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If you’re interested in a varied, responsible career that involves caring for people, have you thought about training as a nurse?

Nursing is now a graduate career and on a nursing degree you get to spend time studying at university as well as doing a range of placements in hospitals and NHS trusts, which will give you both theoretical and practical experience. Hospital nurses work as part of multi-disciplinary teams alongside other medical professionals. As a nurse you could also work in a hospice, in schools, health centres, specialist clinics or prisons.

The options for nursing degrees include adult, children’s, mental health and learning disability, so you will need to decide which area you would like to work in before you start.

For a career in nursing, you will need to be caring and interested in people, but also compassionate and able to stay strong and calm under pressure. You should also be fit, active and able to do practical tasks quickly and carefully as well as able to cope with shift work.

Nursing degrees require at least 5 A*-C GCSEs including maths, English and science. You will also need A levels including at least one science or a level 3 qualification in health science or health and social care. If you don’t have the right qualifications, a good first step is an access course in health and social care. Access courses are designed to give adults the qualifications and experience they need to move on to university. Contact your local college for details.

Work experience and voluntary work relevant to nursing is a good way to help decide if nursing is the right career for you and it will also look good on your university application! Contact local hospitals and NHS trusts about opportunities or think about working as a healthcare assistant first to really find out about the work.

Student loans and NHS bursaries are available to help fund nursing degrees.

Find out more at www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Students and you can read up on nursing as a career and routes in at www.healthcareers.nhs.uk