Chris B is the Chief Nursing Officer for England. She says "I'm the nurse that gives advice to government... a sort of visible leader of the profession throughout the country". Chris had wanted to be a nurse from a young age, and after taking a career break to raise a family she returned to the profession and began to climb the ladder to her current position.
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Nurses provide general and/or specialised nursing care for the sick, injured and others in need of such care, assist medical doctors with their tasks and work with other healthcare professionals and within teams of healthcare workers. They advise on and teach nursing practice.
Qualification as a nurse is via a diploma or degree course, both of which are provided by universities. Courses comprise both theoretical and practical work, including placements in hospital and community settings. Full time diploma courses last three years; degree courses last three or four years. Accelerated programmes are available to graduates with a health-related degree. There is a minimum age limit of 17 years 6 months to enter training. Post-registration training is available for a range of clinical specialisms.
- Assists medical doctors and works with other healthcare professionals to deal with emergencies and pre-planned treatment of patients
- Manages own case load
- Monitors patient’s progress, administers drugs and medicines, applies surgical dressings and gives other forms of treatment
- Participates in the preparation for physical and psychological treatment of mentally ill patients
- Plans duty rotas and organises and directs the work and training of ward and theatre nursing staff
- Advises on nursing care, disease prevention, nutrition, etc. and liaises with hospital board/ management on issues concerning nursing policy
- Plans, manages, provides and evaluates nursing care services for patients, supervises the implementation of nursing care plans
- Delivers lectures and other forms of formal training relating to nursing practice.
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Where to go nextInformation and Statistics for the Health SectorSector Skills Council for HealthNHS
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