10 Reasons to Become a Nurse in the UK

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Whether you’re a young adult or a mature professional, there are lots of exciting reasons to become a nurse – and this article is going to provide you with a detailed look at the top 10 reasons you might want to consider becoming a nurse overseas in the UK. 

Since the start of 2020, the spotlight has been on nurses. Now, nurses are held in extremely high regard around the world, largely due to the services they provided during the COVID-19 pandemic. When people needed them the most, nurses were there. 

So there’s a lot to thank them for! 

Of course, due to the increased attention on nursing, many people have decided that they want to become nurses, themselves. At the same time, many other people – especially young adults – are at least giving some consideration to it – and rightfully so. After all, being a nurse is a fantastic career to have. 

With that said, here are 10 reasons why you should become a nurse if you’re thinking of UK employment. Let’s go. 

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1. There are Endless Degree and Studying Opportunities

In the world of nursing, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ degree. There are various degrees that you can choose from that enable you to take specific career paths. For example, you can study a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or an Associate Degree in Nursing (which is typically the shorter option of the two). 

You can even study for your bachelor’s and then continue your education into a Master’s of Science in Nursing, which then opens the opportunity for you to become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (better pay, increased responsibilities). 

Also, you can now choose the medium of study that suits your specific lifestyle.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re a busy mother who works and also looks after your children at home. In this type of situation, you simply won’t have the time to study at university full-time, as this would mean attending classes on-campus and various other complications. 

Luckily, the solution is simple: you can study remotely, instead. 

Now, thousands of individuals are studying nursing degrees from the comfort of their own homes. Usually, these types of degrees are provided by open universities, which allow mature students to study part-time without having to make drastic changes to their lives. 

Alternatively, if you’re a young person who has just recently finished sixth form or college, you can go the standard route of moving to a university campus and studying full-time. Essentially, you have total freedom to do what’s best for you! 

2. People Need You 

Nurses are some of the most valuable healthcare professionals in the world today. People need them more than ever before – and this is especially true now that the pandemic is coming to an end. NHS backlogs are going to take years to complete, which is why nurses are going to be so important throughout this entire process. 

In addition to this, it’s also likely that healthcare demands will go through the roof over the coming years due to undiagnosed illnesses and other problems. Without nurses, it will put immense strain on the NHS and other healthcare systems. 

3. You Can Work in the Public or Private Sector

As a qualified nurse, you will have the option to work in the public or private health sector – both of which come with their advantages. Generally, private sector nursing requires less physical effort and demand due to lower patient demand. However, it can be more difficult to find private-sector nursing roles in comparison to public sector ones (such as with the NHS), which is something to bear in mind! 

4. Demand is High 

Currently, 2022 trends in nursing are changing the industry. One of the biggest trends is that the demand for nursing is at an all-time high. This is great for people who are dreaming about becoming nurses. After getting the relevant qualifications, there will be no need to worry about not being able to find a job, as there are endless institutions – from hospitals to private healthcare practices – that you will be able to join as a nurse. 

Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that (since the start of the 2020 pandemic) the demand for nursing degrees has risen by a third in the UK. Interestingly, 39% of applicants for these nursing degrees are mature students who are often working other jobs, which shows that the appeal of nursing is growing a lot. Plus, it also highlights that it’s never too late to start a career in nursing – no matter what age you are! 

The NHS in England is currently short of 38,952 nurses. When you take into account that hospital beds are often in short supply, this is a staggering statistic! 

5. In the Case of Another Pandemic, You Will Be Key

If another pandemic was to hit the UK over the next decade or two, you would be key to many people’s survival. 

As you witnessed with the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses were out on the frontline from the very beginning, hence why ‘clap for carers’ was such a huge phenomenon. 

Therefore, if you want a career that’s going to be incredibly fulfilling, nursing is definitely for you. 

6. Develop Your Career 

After getting your initial degree in nursing, you will notice that lots of different career paths open up for you. 

For example, you can study more advanced nursing degrees to become a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist, both of which usually come with improved salaries. 

Another interesting career path is to become a Concierge Nurse, which is a self-employed nurse who provides subscription-based care to patients in their homes and other locations (such as when they’re in hotels). Being a Concierge Nurse is a great option if you want more career flexibility without being tied down to a specific organization. 

Plus, being a Concierge Nurse also means you get to travel a lot from city to city, which of course comes with its own benefits. 

Essentially, you have total freedom of choice regarding this. You might simply want to remain a standard Registered Nurse (RN) for your entire career, which is absolutely fine (after all, millions of nurses do exactly this). However, if you have the ambition to push yourself further, then you’ll be happy to know that career advancement opportunities are in a healthy supply for nurses! 

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7. Different Working Environments

Working environments are a big deal for most people. Luckily, when it comes to nursing, you can choose from a variety of different working environments – and can even switch back and forth between them over the years. 

For example, if you don’t want to work out on the frontline with the NHS, you could choose a quieter nursing career, such as working in a school

Generally, whatever working environment works best for you, you will be able to find it. 

8. Choose Flexible Schedules

Over the past couple of years, some big changes have taken place across the UK in terms of working schedules. 

Now, lots of professionals – from nurses to salespeople – are being afforded more flexible schedules. The main reason for this is that it allows employees to find the perfect work-life balance. 

When it comes to nursing, you will generally have the flexibility to choose shift schedules that are right for you. For example, if you work in a hospital, you will be able to choose between day or night shifts. It’s worth noting that qualified nurses often get paid more for working night shifts and on Sundays, which is something to bear in mind. 

9. Earn a Good Salary 

Of course, salary is a big part of any career. As a nurse, you can sleep well at night knowing that you’re earning a good salary. 

It’s estimated that the average salary for an NHS nurse in the UK is £33,384, which is highly respectable. Of course, if you choose to progress to more advanced nursing roles, then you will be looking at even greater salaries. 

10. Job Security 

Nursing is known for having a low staff turnover. It’s rare for nurses to get released due to financial strains on healthcare practices, meaning you won’t have to worry about losing your position at any time. Therefore, if you’re someone with bills to pay and a family to look after, this should give you some much-needed peace of mind. 

Are There Any Downsides to Being a Nurse? 

Like with any profession, there are the occasional downsides. In regards to nursing, here are a handful of cons that you can expect from time to time:

Emotional Pressure: Patients are heavily reliant on you to stay strong for them and provide the best care possible, which can occasionally lead to you feeling emotionally overwhelmed. 

Long Hours: Nurses, in some circumstances, work long hours. Physically, this can lead to burnout if you aren’t careful! 

Exposure to Viruses: Due to the nature of being a nurse, you are more exposed to viruses. However, with proper PPE, such as masks, you don’t have to worry too much about this. 

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Hopefully, this article has convinced you that being a nurse is an excellent career path to take. Good luck with studying for your nursing degree and remember to get as much experience as possible.