Questions on Nursing in England

  1. 0
    Greetings,

    I watched a show on BBCA last night "24 in the ER" which is a documentary where they film 24 hours in an ER in a major hospital in England. There are interviews and follow ups with patients and staff and so on.

    My questions are regarding the titles of some of the staff they interviewed. There were nurses, but some titles I don't know: sister, junior sister, senior sister, and consultant. What is the difference between a sister and a nurse?

    Just wondering.

    If you know, please let me know. Thank you!
  2. 17 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Quote from cacentralvalley
    Greetings,

    I watched a show on BBCA last night "24 in the ER" which is a documentary where they film 24 hours in an ER in a major hospital in England. There are interviews and follow ups with patients and staff and so on.

    My questions are regarding the titles of some of the staff they interviewed. There were nurses, but some titles I don't know: sister, junior sister, senior sister, and consultant. What is the difference between a sister and a nurse?

    Just wondering.

    If you know, please let me know. Thank you!
    RGN = REGISTERED GENERAL NURSE
    SISTER - STAFF NURSE
    JUNIOR SISTER - JUNIOR STAFF NURSE
    SENIOR SISTER - SENIOR NURSE OR CHARGE NURSE
    I did RGN training back in the 80s in UK and was a SISTER there for a while while I work in OR and Oncology for a while...but that has been my experience in my early 20s...
    Yes...we really look like a "SISTER" with caps, black tights and black shoes, silver buckle, white and starched apron etc....LIGHT BLUE uniform for staff nurse and DARK BLUE UNIFORM with lacy hat for the CHARGE NURSE OR SENIOR SISTER....go to the UK forums for more...

    I am asian and was a nurse midwife in my country...went there for further education....
  4. 1
    Staff nurses and sisters are all RNs, and sister is an older term for a Charge Nurse. Junior and senior sisters roles can vary by specialty, but generally they can both take charge of the shift, and run the clinical area, although the senior sisters tend to have responsibilities beyond the current situation, usually for clinical training, or allocating the 'off-duty' work roster, stock-ordering, liaison with other departments, etc.
    That's pretty vague I know, but there is no strict definition, it varies a lot.


    Consultant is the senior doc in a specialty. next man down is the registrar, (or sometimes the staff grade), and then the juniors are 'housemen', which is an older term sometimes still used, They are newly quaified, and working their way through clinical placements usually of 6 months duration. They do 2 years intotal, called Foundation Years, and therefore its not uncommon for them to be referred to as FY1s and FY2s.

    Just to really confuse you, specialist nurses are sometimes called nurse consultants. Examples would be diabetes specialist nurses, tissue viability/wound care, stoma care, etc. Most have prescribing ability, and are very well paid.


    Oh and there are no LPNs, they were called enrolled nurses but have gone now. CNAs are called HCAs, healthcare assistants.

    Bet that's all as clear as mud?
    tyvin likes this.
  5. 0
    Thank you so much....a bit clearer than mud...just kidding. I enjoyed the show and was curious about the titles. Thanks again!
  6. 1
    Hi
    we have the following:
    Health Care Assistant - prepared up to NVQ Level 3, sometimes called Clinical Support Worker or CSW, nearest thing would be a CNA or Tech. They are usually on Agenda For Change or AFC banding 1 to 3.
    Staff Nurse - AFC band 5 - minimum 3 years course at uni. Prepared to either Diploma or Batchelors degree level, both 3 years at university.
    Junior Sister - AFC band 6 - usually have extra responsibilities.
    Senior Sister - AFC band 7 - the unit or ward manager
    Modern Matron - AFC band 8 - will be in charge of a directorate eg unplanned care.
    tyvin likes this.
  7. 0
    Worked in the UK for 4 years and agree with Skylark and MaryAnn.

    Senior sister = charge nurse here. We often just called ours 'sister' as we had no junior sisters on our unit. Regular staff nurses were never called 'sister' in our hospital, only senior nurses who had taken on extra leadership and administrative roles in addition to their clinical work were called that. I suppose it was probably different in the 80s.

    Just to clarify too
    House officer = intern
    Registrar = resident
    Consultant = Attending

    I learned the titles very quickly because registrars did not like being 'house officer' by mistake!

    Another interesting factoid is that in the UK surgeons insist on being called 'Mr." not "Dr." Only physicians are called "Dr." There is a long and (to me) kind of interesting story about why, which has to do with the origins of their profession, but these distinctions are still quite important to people there.
  8. 0
    moved to our international nursing united kingdom (uk) nurses forum.
  9. 0
    Thank you so much for the clarification. I, too, enjoy the program, "24 Hrs. in the ER" as well as "Bizarre ER". It is so interesting to find out how things are classified in other places.

    Thank you again.
  10. 0
    Consultants are called Mr as surgical training in the middle ages was different than physicians training http://www.rcseng.ac.uk/patient_info.../surgeons.html
  11. 0
    Is there a name for fellows?

    It's someone who's completed their residency (registrar) and now wants to further specialize...

    For example, to become a neonatologist, you first have to have 3 years of residency (registrar) of pediatrics and then you complete a fellowship of 3 years. Or for like pediatric oncologists, urologists, etc etc


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