and health care support workers. These trainee positions are advertised on NHS Jobs, but some universities accept direct applications for a Nursing Associate Foundation Degree which can take two years. With further training, a nursing associate can progress along the registered nurse route.

NHS Values

Alongside the standard qualifications required by each of the above pathways, applicants must embody the values and behaviours of the NHS. This is usually assessed through previous employment, volunteering history and life experiences.

1. Working together for patients
2. Respect and dignity
3. Commitment to quality of care
4. Compassion
5. Improving lives
6. Everyone counts

Nursing Specialisms

Nurses who specialise in adult nursing deliver care and support to all adults.

​Nurses who specialise in children deliver care and support to children and young adolescents.

Nurses who specialise in learning disabilities care and support the physical and mental health of adults and children with learning disabilities.

​Nurses who specialise in mental health deliver care and support to individuals suffering from mental illnesses. Mental health nurses also care for people living with Dementia, and those with drug and alcohol dependencies. They typically work as part of a multidisciplinary team consisting of GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, occupational and other therapists. For more information on mental health nurses, visit our mental health nurses blog.

Next Steps

Start your journey as nurse today by heading over to the UCAS website. Here, you can find everything you need to apply.

We are currently recruiting for a number of roles within nursing, ranging from Community Psychiatrics Nurses (CPN) to Registered General Nurses (RGN).

So, if you're a trained professional and you're looking for work, take a look at our available nursing jobs today.

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