Additional Nursing Qualifications – Boosting Your Career

One of the best parts of becoming a registered nurse in recent years is the scope of career paths available after initial training. The health care workplace is always developing and changing and nurses are the lifeblood of these workplaces.

You no longer have to decide on one route for your career. You can choose from a whole host of additional nursing qualifications that will lead you to new and exciting challenges, depending on what you are looking for, and what you are more suited to.

Some people are happy managing other people; some prefer to work with data and research. Other nurses prefer to be passing on knowledge to others. So what opportunities are there for modern nurses in 2018?

Starting off as a registered nurse

The minimum qualification you will need is a degree in nursing, With this you can then register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in order to be able to practice. During this stage, a nurse can choose one of four nursing specialisms – children, adult, mental health of learning disability.

Half of the training time whilst working towards a degree will be in real-life health workplaces doing supervised placements, which can be in a number of environments, either in a hospital or in the community.

Nursing environments – what’s your choice?

After qualifying as a registered nurse, you can choose what work place is best for you. Choosing the right environment is important. Hospitals are the classic working place but there are so many more options. Local GP surgeries all have specialist nurses, as well as specialist clinics and residential homes for the elderly or disabled.

Other places who need registered nurses include schools, the military and some voluntary organisations, especially those specialising in overseas placements. There are global organisations such as Medecins Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders) who go to war zones where no other health practitioners will go. The pharmaceutical industry and occupational health fields are another source of work too.

You could also choose operating theatres, clinical academic research or intensive care settings, depending on your personal preference.

Perhaps you prefer an educational environment, becoming a leader, choosing more office-based roles, with sights on an executive-level career path to affect policy making, or going into management.

For all of these, you will need additional nursing qualifications.

Additional nursing qualifications to consider

Nurse prescribers are in high demand. With a reduction in the numbers of GP’s and doctors, nurses with prescribing capabilities are needed on the ground, often doing the work of a doctor at their level. This is a very handy extra qualification to have.

There are two main types of nurse prescriber. Firstly, the Community Practitioner Nurse Prescriber (CPNP) who has completed a CPNP course v100 or v150. These are nurses who work predominantly in the community and were previously known as health visitors. They can prescribe thirteen prescription-only medicines, on top of being independent in the application of dressings, pharmacy, and general sales list.

Secondly, there is the Nurse Independent Prescriber (NIP) who has completed the NMC Independent Nurse Prescribing Curse (v200 or v300). This means they can prescribe any medicine, including those listed in the BNF, all controlled drugs (schedules 2 – 5) and unlicensed medicines, should it be their competency to do so.

Going into educating the next wave of nurses, the qualifications of Lecturer/Practice Educator (LPE) or Teacher (TCH) will give you necessary skills to forge a career in this direction.

Honing qualifications as a Specialist Practitioner

To specialise in a nursing field, it is a good idea to attain some additional nursing qualifications. There are so many paths to choose. Here are some examples:

  • General Practice (SPGP)
  • Mental Health OR Community Mental Health (SCMH or SPMH)
  • Children’s nursing OR Community Children’s nursing (SPC or SPCC)
  • Learning Disability OR Community Learning Disability nursing (SPLD or SLDN)
  • District Nursing (SPDN)

Looking for new career opportunities?

To keep up with the growing demand on health services in East Berkshire, the East Berkshire Primary Care Out of Hours Service needs qualified and specialist nurses across their wide geographical area.

Ambitious nurses are invited to browse the many nursing opportunities currently available on our recruitment website. We are looking to place nurses in Slough, Ascot, Maidenhead and Windsor, so if you’re looking for a new challenge, why not apply today?