Nursing & Midwifery
The nursing and midwifery sector encompasses various roles, in many different settings, from hospitals and other institutions, to patients’ homes.
Jobs in nursing
Nurses are the largest staff group in the NHS, working in every type of health setting from accident and emergency (A&E) departments to patients' homes, with people of all ages and backgrounds. Nurses train in one of the four fields of nursing: adult, child, learning disability or mental health. After gaining employment, there are lots of opportunities to progress in a nursing career and to specialise. Many of these opportunities will require experience and/or further training.
More nurses than ever are now working in community settings such as a GP practices, clinics, and schools and community hospitals. As more care is moved out of hospitals into the community, this will only increase. There are still many opportunities in acute hospital settings. Outpatient services, accident and emergency, operating theatres, neonatal care or neurology will always need highly trained and specialist nurses.
Jobs in midwifery
Midwives play a vital role in healthcare. The specialist position midwives have in preparing women for the delivery of their babies makes them an important presence during all stages of pregnancy, labour and the early postnatal period.
Becoming a midwife means undertaking professional education at degree level. Some midwives are qualified nurses who have chosen to change career direction and undertake the extra study necessary to be registered as a midwife. Others begin their career by working their way up via support roles, such as starting as a maternity support worker, before going on to study for a midwifery degree later.
More midwives now work in the community, providing services in women's homes, local clinics, children's centres and GP surgeries. There are also still a lot of opportunities for midwives to work on antenatal, labour and postnatal wards and neonatal units in hospitals.
Nursing & midwifery apprenticeships
School leavers wanting to work in this sector could do an Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) in roles like healthcare support worker, healthcare assistant, maternity support worker and paediatric support worker.
School leavers could also look at the nursing and midwifery courses on offer at further education college and university.