I'm thinking of persuing a career in Nursing

  1. Hey everyone - I decided to post this in here instead of the Student forum as I feel that nursing students or nurses from the UK would be able to help me out better

    My name's Jonathan, I'm 15 and in my last year of cumpolsary high school education - after this I'm thinking of going onto college to study Health and Social Care Vocational A Levels & Social Care - successful completion of this programme awards students two A Levels

    I've chosen not to go to Sixth Form as I feel that College would make me feel more motivated and would help me to take the course more seriously than I would at school with my friends - also - I know that at sixth form you can't just take one course - you have to take others aswell...I think you take 4 and then drop your weakest one after your first year which means you'd gain 3 a-levels overall and I think I'd prefer the college option anyway

    The health and social care courses open are:-

    - BTEC Level 1 Introductory Diploma
    - BTEC First Diploma
    - And the one I'm thinking of taking - Vocational A Levels Health & Social Care

    Now the first two are one year programmes and I know You cant do your Nurse training till you are 17 and a half which means I'd have around 6 months of doing nothing whereas I'd gain more qualifications if I did the third one

    My cousin who is a nurse said that I can apply now for an intake, it is 3 years long and at the end of it you have a "Registered Nurse Diploma in Higher Education" - is this what you study at University and then you can go onto seeking employment or is this something completely different? what are the other options?

    I know that In order to be a nurse you need to have 5 GCSE's C and above and one has to be English, Maths or Science - now I've already took my science GCSE which I got a D in so I need to get a C or above in English and Maths and I feel that English is my stronger subject and I know that if I keep on top of everything I will hopefully achieve this. The other 4 GCSE's I need I was thinking that because I do a GNVQ in Health and Social Care already and because it is worth 4 GCSE's would this be suitable if I successfully complete my GNVQ Intermediate level Health and Social care

    I'm a bit confused about the options in nursing - two of my cousins are nurses and one specialises in Renal and dialysis etc but in programmes such as Holby City nurses in there deal with many things and don't really specialist in one thing - also in Casualty as it is the emergency department you deal with a variety of things in there aswell - how do I know which option would suit me best? I guess I need to do lots of research

    My cousin told me The best thing I can do is ring my nearest hospital and ask to be put through to "Registry at the School of Nursing" then ask them to post me an information pack and an application so I think that's what I'm going to do

    I've always been interested in becoming a nurse since I was little and I think now it's time for me to finally go for it

    I would really appreciate as many replies as possible about my options and questions I've asked and what you chose to do to become a Nurse - It would really help me out and as I've said I would very much appreciate it

    Thanks in advance

    Jonathan :angel2:
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Silverdragon102
    Hi Jonathon

    Welcome to the site. I wouldn't worry to much about specialising just yet, wait until after you have qualified as that is when the real learning begins and you will have plenty of chances to move around and decide which specialitiy is for you. Most wards whether medical or surgical cover a variety of conditions but you will find the consultant incharge of the ward will generally have a speciality of their own, ie general medical consultant with a special interest in endocrinology.

    Another thing to think about, if you are planning on working abroad better whilst arranging university placements ect to ask them about doing both theory and practical work in all areas ie mental health, paeds, midwifery as well as general. This is because some countries like the US and Canada like you to have a generic training which in the UK does not really happen, the training is more specialised.

    You are much better getting in touch with universities regarding nurse training as that is where it is all done and they will be able to send you information pack plus you can also access information on their websites.

    Good luck and hope this helps
  4. by   oldbean

    Hello Johnathan and welcome. Really nice to know your considering going into nursing, i know nursing can sometimes have a bad press but its a fantastic career with a wealth of opportunities.
    Nursing is studied at two academic levels Diploma and degree both are generally 3 years in length and both comprise of 50% practical (clinical placements) and 50% theory (academic assignments etc)on successful completion of either course you gain RN (registered nurse) status. Nursing can be studied in 4 different branches 1) Adult (on completion you can work on any adult ward/unit/department 2) Mental health (when qualified you work with patients with mental health problems) 3) Learning Disabilities 4) Child. To study at degree level you need 2/3 A-levels to study at diploma level you need GCSE's (or equivenlent) five at A*-C (note: not all universities require theses GCSE gades to be in Maths and Science however i believe they all require Englich grade A*-C. Universities also require at satisfactory CRB and health clearence although this is dealt with after they offer you a place. And yes you are rigth in saying you need to be at least 171/2 years to study nursing (17yrs in scotland i think).
    As a student you will have a chance to experience all different specialities so don't worry about specialising till you are qualified.
    Anyways I hope this has helped at a bit please feel free to post any other queries.
    P.S these website might help

    www.nhscareers.nhs.uk
    www.nmas.ac.uk
    www.rcn.org.uk
    Last edit by oldbean on Feb 25, '07 : Reason: correction spelling
  5. by   leadingsteward
    Hi oldbean and Silverdragon102 - that certainly did help

    So am I right in thinking that A levels are definately needed now as two of my cousins are nurses and the time until they reached 17 1/2 they studied A levels but they were not needed but this was 5-8 years ago

    Jonathan
  6. by   Silverdragon102
    universities have their own requirements, better to check what is required by the uni you want to go to
  7. by   chzza
    Quote from leadingsteward
    Hi oldbean and Silverdragon102 - that certainly did help

    So am I right in thinking that A levels are definately needed now as two of my cousins are nurses and the time until they reached 17 1/2 they studied A levels but they were not needed but this was 5-8 years ago

    Jonathan
    Hi jonathan

    you need A'Levels or equivalent to do the degree but you only need 5 GCSE's above grade C (including maths, science and English) to do the diploma level. so it depends whether you want to do the degree or diploma.
  8. by   Clarecartwright
    Hi Jonathan

    So pleased you are considering becoming a nurse it is a great profession and you will meet so many wonderful people, It is one of the few jobs in the world where you go home after a long day and actually feel as if you have helped to make a difference.

    I agree with Silver Dragon do not worry about specialising just yet as you have 3 years to decide what part of nursing interests you the most.

    Obviously you have to decide now which branch of nursing you want to study there are 4 in all : Childrens, Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Adult, I would always reccomend people to go for adult first and then do a further 18 Months if you decide you would rather choose a different branch of nursing because then you would be dual trained which is a bonus.

    Keep us posted on how you get on

    Love Clare

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