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So, you want to be a nurse? A brief introduction to nursing
So, you want to be a nurse? A brief introduction to nursing

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1 What do you know about nursing in the UK?

You will start this section with a quiz so you can check your current understanding of nursing and what it entails. Don’t worry if you don’t know the answers to any of the questions, feedback is provided to each.

Activity 1 What do you know about nursing in the UK?

How long does it take to train to become a Registered Nurse in the UK?

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Answer

Course length can vary depending upon your qualifications and experience. Some universities offer short courses for graduates and longer courses for those who need to study part time or do foundation level study. All education is at degree level in the UK and usually takes between 2 and 6 years to complete, with the average full-time degree being around 3 years.

Anyone can call themselves a Registered Nurse. True or False?

a. 

True


b. 

False


The correct answer is b.

Answer

In the UK, the title ‘Registered Nurse’ is protected by law and everyone who uses this title has to be registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council. However, the title ‘nurse’ is not protected so anyone can use it. In Section 5 of this course, you will be looking at the role of regulation and the Nursing & Midwifery Council.

Other than a hospital, where else do nurses work?

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Answer

Nurses work in a diverse range of workplaces in the UK and across the world. Other than hospitals you will find nurses in health centres and clinics, GP surgeries, schools, prisons, care and nursing homes, on cruise ships, in large businesses, in the community, in people’s homes, in call centres such as 111, in Government and in education. Section 2 of this course explores these different work roles a little further.

In the UK, what percentage of nurses are men?

Do you think it is around:

a. 

5%


b. 

10%


c. 

20%


d. 

25%


The correct answer is b.

Answer

The Nursing & Midwifery Council’s data report for 2020/2021 suggests that in the UK just over 10% of those on the nursing register are male (80,500) (Nursing & Midwifery Council, 2021).

In the UK, what percentage of nurses work in hospitals?

a. 

23%


b. 

45%


c. 

56%


d. 

80%


The correct answer is c.

Answer

According to Carmel (2017), in the UK 56% of nurses work in hospitals.

Who was Mary Seacole and what does she mean to the nursing profession?

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Answer

The history of nursing is important to the profession and nursing is a diverse workforce. Mary Seacole was a British-Caribbean nurse who worked at the same time as Florence Nightingale, during the Crimean war. She worked on the front line during the war, offering treatment and rehabilitation to hundreds of soldiers.

Often people have heard of Florence Nightingale, but know very little about the British nurse Mary Seacole and her work. If you would like to know more about Mary Seacole you can read more at the Mary Seacole Trust [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

What are the four fields of nursing in the UK?

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Answer

There are four fields of nursing in the UK:

  • Adult nursing
  • Mental health nursing
  • Children’s nursing
  • Learning disability nursing.

Each one of these fields is its own specialism and has its own standards for education. In Section 8 of this course, you will explore each of the fields in more detail.

As you work through the course, the sections will expand your knowledge about nursing. In Section 2 you will begin with a look at a definition of nursing.