What You Need To Know About Training To Be A Nurse
Are you thinking of training to become a nurse? Nurses work in every type of health setting you can think of, from accident and emergency, to working in patient’s homes. It really goes without saying that there are plenty of skills and qualities associated with being a nurse, for example, being able to work under pressure, as well as having good communication and observation skills. That said, a career in nursing attracts all kinds of people with varying backgrounds. However, in order to work in the NHS as a nurse, there are also academic requirements. You must hold a degree or diploma in nursing, otherwise known as a pre-registration programme. Doing so leads to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which then enables you to practice as a fully qualified nurse. In this post, we’re detailing the ways in which you can work towards registration, as there are numerous different options available to you.
Branches of nursing
However, before discussing the different types of pre-registration programmes available, it is important to understand the different branches offered for these. Generally speaking, you will need to decide which branch you would like to train for before applying for your pre-registration programme. In some cases, you may be offered the flexibility to choose your branch after having started the course, however, this is rare and so it is wise to choose beforehand. The four branches are - adult, children, learning disability and mental health. Depending on the programme that you choose, some may offer a combination. Generally speaking, you will begin to specialise your training during your second and third years of study on a full-time course.
1. Pre-registration nursing degree
Pre-registration nursing degrees are full-time courses, offered by the majority of universities across the UK. They are three-year degree programmes that integrate theory and practice. This is arguably the most popular way in which many aspiring nurses work towards their registration. Upon successful completion, students are awarded an academic and professional qualification.
2. Pre-registration diploma of higher education in nursing
A pre-registration diploma in nursing follows a similar pattern to that of a pre-registration nursing degree. They are also generally three-year courses which, again, integrate theory and practice. The main difference between the two is the academic level at which students complete their studies, with diploma courses completing level 5 throughout the course, whereas degree students typically study at level 4 in the first year, level 5 in their second and level 6 in their final year. With that in mind, it could be said that the degree course is more academically intensive. However, both courses give the necessary qualifications to apply for registration with the NMC.
3. Nursing degree apprenticeship
A nursing degree apprenticeship is an alternative route to working towards your registration with the NMC. It is an ideal option for students who may be concerned about the costs involved with full-time study. A degree apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to earn money whilst you study for your pre-registration nursing degree. Upon successful completion, students will meet the qualifications necessary to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
4. Part-time study
For those that perhaps have other life commitments or are looking for a career change and wish to fit their studies around their working hours, aspiring nurses also have the option to consider part-time study programmes. They are also available to staff working in the NHS. Part-time courses are offered by a select number of universities across the UK, and last five or six years.
After your pre-registration programme
Once you have successfully completed your pre-registration programme, whichever you may choose to opt for, you can then apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Once registered, you will become a fully qualified nurse and can apply for nursing posts.