Why become a nurse?

Nursing is a hands-on job that requires personal strengths, applying them daily in order to help others.

Female student nurse looking confident and smiling.

There’s no doubt that a career in nursing is extremely rewarding – as well as being highly challenging at times. As a nurse, you’ll regularly be employing skills such as organisation, resilience, critical thinking, adaptability, communication and compassion. There are few other careers which require such a broad range of human abilities.

A Clear Career Trajectory

If you become a nurse in the National Health Service (NHS), you’ll be able to calculate your salary from day one of your new career. This is because NHS jobs are all graded according to a band system. For example, when you start out as a Children's Nurse, your starting salary will be £21,692 (with 20% added to this if you live in central London).

For each year you work for the NHS, your salary will increase according to the figures laid out by the government. Knowing what you will earn provides you with the stability you need to be able to make important life decisions such as where to live, and whether you can afford a mortgage.

Nursing Education

Students studying towards nursing degrees need to decide whether to specialise in adult nursing, child nursing, mental health nursing or learning disibility nursing. Each of these four specialisms has its own benefits and strengths, and require you to draw on different skillsets.

Why Become An Adult Nurse?

Adult Nurses work with adults of all ages and with a wide range of physical health conditions, which makes for an extremely varied job. The career opportunities for adult nurses are huge, with specialisms in a particular field such as A&E or operating theatres, to care for the elderly or working in public health. In the future, more adult nursing jobs are expected to be in the community rather than in hospitals as care is increasingly delivered outside of these settings.

Why Become A Child Nurse?

Child Nurses are given the chance to make a real difference to the lives of those starting out in the world, which can potentially be very rewarding. There are few things as meaningful as caring for a sick new born baby until they are well enough to go home, or making life easier for the parent of a sick teenager. Children’s Nurses work with children and young people with long term and complex conditions in a variety of settings such as home, hospice or hospitals. Working in schools can be very worthwhile as you’re given the opportunity to care for future generations. Child nurses may choose to specialise in management or teaching.

Why Become A Mental Health Nurse?

Mental Health Nurses have the opportunity to support those who are really struggling with mental health conditions. These types of nurses have a chance to dramatically improve their patient's lives and will need to draw on their own personal compassion in order to deal with sensitive issues and delicate situations. It can be extremely rewarding to know you have made a difference to someone who had previously been considering self-harming or putting someone else’s life at risk. Mental health nurses may choose to specialise in working with vulnerable young people or adult men and women.

Why Become A Learning Disability Nurse?

Learning Disability Nurses make a difference to the lives of those who would otherwise risk being marginalised by society. They work to improve wellbeing and social inclusion by supporting those with learning disabilities in their mental and physical health. Learning disability nurses may teach individuals skills that help them find employment and therefore lead happier, more independent lives, which is highly satisfying. This career also presents possibilities for specialisms in areas such as education and sensory disability, or a move into management or clinical research.

Nursing Motivations – Heading For The Top!

Once you have been a nurse for a few years, you may wish to advance your career further in order to achieve higher job satisfaction – and a higher salary to match. As a nurse, you’ll be able to follow a clearly defined career trajectory. Progress will be achieved as you gain experience and embark on extra training to expand your nursing education. You may, for example, choose to become a senior staff nurse – a role which attracts a salary of around £25,065.

Those with higher nursing motivations may attempt to reach a more advanced position in the NHS. Nurse consultants, the highest possible nursing position, can take home up to £69,168.