What Nursing Roles Can I Do After Qualifying?

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn: 

  • What nursing courses are available.
  • What nursing roles you can do after qualifying.
  • What else you can do with a nursing degree. 
  • The benefits of being an agency nurse.
  • Where the latest nursing jobs are and how to apply for them.

Qualifying as a nurse is a fantastic achievement and opens up a multitude of career opportunities within the healthcare industry.

Depending on the route into nursing, qualifying can take around 2-4 years. The most common avenues into nursing are a Bachelor of Nursing, a Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing or a Nursing Degree Apprenticeship. 

Once qualified, there are a number of fulfilling roles for a Nurse to explore. 

What nursing courses are available?

Within the UK, there are a number of nursing courses available that offer different qualifications and career paths. 
Each course and qualification is governed by a regulatory body such as The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Some of the main nursing courses include:

  • Bachelor of Nursing (BN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSc Nursing).
  • Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) in Nursing.
  • Nursing Degree Apprenticeship.
  • Specialist Nursing Courses. 

Bachelor of Nursing (BN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSc Nursing)

A Bachelor of Nursing (BN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSc Nursing) is an undergraduate degree program, created to prepare individuals for a career in registered nursing. 
This course will provide aspiring nurses with the theory, healthcare practice and clinical skills they need throughout their comprehensive education.

Typically, a Bachelor of Nursing (BN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSc Nursing) will last three years if completed with full time study. 

Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) in Nursing

A Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) in Nursing is an undergraduate level qualification that is designed as an alternative pathway to qualifying as a registered nurse, alongside the more common Bachelor of Nursing (BN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSc Nursing) qualifications. 
The DipHE in Nursing is a course usually offered by universities and colleges, which combines theoretical knowledge and practical skills to equip aspiring nurses with the relevant skills and experience. 
This avenue into nursing generally takes 3 years of full time study to complete but longer, part time options are sometimes available. 

Nursing Degree Apprenticeship

A nursing degree apprenticeship is a work-based learning program that allows aspiring nurses to complete a nursing degree while practising in a healthcare setting.

An apprenticeship is a worthwhile option for anyone who is new to the profession and just stepping into scrubs
The apprenticeship combines academic study with on the job training and is designed to address workforce needs and offer a hands-on learning approach.
Nursing degree apprenticeships usually take around 4 years to complete, however the exact duration can vary depending on the specific program being followed.

Specialist Nursing Courses

A Specialist Nursing Course is a program designed for registered nurses to acquire advanced skills and expertise in a specific area of nursing.

Nurses who specialise in a particular field are able to focus on a specific healthcare setting, medical condition or patient population.
Common areas of nursing covered by specialised nursing courses include mental health, paediatrics, critical care, orthopaedics and cardiac nursing. 

What nursing roles can you do after qualifying?

The most common nursing roles available after qualifying are:

  • Staff Nurse.
  • Ward Sister.
  • Nurse Practitioner.
  • Practice Nurse.
  • Neonatal Nurse.
  • Community Nurse.
  • Nurse Administrator.
  • Nurse Educator.
  • School Nurse.

Nursing recruitment specialist, Kaylah Henderson, advises looking into a variety of nursing roles, saying, “Exploring different nursing roles allows you to discover where your strengths lie and where you can make the greatest impact in healthcare delivery."

Staff Nurse

A Staff Nurse is the most common entry-level nursing role. Staff Nurses can work in various healthcare settings such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes or community health centres and provide direct patient care to those who require it.

A Staff Nurse is responsible for assessing a patients’ health needs and then planning and implementing their care. Administering medication, monitoring patient conditions and providing emotional support to a patient’s loved ones, also fall under the responsibilities of a Staff Nurse. 

A successful Staff Nurse will work collaboratively alongside Doctors, Therapists, Healthcare Assistants and other healthcare professionals.

Ward Sister

A Ward Sister is a Senior Nurse, responsible for overseeing a particular ward or unit within a hospital setting.

Ward Sisters are responsible for ensuring that a high standard of patient care is carried out amongst nursing staff and that all members of the team are coordinating and liaising effectively. 

Ward Sisters also play a significant role in implementing hospital policies and procedures as well as providing junior nursing staff with support and guidance. 

Ward Sisters are often the link between nursing staff and hospital management and act as advocates for staff members.

Nurse Practitioner

A Nurse Practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse, who has completed additional education and clinical training, to that required for a registered nurse.

Nurse Practitioners can specialise in a number of different areas, such as acute care, paediatrics or mental health. 

A Nurse Practitioner is responsible for assessing, diagnosing and managing acute and chronic medical conditions to patients of all ages.

As well as providing patient care, a Nurse Practitioner is also responsible for interpreting diagnostic tests and prescribing patient medications.

Nurse Practitioners often work in collaboration with other healthcare professionals, such as Physicians, within various healthcare settings including clinics, hospitals and community health centres. 

Practice Nurse

A Practice Nurse is a registered nurse who works within a general practice or primary care setting.

Practice Nurses play a pivotal role in providing comprehensive healthcare services to patients within the local community and their duties vary depending on the specific needs of the practice. 

Typically, the responsibilities of a Practice Nurse include health promotion, chronic disease management, wound care and patient assessment and triage, however this can differ depending on the specific qualifications and experience of a nurse.

Neonatal Nurse

A Neonatal Nurse is responsible for the care of newborn babies who may have been born prematurely or are sick upon birth. The responsibilities of a Neonatal Nurse include recording observations, preparing medication and initiating resuscitation should an emergency occur. 

Within their day to day role, a Neonatal Nurse will work alongside other healthcare professionals such as Midwives and Paediatricians. 

Kaylah Henderson says, “Amongst caring for a baby, a Neonatal Nurse will also be expected to support the family of premature and sick babies during what is an emotional time for them, therefore it’s vital that nurses who specialise in this area are compassionate and respectful.”

Community Nurse

Also referred to as a District Nurse, a Community Nurse is a Registered Nurse responsible for providing various healthcare services to individuals and families within the community setting.

Community Nurses are responsible for providing healthcare to individuals of all ages, outside of the hospital environment and their primary responsibilities include completing home visits, providing palliative and end of life care, administering vaccinations and supporting vulnerable members of the community. 

Nurse Administrator

A Nurse Administrator is a registered nurse who is responsible for the administrative or managerial duties within a healthcare organisation.

Nurse Administrators play a pivotal role in ensuring the efficient delivery of patient care, by overseeing various aspects of nursing operations within a healthcare setting. 

The responsibilities of a Nurse Administrator include, developing and implementing policies, assisting with financial administration, working on regulatory compliance and overseeing quality improvement initiatives. 

Nurse Educator

A Nurse Educator is a registered nurse, who has moved away from administering healthcare, into a role focused on educating within the nursing profession.

Nurse Educators play an important part in training the next generation of nurses, as well as providing ongoing professional development for those currently practising as a nurse.

The responsibilities of a Nurse Educator include teaching, developing the curriculum, providing mentorship and supervising nursing students during clinical placements. 

School Nurse

Registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, School Nurses are specialist community public health nurses who have undertaken additional training to specialise. 

School Nurses work with young people and their families to improve health and wellbeing and their responsibilities include carrying out health assessments, supporting young people with long-term healthcare needs and identifying vulnerabilities that may impact a young person’s education.

What else can you do with a nursing degree?

Not everybody who completes a nursing degree will go on to practise traditional nursing, there are a number of rewarding job opportunities beyond a hospital or clinical setting.

Kaylah Henderson says, “As you navigate your nursing career, don't be afraid to explore unconventional paths. Your passion and expertise can create new opportunities and redefine traditional roles."

A nurse might choose to transition into a role in the medical sales or pharmaceutical industry, responsible for promoting and selling medical devices, pharmaceutical products, or healthcare services to healthcare providers, institutions, or patients.

Alternatively, careers within legal nurse consulting, healthcare technology and medical journalism are all avenues a nurse might choose to explore after qualifying. Each of these rewarding career choices allow a nurse to utilise their skills and expertise to deliver fantastic results in their field of choice.

What are the benefits of being an agency nurse?

There are many benefits to being an agency nurse through a specialist recruitment agency like Spencer Clarke Group. 

Kaylah Henderson says, “For nurses looking for flexibility and variety within their role, exploring the option of agency work with us is a fantastic way to begin or progress within a nursing career, especially if they are not ready to commit to full time work within the NHS.”

Not only does agency work afford nurses the luxury of choosing when and where they’d like to work, there are also significant financial benefits. Typically, in the UK, agency nurses receive higher pay rates than those who work on a permanent basis as they are employed temporarily to cover staff shortages.

The opportunities for career development are also an advantage of agency nursing. Gaining experience within different healthcare settings allows nurses to enhance their skills and expertise and showcase their employability. 

By signing up to Spencer Clarke Group, nurses and healthcare professionals don’t just receive the expertise of nursing recruitment specialist, Kaylah Henderson, they are also able to access our exclusive training and referral benefits!

Where the latest nursing jobs are and how to apply for them

As nursing recruitment specialists, we have a brilliant track record of connecting qualified and experienced nursing professionals with NHS Trusts and private sector organisations across the United Kingdom.

On the lookout for your next nursing role? Discover and apply for your next nursing position by uploading your CV to our website.

Alternatively, our specialist Recruitment Consultant, Kaylah Henderson, is on hand to help you in taking the next step in your career. Get in touch with her today to explore the options available to you! 

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