Nursing jobs in the UK promise a fulfilling career that also offers a great deal of variability. And according to a veteran of the industry, nursing can also provide individuals with a passport to work nearly anywhere in the world, even if many will decide to stay close to home.
June Andrews, Director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling, formerly worked as a nurse and an NHS manager. Looking back on her own experiences, she was keen to offer entrants into the world of nursing some key advice.
The healthcare expert, who received the Chief Nursing Officers' lifetime achievement awarded in 2012, recommended that new nurses join an organisation like the Royal College of Nursing that will provide them with education, advice and support, as well as exposure to other people pursuing similar careers.
She added: "Subscribe to a weekly journal like Nursing Times or Nursing Standard so that you will always be up to date with what is happening in your profession. You need to act according to the latest research, so make sure that you read as much as you can. Never stop learning."
Education is one of the key themes for Professor Andrews, who believes that nearly any experience is good experience in nursing. The former nurse pointed to the fact that the industry is likely to become increasingly preoccupied with caring for the elderly due to the ageing population – so it is a good idea to get experience in this area, particularly in settings outside of hospitals. "That experience will be good for your CV in the future, even if you decide to specialise in some other area," she explained.
However, if you do intend to be a specialist, she recommends going to the national centre for the specialism you have in mind, even if this means immersing yourself in a much busier environment: "Later in your career you may want to settle somewhere quiet, so get the big stuff done as soon as you can before that happens."
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