Nursing in the UK - page 3

I am a registered nurse in the US, and I'd like to get some information on how nursing works in the UK...for example: 1. Are nurses called "Registered Nurses" or "Licensed Nurses" or are they... Read More

  1. by   Good_Queen_Bess
    Yes! I agree! They want to save money where I work, yet on the ward next door (same unit, but different ward), the other sunday (and this happens often), there was a G on the early, an F on a long day and another F on the late. On the HDU, there were TWO F-gardes on the early and 1 on the late. Over the bank hol, TWO G-grades where on on the same shift! I realise that on the HDU, someone senior has to be in charge, but TWO G's? They also expect me (a "humble" D-grade ) to take charge on my own on my ward, but keep saying there is no money to promote me. Hmmm.
  2. by   Whisper
    Sorry, for not replying sooner... I could lie and say I was studying, but I am actually enjoying a few rare days off!

    I am a MAD student the new Making a Difference Programme, next week nursing times is doing a special on all the changes this new learning system will have.... the only things is I have been doing it for two years now!

    The main change, is a greater emphasis on getting my CAP signed off and having to ahivee set clincial skills, also I am not on a block placement on a ward for say 4-6 weeks. My shortest placement is 10 weeks and the longest 16. However I can NOT go onto internal roation, or match all my shifts to a mentor, as I spen two days a one week at placement, three at university, and three days placement the next, and two at university.

    The staff get annoyed because we aren't there consistantly, and often have very little chance to follow a patient through, also many areas still expect us to do blocks of nights, which is impossible if we have to be at uni the next morning at eight.

    Which means we are effctively supernumorous, which does have benefits, but I hate doing nothing, and there are only so many times you can watch two other people give someone a bed bath....

    Most of the wards have cottoned on though, and are gettng better at alocating mentors, or actually allowing us to learn, the new paper work for mentos to fill inis hilarious, my last mentor awarded my a 7 on all my outcomes, which I had to go and explain to my personal supervisor, and will probabaly go down in my record, becasue the highest mark we can achieve is a level 4 for diplomma students, or a 5 for degree.


    I don't really want to say were I am studying, yes I am paranoid, although not many universities have adopted the new system, some are phasing it in. But I live in Yorkshire, so that narrows it down a bit.

    Sorry for babling, I shouldn't type when I am tired.

    Whisper
  3. by   Whisper
    By the way in case the winge doesn't show it, I REALLY am enjoying my course, and although the thought of finishing (hopefully) in one year scares the living daylight out of me, It is still something I really want to do

    I must have been droppped on my head at some point
  4. by   mae72
    hey nurses, just stop comparing nurses in USA and nurses triained in UK. What is most impt. " a nurse must be theoritically equipped so she has all the confidence in every nursing procedures and must have common sense too. Other nurses as what i have observe don't have that common sense. They just follow all the doctor's order without evaluating the patient's health status. Some nurses carry out the doctor's order even it is not neccessary like the very basic of giving HS meds (sedative).Two of my co-staff did that, they saw the patient asleep but still they ask the pt to get up and take the medicine . What kind of a nurse gush!!! Absolutely without common sense.Sorry to share what I have observed.
  5. by   bulletproofbarb
    An outsider point of view:


    We have both UK and USA trained nurses working in Australia. I prefer working with the UK trained nurses. They are more willing to work, they don't mind getting stuck in and don't tend to advertise their knowledge. They are quiet achievers. They don't have to stand on top of the building and say how great they are.

    Most USA nurses act like "doctor wannabies" and don't seem to be around when a patient needs washing because they have been incontinent.

    Just how I percieve the whole situation. No malice inteneded.
  6. by   indie
    One important difference, when looking at health care and nursing in different countries is to understand the philosophy of the service provided.

    Britain has a National Health Service - repeat a service to keep peoply healthy. There are actually incentives in the NHS for keeping people healthy and a specialized health qualification known as Health Visitor (post RN qualification). The major function of the HV is to visit people in their homes and to "assess health needs." What a concept!

    The NHS was set up to provide "bread for everyone, before cake and circuses for anyone." Translate that into immunizations and preventive care for all before heart transplants for 90 year olds.

    Many other countries have a service when people receive care when they are sick. And providers receive pay when people are sick, thus necessitating a huge medical billing and QA, QI, and case management staff.

    I have taught in both the USA and UK. I believe the UK still tries to give nurses an education and that the nursing care still allows an RN quite a lot of discretion in 'ordering' certain things him/herself. Because the pay is known to be low, there is still a certain amount of 'vocation' in UK nursing (not necessarily of a religious nature). Many UK RNs know they could earn more in a different field, but have chosen nursing.

    The USA does a very good job of training people to follow set pathways; e.g. if the assessment is such and such, then the interventions are . . . Because this can lead a less educated person to believe s/he has learned all the answers, then there is a certain culture in a few USA RNs of 'doctor wannabees.' I don't believe this is very common, but I have met this, especially in USA RNs outside the USA.

    I do know of RNs who entered USA nursing because it is a better paying job, for the amount of college involved, with more job openings, than many other minimum college options. And that is why some USA RNs stay in the work.

    However, I do believe we should continue to look at our best practice RNs on both sides of the pond and share our good stories and look at areas where practice and regulation could be better shared.

    In that vein, I have a pet peeve concerning qualifications:
    I have a fifteen year nursing career in the UK (also Health Visitor and Reg. Nurse Tutor) and a fifteen year career here in the USA, also credentialed nursing teacher.

    I am unable to practice, in the UK, my major specialty in the USA which is pediatrics because I am not a Reg. Sick Children's Nurse (RSCN) in the UK. Also, I cannot practice, in the USA, my major specialty in the UK (Public Health) because I cannot qualify for PHN (Public Health Nurse) in the USA. Crazy and a waste of resources.

    I do hope this post generates some responses!
  7. by   Geeg
    I have trained in and worked in the USA for 15 years. I am interested in working in the UK, and I see that some of the UK nurses are interested in working in the USA. We are hoping that the grass is greener or at least different on the other side!!!
  8. by   CCURN
    Seeing it from both perspectives, and deciding to stay in the USA and not to move back to the UK, despite having all my family there. I am not sure if the grass is greener
  9. by   Betty_SPN_KS
    This is an interesting thread. I would like to learn more about nursing in both the US and UK. I am a student practical nurse in the states (now halfway through the program). One of the first things I had to begin learning is assessments. I also have worked as nursing assistant (I think they're called care assistants in the UK), and I don't think I'm above cleaning a patient or nursing home resident after an incontinent episode.

    I have such a long way to go. There is still so much I don't know. I suppose learning for nurses is a lifelong process. But there is so much I need to learn before I graduate in May and take the NCLEX-PN exam. Then to decide when and how to move on to the RN level (I'm getting a late start. I'll be 40 in 4 days).
    I enjoy this BB and enjoy communicating with other nurses and student nurses.
  10. by   Sinead375
    I trained as a nurse in Ireland where I worked for 2yrs, I then moved to the UK and worked as a nurse in the National Health Service for 4 yrs
    I am now living in California and looking forward to working here. I have to say my experience as a nurse in the UK was an eye opener too. US trained nurses are the best in the world they take nursing to its limits and beyond I hope to learn lots from my US colleagues!!
    In the UK I worked for a measly 17000 per year...who can afford to live on that paltry sum.... in appalling conditions.... eg 32 bedded ward with 6 bedded high dependency unit equipped with 1 RN and 1 care assistant (who usually are not certified).
    Happy in California
  11. by   Eviene
    Any mental health nurses willing to opine? I work in the acute adult directorate and after positive pilots of a crisis resolution service, my trust is now implementing this service with a view to it becoming the gatekeepers of our service (previously, referrals were tertiary or from primary care-GPs and emergency services and also community mental health teams/assertive outreach teams for fast-tracked patients) The crisis resolution teams have significantly reduced inappropriate/social admissions in other trusts and considering our bed occupancy usually runs at between 150-200% I'm quite excited about it.

    Oh, A Happy New Year to everyone!
  12. by   Aphrodite
    In response to your post #9 regarding your experience working as a Nurse in the UK, I am sad that your experience wasn't a positive one. I am Scottish Nurse (RGN) now living and working Canada. First of all I think and in fact I'm sure that while in the UK you were working in a setting that perhaps even British trained working Nurses would have no particular respect for. Like all countries, there are institutions of varying quality and reputation. This is unfortunate of course but that is a fact. Unlike US residents, who are probably familiar with only their own surrounding health care facilities, that being that there are many States and the US is an enormous place. In the UK and especially in and around the cities, almost every Nurse knows of every Hospital - it's reputation and standing in the community. Because of this, British Nurses choose very carefully where they wish to work and this is in part due to protecting their own professional reputation and to gain the most out of their training. In other words, and at the risk of mentioning the British Class system, perhaps we are a little bit snobbish in this respect.(Pleaseeeeeeee for the Brits, undertand why I made this statement because you know what I am saying here even if our American counterpart doesn't) It may be compared to, for example a British Nurse working in the States in some small community hospital with a poor reputation, and over-worked minimally qualified staff, and never experiencing the wonderful professionalism of a larger US University affiliated Hospital. Of course, the British trained Nurse's experience would be negative just as your's is. With regard to your overtly rude and insestitive comment that US Nurses are better trained. I agree with another person's post that it has nothing to do with being better trained. It's about difference. British Nurses are very highly trained and I disagree completely that we have or take less responsibilty. I'm sorry but it is clear that you have absolutely no idea at all about the philosophy of Nursing in the UK or the components of our training, basing your arrogant opinions on your one experience. I trained in Scotland and albeit, our training is a little different even from the English training in certain aspects, ALL OF US BRITISH NURSES are exceptionally well trained and able to perform great care in all aspects.. When I came to work in Canada, I was shocked to discover that Nurses didn't do half the things that we were trained to do as Nurses. I also found that instead of using initiative to assess a patients pain needs or whatever and act accordingly by using our own jugement, the policy in Ontario AS IT IS IN MOST OF THE us is to pass the buck and run to get a 'Doctor's Order' for Tylenol!!! There is some comparison between Canadian Nurse practice and the American system and therefore I feel that I know what I'm talking about. Would you like me to go on!!!! I don't think so. Besides, we should be focusing on improving Nursing standards everywhere and instead of negative criticism, we should be trying to understand why we have such differences. For any Canadian Nurses viewing this, please do not be offended. My experience has been excellent but I think our American frind needs to be educated. Now at the risk of being sarcastic and I'm shocked at myself for being so but I have to say that I'm wondering if your choice of Hospital in the UK was because you perhaps weren't qualified enough to work in one of our very fine reputable teaching hospitals. My experience of many Americans is that they don't even know the difference between Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales. We are all British. A little lesson to be learned...be kind, polite and respectful. Think carefully before dishing out insults. Venting is good but this forum is hopefully about positive criticism and a learning tool.
  13. by   carcha
    Having trained in the U.K. and having worked in both the U.K. and North America I am really shocked at Mancusaoe's post. I dont know if she was trying to wind us all up but I am shocked that someone with her self professed skills, knowledge and experience should make such sweeping statements against a body of co workers who I am guessing treated her with more respect then she now shows them. If her post had identified her problem with one particular hospital then I could understand her "opinion", but to include the entire nursing profession of England Scotland and Wales is dreadful. Shame on you. I found good and bad in both my experiences in the U.K. and North America but so what. No where is perfect, no one is perfect. And personally if I had had as bad an experience as you I can assure you I would not have stayed in that hospital a minute longer then necessary, but you did , two years. So how bad was it really?

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