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Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Career Paths

Nursing is one of the most compassionate, rewarding career paths you can pursue. If you’re thinking of pursuing a career in nursing, here’s everything you need to know about nursing career paths.





What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Nurse?

In the UK, you must have five GCSEs and two A-levels or equivalent. You’ll also need a degree in nursing and will have to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

You’ll also have to demonstrate competent literacy and numeracy skills, complete a health questionnaire, declare any past criminal convictions and make your university aware of any police records they’ll need to check.

How Many Bands Are There in Nursing?

In the UK, there are nine bands of nursing which have different responsibilities and salaries. Band 1 consists of domestic support workers, drivers and nursery assistants, Band 2 is for healthcare assistants, Band 3 is for roles such as emergency care assistants and Band 4 is for theatre support workers.

Newly-qualified nurses start at the bottom of Band 5 and work their way up from there. Band 6 is for nursing specialists or senior nurses, Band 7 are advanced nurses or nurse practitioners, Band 8 consists of matrons and chief nurses and Band 9 is for consultant level nurses.

What Are the Everyday Roles and Responsibilities of Being a Nurse?

What you do in your everyday role as a nurse will vary depending on which area you specialise in, such as paediatric or adult nursing, for example. Typically, a nurse will do the following:


  • Observe and record patient behaviour.
  • Perform physical exams and diagnostic tests.
  • Collect patient health histories.
  • Provide counsel for patients and their families.
  • Educate patients about treatment plans.
  • Administer medications and other treatments.
  • Interpret patient information and make decisions accordingly.
  • Direct and supervise other healthcare professionals.


Different Types of Nursing You Can Specialise In

From cardiac nursing to prison nursing, there are a variety of nursing areas you can specialise in around the world.

For example, a nurse anaesthetist is a highly trained healthcare professional that specialises in anaesthesia during surgeries. A critical care nurse has a similar role to registered nurses, but is specially trained to handle emergency situations, whereas a geriatric nurse works specifically with older patients, providing care for any ailments or illnesses that older patients may have.

These are just a handful of the nursing specialisms you could pursue - there's also mental health nursing, learning disability nursing, neonatal nursing and so many more.

Because nursing is a skill that’s required around the world, there are lots of opportunities to work in another country, like the Netherlands, France, the UK and Germany, for example, even if you didn’t originally train there.


If you’re a qualified nurse and have an upcoming interview, it’s important to be prepared. We’ve created a comprehensive guide to nursing interviews so you can make the best first impression. 


Get the Best Tips for Your Nursing Interview

To pursue a career in nursing, at some stage, you’ll need to do an interview. To help you stand out from the other candidates, we’ve created a guide full of everything you need to feel well prepared and ready for your nursing interview. Don’t miss out - download the guide below!

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