Nursing is a fantastic and fulfilling career for many people who choose to pursue it, and aside from the traditional nursing route, there are so many different paths you can take to specialise in something you’re really passionate about. We’re here to introduce a few of the different career paths you can take when you’re considering nursing, to show you just how diverse this fantastic career can be. We will also talk about some of the career development and progression opportunities that are available, as nursing can be a really long and successful career with lots of different options. So, let’s get into it and introduce you to some different options for your nursing career.
Firstly, we have dental nursing. If you’re interested in oral health and want to work sociable hours on the most part, then this is definitely something to consider. Usually you won’t need academic qualifications to work as a trainee dental nurse, however to become a qualified dental nurse, you will need to study a course, which can be done alongside your job. Dental nursing helps you to develop great communication skills, attention to detail and there are so many career advancement opportunities to consider.
You could choose to work in a cosmetic dentist specifically, perhaps in Manchester or Leeds where cosmetic dentistry is huge currently. Other options are dentists in Solihull or Birmingham that offer both general and cosmetic, again the dentists in this area are at the forefront of dentistry and you can learn so much. You could even enter the armed forces as a dental nurse, which can be a very fulfilling career. Overall, dental nursing provides so many options for your future, so it is definitely worth considering.
Next we have midwifery, an incredible career that gives you the opportunity to bring new life into the world. Whilst this can be a difficult career at times, many midwives find it extremely fulfilling to support families even on very difficult days. If you’re already a registered nurse, you can take an 18 month course to become a registered midwife, otherwise you’ll need a degree in midwifery, which takes three years to complete fully. As like many other nursing careers, you can go on to progress in your career and specialise in many different areas, whether that’s something like ultrasound or neonatal care, or potentially progressing into a management role. Plus, midwives are in high demand and you have the freedom of finding a job anywhere in the country (or potentially even abroad), so your opportunities and options when you pursue a career in midwifery are endless.
Health Play Specialist
A less well known career option when it comes to nursing careers is a health play specialist. This child development role involves using therapeutic play to help children cope in hospital, understand their illness and also incorporate elements of physio and treatment. If you want to specialise in children’s nursing, then this is definitely something to consider, as it can be such a rewarding career that can really make a difference for children and young people going through very difficult times. There are a few different routes to take to become a health play specialist, however the most common is requiring a childcare qualification at level three, from which you can then complete a foundation degree in healthcare play to become a registered health play specialist.
Mental Health Nurse
Another great option for your nursing career is to become a mental health nurse. This kind of role is all about building relationships with people who need to utilise mental health services, along with providing support to relatives. From ensuring medication is taken properly to assisting with required therapies or social activities, you can choose roles in the community or in hospitals. There are so many different routes to take, from working on mental health wards to going on patrols with police officers to assist when mental health knowledge is required. Again, there are plenty of ways to progress in this career, as well as specialising in things like child and adolescent mental health or perinatal mental health. This is a challenging career but one that many people thrive doing. Similarly to midwifery, you can take an 18 month course to become a mental health nurse if you have already successfully completed a nursing degree, or if not, you will need to complete a three year degree to become qualified.
Another career option is to become a hospice nurse, which you can do once you have a nursing degree. You can either support people and their families at home, or you can work in a hospice, however this career path can be one of the most rewarding. Getting to know patients and their family to provide them with the support they need is something extremely special and it can truly transform the final moments a family is able to spend with their loved one. People often get misconceptions of hospices and what hospice care entails, and although it can be an extremely hard job, many hospice nurses say that they are able to help people and their families take some of the fear out of dying.
Nursing careers are such fantastic options for so many people, as they can be extremely rewarding. There are so many different paths that you can pursue, so whether you’ve already started your nursing degree or you’re looking into your career options, have a good think about all of the different options. You could also get in touch with people working in each of the different roles to find out a bit more about the reality of what the career means, as although you can read a lot about it, there will be some details that you can only get from people who have spent years doing the job, whether they’re positive or negative details.
If you can, getting work experience is also extremely valuable, as again this will give you a better insight into exactly what the job entails, rather than making a decision and going in kind of blindly. Take your time with this decision, and if you want to get started but aren’t sure the best direction to go in yet, we’d definitely recommend starting with a nursing degree, as this will provide so many different avenues afterwards and you won’t be restricting yourself in the future. Nursing is a fantastic career for so many reasons, so we wish you all the luck and hope you find a path that you fall in love with.