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Working as a registered nurse can be a rewarding and demanding job. The role offers excellent career prospects, and you will be making a real difference to people’s lives every day. The NHS is one of the biggest registered nurse employers in the world, and the single biggest employer in the UK.
There remains a shortage of registered nurses in the country, helping to create good long-term job security. Registered nurse jobs, also referred to as RGN jobs, can be found in various settings, including NHS hospitals, specialised clinics, large companies and private medical facilities. Keep reading to learn more about working as a registered nurse, including expected duties and starting salaries.
Registered nurse jobs are incredibly varied. Therefore, your everyday tasks are likely to vary significantly, helping to create a varied and interesting role. You will be expected to provide professional medical care to patients at all times. Working as a registered nurse involves dealing with patients with a variety of medical issues. You will be part of a highly trained medical team, which will include doctors, midwives and surgeons. General duties are incredibly varied, and you will be expected to help with a wide variety of different tasks. These can include:
- Patient assessments, including taking health measurements
- Giving medicine to patients and monitoring progress
- Helping patients with personal tasks, including cleaning and dressing
- Providing updates, comfort and support to patients and their families
Registered nurse employers will expect you to be fully qualified for this role. This means you will need to have completed a nursing degree at university. Furthermore, you will need 5 good GCSEs, including math and English, as well as at least 2 A-levels, to be accepted on the university course. However, these requirements can change for those with previous experience. In addition to having the required qualifications, registered nurse employers will also look for candidates with the following:
- Caring attitude and natural empathy for others
- Hard working and ability to multi-task
- Clear communications skills
- Patient and calm under pressure.
Registered nurse jobs offer good career prospects. The role remains in demand, meaning once you are qualified you should not have too much trouble finding a role. From there, there are clear promotion paths for people working as a registered nurse in the NHS. You will have the opportunity to specialise in an area such as childcare or working with vulnerable people. Long-term job security is good, and there will be many opportunities to acquire new skills and qualifications.
In terms of salary, registered nurse jobs offer starting wages of around £25,000. This will then rise annually and according to your experience and skills. Senior and specialist nursing roles offer salaries between £25,000 – £40,000+, with this depending on years of experience and the specialist area you are working in. Salaries can also vary depending on location, with those working as a registered nurse in London often being paid between 5% – 20% more than other location in the UK.
Registered nurse jobs can be very rewarding. You will be helping improve and save people’s lives on a daily basis. The role remains one of the most respected jobs in the UK, and for many people it is more a calling than a career. You will have many opportunities to develop your skills and salaries can be good once you start to gain experience.
However, registered nurse jobs can also be very demanding. You will be likely working shifts, which can include nights and weekends. Furthermore, you will be on your feet for long periods of time, and your workload will likely be very heavy. There is also an emotional aspect to the role, which can be a problem for some people. This includes having to deal with very ill patients, and comforting family members during what re often very stressful situations.