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How to become a Nurse specialising in Adults

nurse specialising in adults careers

What does a Nurse specialising in Adults do?

Nurses trained in the adult branch assess, plan and implement the nursing care of patients aged 16 and over who are ill, injured or who have physical disabilities. They observe and evaluate patients' progress, adapting the nursing care plan if necessary in consultation with doctors. They may also counsel patients and their relatives.

They give practical nursing care which can include checking temperatures, blood pressure and respiration rates, assisting doctors with physical examinations, giving drugs and injections, cleaning and dressing wounds and administering blood transfusions and drips. Much of the work can involve using hi-tech medical equipment.

Qualified nurses can specialise in areas such as accident and emergency, cardiac rehabilitation, outpatients, neonatal nursing, or operating theatre work. Nurses can also work in the community, for example, in walk-in health centres, clinics, schools, or prisons.

Practice nurses work in doctors' surgeries. Their duties can include:

  • treating minor injuries
  • taking blood samples
  • assisting at minor operations done under local anaesthetic
  • health screening
  • family planning
  • immunisation
  • running diabetes and asthma clinics
  • helping patients give up smoking or lose weight.

What's the working environment like working as a Nurse specialising in Adults?

Nurses in the NHS work 37.5 hours a week, which can include evening, weekend and night shifts. Many hospitals offer flexible hours of work. Some nurses work extra hours, either as overtime or for nursing agencies that supply staff to the private sector.

Adult branch nurses can work in a variety of settings including hospitals, hospices, GP surgeries, schools, private hospitals, prisons, or in the community visiting patients at home.

What does it take to become a Nurse specialising in Adults?

To be a registered nurse, you should:

  • be able to relate well to people of all ages and backgrounds
  • have effective communication skills
  • have a genuine desire to help people
  • enjoy working in a team but also on your own initiative
  • have physical and mental stamina
  • have maturity, compassion and sensitivity
  • enjoy practical work and be interested in science
  • be patient, diplomatic, and able to inspire confidence and trust
  • be able to remain calm under pressure
  • have time management skills
  • be adaptable and flexible.

Nurse specialising in Adults Career Opportunities

The NHS is the largest employer of nurses. Employment prospects are excellent since there is a current shortage of nurses. Other employers include private hospitals and nursing homes, schools and colleges, HM Forces, the prison service and industry.

Some nurses go onto train to become midwives, district nurses or health visitors (see relevant job profiles); others become clinical specialists, often combining this with research and teaching. There are also opportunities to work for nursing agencies or be self-employed.

Promotion for registered nurses is usually to sister or charge nurse, responsible for managing a hospital ward, clinic or department, or a team of nurses in the community. Some nurses choose to move into more general NHS management.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Nurse specialising in Adults that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

NHS Learning and Development Service
Tel: 08000 150 850
Email: learning@nhscareers.nhs.uk

NHS Careers
PO Box 376
BS99 3EY
Tel: 0845 606 0655

Nursing and Midwifery Admissions Service (NMAS)
New Barn Lane
GL52 3LZ
Tel: 0870 112 2206 for general enquiries
Tel: 0870 112 2200 for application packs

Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS)
New Barn Lane
GL52 3LZ
Tel: 0870 1122 211

23 Portland Place
Tel: 020 7637 7181
Registration contacts
Overseas: 020 7333 6600
General: 020 7333 9333

NHS Education for Scotland
Careers Information Service
66 Rose Street
Tel: 0131 225 4365

Health Professions Wales
2nd Floor, Golate House
101 St Mary Street
CF10 1DX
Tel: 029 2026 1400

Northern Ireland
Queens University of Belfast
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Medical Biology Centre
97 Lisburn Road
Tel: 028 9097 2233

University of Ulster at Jordanstown
School of Nursing
Shore Road
Co Antrim
BT37 0Q
Tel: 08700 400 700