Nursing in the UK - page 7

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   gwenhyfar
    Quote from Karen30
    HI

    I am assuming that the 1 indicates that you are a first level registered nurse.
    What is a first level RN? Does that just mean brand new, starting at the beginning? Or does it take into account the 20+ years of experience I have?
    Thanks for the help.
  2. by   Jast
    RN 1, means you are a registered general nurse. It does not refer to your years of experience. There are different numbers for midwives and psychiatric nurses etc.
    Last edit by Jast on Aug 2, '04 : Reason: Update profile
  3. by   gwenhyfar
    Quote from Jast
    RN 1, means you are a registered general nurse. It does not refer to your years of experience. There are different numbers for midwives and psychiatric nurses etc.
    Thank you!
  4. by   EarthAngel
    There is and always will be a difference in practice between al countries of the world. Every country and every area within any given country has different needs in regards to nursing and therefore nurses are trained to cater (for lack of a better word) to the needs of his or her patients. I have never worked as a nurse in the UK, but having lived over seas extensively, most of my encounters with nursing staff from the patient perspective have been with UK, particularly British, trained nurses. They inspired me to want to become a nurse, and to become a midwife, a goal I am still working toward.

    Here in the US, I feel that nurses are under more pressure-from legal stand points, such as, if anything goes wrong, you are guilty until proven innocent, and even then, you are reprimanded and could very likely lose your job. Nurses in the US very seldom recieve acknowledgement of their dedication and hard work-from patients, co-workers, superiors or anyone! Which may tend to make them more ...vocal.. about their knowledge or achievements. I dont know what its like for a UK nurse when it comes to that sort of things, but when patients are screaming lawsuit every two seconds, (like here in the US) I think UK nurses are better able to focus on the care they give and have a closer relationship with their patients as a result (less fear=better care?) Just an idea. Please dont flame. Im just the type that tries to look at both sides of the coin at the same time.

    Im not defending one country or another. This thread wasnt started, I dont believe, to flame anyone, but out of curiousity and maybe the perspective of one broadening their experiences around the world of nursing. We as nurses need to learn from one another and accept that we are human and as humans will make mistakes and will never know EVERYthing. Especially in such a dynamic pratice as healthcare.

    Peace to all.
  5. by   pej11uk
    greetings from england!

    it's really amusing to read this thread as people are trying to outdo each other by maligning one another. i originally thought that people went to take up nursing as a career because they want to care for people who needed it. and the people who are recipients of that care do not really care whether you are trained in the US or UK or wherever, as long as you have a caring attitude and you know what you are doing, that is all that matters. but i will continue reading as i find it really entertaining.

    As regards you queries, may i first tell you that i was trained in asia, my nursing training patterned after that of the US but is now practicing here in the UK. I am currently working in the NHS, and to tell you honestly, at first i was not impressed - equipments wise -as back home i have used more advanced equipments. But nursing is not knowing how to use the most modern equipments, it is about being conscientious of the care you are giving another person. this is now my fifth year in the UK as a nurse.

    I am currently working in an infectious diseases unit - very interesting. I am respected by my colleagues for the knowledge that i am sharing with them and in return, they are happy showing me the way they do things. I am very fortunate to be working in a a very multi-culturally diverse unit, where everyone's contribution in the care of a patient is well appreciated. Whether the collegial relationship is vertical or horizontal, the multi-disciplinary team work together to achieve its purpose - to make the patient better.

    It is entirely up to the person whether they wanted to grow or remain stagnant in their post. i can say that opportunities are always available to better yourself, and the support is always there.

    Of course you may encounter the most horrible colleagues and patients, but if you are true to your calling, then i guess you can use that experience as way to improve yourself.

    i hope you'll have a great time when you become a full-pledged nurse. and please, be a good nurse.









    Quote from andywhite
    Greetings!

    Wow, this whole US/UK issue is a heated subject. I will assume that any situation depends on your expecations and what you make of it. I remain openminded on the subject.

    Anyway, to my questions

    I am a Nursing student in the US and my long range plans include spending a couple of years (or possibly more) over in the UK.

    I would like to get a general idea of the atmosphere of the health profession in the UK and the working environments for RN's.

    Is there room for growth in responsilbity and pay? Meaning if you really apply yourself and acquire more responsilbity, can you grow professionally as well?
    Is the field respected in the UK?
    Are there many nurses who specialize in particular areas (infectious disease, oncology, etc.)?
    Which area do you think has the best working enviroment? Public, private? Institutional hospitals or small practices?
    What is the general relationships between nurses and doctors? Who is doing most of the care and evaluation?

    Thanks so much.
  6. by   liza tamkin
    Hello there would love to be able to help I work in a general ICU and I trained in canada. I have seen both sides of the fence and I am quite happy to nurse here in the UK. email me if you like and we can have a better chat. But the best advise that you have is this " go into this new adventure with an open mind, expect there to be diffrences but don't constantly compare. be positive and you will do just fine. your new workplace will learn alot about you by the way that you take CARE of your patient... We do everything on my unit with regards to personal care and we take pride in the fact that we have time to wash our patients hair and put curlers in upon occasion... It is a two way street with regards to international nursing. both parties learn from each other as long as you all keep an open mind!!
    Quote from shadows mom
    I'm moving to UK in 2005. Can an ICU nurse from UK help me plan ahead on transitioning to NHS system of 'doing things'? I am currently working on licensure through the NMC. I have soooo many questions and would love to hear from someone currently working Intensive Care.
  7. by   Darcifly
    I have been a RN in the US for almost 13 years. I have heard that in the UK Nursing is a much more united front and has alot of political strength. Here in the US we can barely be called a "profession" by the exact definition of the word because we are so fragmented. We have a national "governing body" the American Nurses Association, but only a small percentage of all licensed nurses in the US belong to it. It has been often said that US nurses "eat their young" and whereas I have always strived to be an exception to that rule I do see it happening. I am presently moving forward towards a goal of obtaining my Masters degree in Nursing so I can teach at the University level. In the meantime I would like to spend some time in the UK and other places to see how nursing is done in other parts of the world and cultures. I love my career and think it is the best choice for a woman or a man who desires to be in a caring field that offers a great deal of security, flexibilty and autonomy for those willing to take on the challenge. My husband went back to school after 15 years and became a RN (he was a police officer). Darci
  8. by   jjjez
    Quote from DavidFR
    Which is exactly why the government did so badly in last weekend's regional elections. If you look at the cantonal map of France it is now all red apart from Alscace which is the only region not to have gone socialist.
    Unlike the British, the French don't vote for tax cuts every time. They are very attached to their (very good) public services, and if they see them under threat (as under the Raffarin government), they vote accordingly. this is somewhat different from the British who rather selfishly voted for 19 years of Tory tax cuts, and now wonder why they have rubbish schools, hospitals at crisis points and trains that don't work.

    IF you can tell us the last time we had a tax cut i'll give you a fifty!!! And it's also because we have a bit more traction on lifes road of problems, considering france riots everytime the students are angry or blocades ports when the farmers subsidies aren't high enough. we cant vote for tax cuts.
  9. by   RNNoMore
    Interesting posts.....I'm British born, emigrated to the USA 4 years ago and have just started my Associates Degree in Nursing, to become an RN. After that I hope to go straight on to get my Bachelors Degree. I've been trying to find out about the differences between British and American nursing, and whether I will be able to work back in England when (or if) we go home. Having grown up with the National Health Service, I am quite aware of it's limitations (spent many a time sitting in Casualty for 5 or 6 hours before even being Triaged, waiting 2 or more years for needed surgery etc.), However, I am also becoming aware of the limitations in US nursing - the most frightening aspect of which is litigation. Here, the RN is responsible for everyone else's mistakes - the CNA makes a mistake, the RN in charge of him/her is responsible. The doctor writes the wrong order for meds and the nurse gives it - the nurse is responsible. I've heard of several nursing students who have 'lost their licence' before they've even got it because of making a mistake. It's all very scary. As a student, I am finding that we have to learn about how to do procedures that we will never be asked to perform, because these procedures are only performed by Doctors - it's all a bit OTT for this level of nursing, IMO. We also have to assess whether the patient can afford the care we are recommending for them I don't have much experience of actually being a patient here in the US, other than being asked by my doctor which medications I would like to have (!!!!!), to which I replied "Isn't that your job to decide?" LOL! It gets curiouser and curiouser.....

    Best wishes, Paint.
  10. by   Mike RGN
    Partial quote
    Quote from Paint

    However, I am also becoming aware of the limitations in US nursing - the most frightening aspect of which is litigation. Here, the RN is responsible for everyone else's mistakes - the CNA makes a mistake, the RN in charge of him/her is responsible. The doctor writes the wrong order for meds and the nurse gives it - the nurse is responsible.

    Best wishes, Paint.
    Same here in the UK
  11. by   elnski
    [
    ... However, UK nurses are not responsible for heart/lung/bowel sounds, majority do not cannulate or catheterize. Nursing in the UK was very basic in compariosn to the US. US nurses are trained better and have more responsibility...ethically, morally, legally!
    On the other hand, the patients were very grateful of their care and rarely complained.
    (true, and they wouldnt just sue u for anything they can think of)


    ...Hmmm....i had my nursing education and degree very similar w/ the american standard but am practicing my profession now here in the UK.. i have learned the practical side of nursing here and there are practices which they called evidenced-based.. twas an eye opener for me somehow..that i dont have to swab the skin w/ spirit prior to my s/c injxns... been here for some time and i never encountered a problem related to it.. my experience here is not very basic..we do a LOT of cannulation, venepuncture, catheterization, pulling out of chest tubes (once assessed as competent), ECG interpretation, taking blood gases from ear lobes (capillary) and lastly... initiating non-invasive ventilation...of which id find myself jobless in america if i will pursue in this special area...
    UK has made an important milestone w/ this treatment (whether acute or chronic respiratory failure focus) and Ive seen them save lives!!! Amazing...i believe this is not taking place properly in America yet..i dunno.. the rationale behind each nursing intervention in their practice may not be very very well defended by the new qualified nurses YET--but watch them grow (well, growth can be hindered if there's an attitude.. . the nurses you have worked w/ must have chosen not to be competent in doing those simple tasks...but as far as im aware, the Brits I and my colleagues have worked w/ r not helpless to carry 'em out... How can nursing be so simple here that they have nurse prescribers, nurse consultants, medical nurse practitioners, etc..

    i guess your awareness have been limited by your disbelief..
  12. by   Good_Queen_Bess
    Quote from elnski
    [
    ... However, UK nurses are not responsible for heart/lung/bowel sounds, majority do not cannulate or catheterize. Nursing in the UK was very basic in compariosn to the US. US nurses are trained better and have more responsibility...ethically, morally, legally!
    On the other hand, the patients were very grateful of their care and rarely complained.
    (true, and they wouldnt just sue u for anything they can think of)


    ...Hmmm....i had my nursing education and degree very similar w/ the american standard but am practicing my profession now here in the UK.. i have learned the practical side of nursing here and there are practices which they called evidenced-based.. twas an eye opener for me somehow..that i dont have to swab the skin w/ spirit prior to my s/c injxns... been here for some time and i never encountered a problem related to it.. my experience here is not very basic..we do a LOT of cannulation, venepuncture, catheterization, pulling out of chest tubes (once assessed as competent), ECG interpretation, taking blood gases from ear lobes (capillary) and lastly... initiating non-invasive ventilation...of which id find myself jobless in america if i will pursue in this special area...
    UK has made an important milestone w/ this treatment (whether acute or chronic respiratory failure focus) and Ive seen them save lives!!! Amazing...i believe this is not taking place properly in America yet..i dunno.. the rationale behind each nursing intervention in their practice may not be very very well defended by the new qualified nurses YET--but watch them grow (well, growth can be hindered if there's an attitude.. . the nurses you have worked w/ must have chosen not to be competent in doing those simple tasks...but as far as im aware, the Brits I and my colleagues have worked w/ r not helpless to carry 'em out... How can nursing be so simple here that they have nurse prescribers, nurse consultants, medical nurse practitioners, etc..

    i guess your awareness have been limited by your disbelief..
    I was going to defend my 'basic' skills as a nurse, but I couldn't have said better myself. Thank you.
  13. by   elnski
    .... 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?[/QUOTE]
    I agree...

    This is what happens: a fellow nurse who acts like she knows evrythin..as in omniscient, ends up doing all these kind of jobs.(cannulating, venepuncture, etc..etc.) because she enjoys the drawn attention that only her can do it right... unknown to her, it could be done purposely..

    well, i enjoyed working w/ my mate who is very excited to show off his skills...saves me efforts..more tym for my cup of tea...:hatparty:

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