How Long Does it Take to Become a Nurse?

Choosing a career is the most important decision people ever have to make in their lives. It is crucial to consider all the factors and weighing the pros and cons of every option before making a decision. It is also important to know how long it would take for you to become a professional in a particular field. Many students thinking of pursuing nursing also want to know how long would it take them to become a nurse and what would the process look like. A breakdown of the steps you will need to take to become a nurse will help you figure out whether it is the right career for you or not. 

The Steps You Will Have to Take to Become a Nurse: 

If you want to become a nurse in the UK, you will have to take the following steps: 

1. Pick the Area of Nursing:

There are four main types of nursing that you will have to choose from. Although the fundamentals of nursing are the same regardless of its type, the skills needed for each degree are different. Before you can enroll in a nursing course, you should decide on the area of nursing you want to study. The four categories you can choose from are: 

  1. Mental health nursing. 
  2. Adult nursing.
  3. Child nursing.
  4. Learning disability nursing. 

Be sure to pick the area of study that matches your temperament. If you think you are better suited to taking care of children, then there’s no need to pick adult nursing over child nursing. 

2. Apply for a Degree:

Once you have chosen the field of nursing, you will have to apply for a degree. Nowadays, universities have degree options on both full-time and part-time basis. You can pick the option that suits you the best. If you plan on working while studying, then a part-time degree would be a better option for you. 

If you prefer a practical approach to learning, then you can check out the four-year training course known as the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship (RNDA). With RNDA, you will get practice placements in hospitals, mental health facilities, and GP practices. 

3. Complete Placements: 

During the course of their nursing degree, student nurses typically have to work in placements at local clinics and other medical settings. Before these placements, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is run to make sure you don’t have a criminal history. People with criminal histories cannot be allowed to work closely with patients, which is why running DBS checks is so important. 

Keep in mind that if you register for RNDA, you will get longer and more in-depth placements than student nurses. You will also get to experience what it would mean to work as a registered nurse in the future. 

4. NMC Registration: 

In order to work as a nurse in the UK, you will have to get registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Even if you plan to work in the private sector as a nurse, you will still need to be registered with NMC. Due to this reason, every nurse has to apply for NMC registration after completing their nursing degree. You can find more details about the registration on the website of NMC

The Time it Would Take you to Become a Nurse: 

The time you will need to become a nurse will depend on the type of degree you have chosen. If you go for a typical nursing degree, you will be able to become a nurse after three years. However, if you register for RNDA, it will take you four years to become a nurse. 

5. Apply for Jobs:

After the completion of your NMC registration, you can start applying for jobs. If you want to work in a private hospital or a doctor’s surgery, you can join the private sector. However, if you want the opportunity to work in varied settings including hospitals, birthing centers, clinics, and the homes of patients, then you should choose the public sector. 

If you are a newly graduated nurse and not sure about the job market, you can reach out to a reliable recruiter or a staffing platform like ESGO. We are fully committed to providing the best jobs to new and experienced nurses by connecting them only with the best employers.