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This site has been archived and is no longer being updated. You can visit the new RCN website at www.rcn.org.uk

Nurse smilingWork in health care

Every minute of every day, nursing and midwifery staff make a huge difference to millions of lives. This is a profession where joy and sadness come in equal measure, where inspiration is met by frustration, and where courage must outweigh fear. Health care is changing rapidly, and a career in it offers you to be at the forefront of that change.

A rewarding career

One of the most rewarding and challenging jobs, a career in nursing has plenty to offer. Nurses, midwives and health care support workers form the largest group of staff across all of health care, and the RCN supports all of them as a crucial part the team. Nursing opens many doors and allows you to work anywhere in the world.  

What roles you can do

There is a range of roles in nursing to consider when planning your career:

Choosing a specialism

If you want to become a registered nurse, you’ll need to choose which of the four nursing specialisms you’d like to study during your degree. This doesn’t mean your career is decided – there are ways to change after qualifying. Health care support workers like health care assistants and assistant practitioners can work across all specialisms and are trained by their employer depending on the skills they need for the role.

Finding a job

Nursing professionals can work in a whole range of settings, from hospitals and GP surgeries, to care homes, hospices or prisons. We’ve listed some of the most useful places to start your search for nursing jobs. You might also want to think about getting work experience to find out what it’s like first-hand, as this can help you secure a job.

Need more help?

Call our dedicated careers advice service for more help with planning your career.