Sponsored feature, words by Fay Millar

So you’re thinking about studying nursing? Well, you’ll be making a fantastic choice. It’s more than just a career, it’s a vocation. It’s also a role with lots of diversity, loads of opportunities and the chance to make a real difference in people’s lives.

There are many areas of nursing to explore: You could work in a GP’s surgery, or with young people in a sexual health clinic. Helping to create laughter on a children’s ward might be a fulfilling path for you. Or, if you’re interested in law, you could become a nursing consultant. You may even develop a desire to teach the next generation of nurses. Mental health nursing is another rewarding area where you will treat people with a wide range of illnesses, helping them learn to cope or recover. You could be working in people’s homes, secure units, health centres and even prisons.

There are endless opportunities once you decide to start your nursing journey – and don’t forget - you can always switch to a different branch if you feel like a change.

You’ll most likely be working shifts day and night ranging from four to 12 hours, and you’ll definitely have some time off when the nine to fivers don’t - giving you much more space to hit the shops, pubs or do whatever it is you like to do in your downtime!

A good place to start exploring your options is Oxford Brookes University – have a listen to what some of their students have to say:

Things to consider before applying for a nursing degree:

  • Be prepared to work nights, extra shifts when there are staff shortages and encounter difficult patients.
  • This is an emotionally, physically and intellectually demanding career – you need to look after yourself just as much as you look after your patients.
  • The word ‘busy’ will take on a whole new meaning.
  • Skipping class is not an option and you can’t get out of any of your placements.
  • You will experience pain and tragedy and you and your colleagues will need a release. What is sometimes called ‘gallows humour’ (grim and ironic humour in a desperate situation) doesn’t make you a cruel person, it’s more a way to cope in stressful and emotional situations.
  • This is can be a fulfilling and rewarding career – but it’s what you make of it that is the key to your success.