Careers in Nursing and Midwifery

Nursing and Midwifery are honourable and fulfilling careers, one important aspect to note is that the way health care is directed is also changing. As the need for more hospital beds goes up and the health care system is burdened with attempts to provide for patients in limited areas, health care has moved to the community and home. More nurses are providing support for patients in their homes or in long-term care facilities. There is also a greater focus on prevention as we learn more about how diet and other lifestyle factors influence the onset and management of disease. In this way, your opportunities in nursing are far broader than they were even a decade ago. For this reason, nursing is a career that can satisfy many different people.

With so many areas of Nursing and Midwifery to choose from, the career is actually one that can appeal to many different kinds of people with a range of strengths and preferences. Still, some of the basic qualities found in nurses are ones that are universally shared. You need to work well in a team environment and you also need to be healthy and physically fit. Emotionally and mentally, you need to be capable of handling the challenges of caring for very ill patients, some of whom will inevitably die. You also need to have good communication skills and be able to stay calm during a health crisis or when dealing with a difficult or abusive patient. Also necessary is confidentiality and the ability to make people comfortable and trusting of your role.

All Nurses and Midwives working in the UK must be registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) and, before registration is accepted, must have successfully completed an approved programme of education. They must also meet the NMC requirements of good health and good character. In the UK, Nursing and Midwifery education and training programmes are only run at NMC approved educational institutions and based on health and social care settings. Courses usually take a minimum of three years.

Nursing and Midwifery training takes place at an NMC approved educational institution (University), with at least half of the programme based in clinical practice with direct contact with patients and families. This can include the home, community, hospitals, independent and voluntary organisations. During the programme, students are tought to understand, promote and facilitate safe and effective patient care. They are taught when to call for assistance and implement emergency measures, often in conjunction with other health professionals. For Midwifery training, students are taught to understand, promote and facilitate normal childbirth and to identify complications that may arise in women and babies. They are taught when to call for assistance and implement emergency measures, often in conjunction with other health professionals.

Promoting health and wellbeing is an important role for Nurses and Midwives. Students learn and are assessed on how to provide unbiased information and communicate effectively with a range of patients, families and other health care professionals.

Further details about the training programmes and the work nurses do, can be obtained from the NHS Careers website. For a list of universities approved by the NMC to provide pre-registration nursing programmes please search NMC approved programmes.

Entry requirements for Nursing - please follow this link:

Entry requirements for Midwifery - please follow this link:

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