vickidc18
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Arrgh I'm not sure what to do, I can either choose to pick nursing or social work next year and I can't make my mind up, I did the career match on prospects and I matched with nursing 95% and social work 97% so not much of a difference,

Nursing, no tutition fees, can go onto different branches of nursing, midwifery , health visiting etc, can compress hours to 3 12 hour shifts per week lots of work available, less stressful than social work. My mums a sister so she can help me with academia if I'm struggling etc,

Social work, directly working with service users to change their lives, less bodily fluids more of a 9-5 job more work in the community in a different place all the time but more student debt, Ahh I'm so confused.
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CWE
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(Original post by vickidc18)
Arrgh I'm not sure what to do, I can either choose to pick nursing or social work next year and I can't make my mind up, I did the career match on prospects and I matched with nursing 95% and social work 97% so not much of a difference,

Nursing, no tutition fees, can go onto different branches of nursing, midwifery , health visiting etc, can compress hours to 3 12 hour shifts per week lots of work available, less stressful than social work. My mums a sister so she can help me with academia if I'm struggling etc,

Social work, directly working with service users to change their lives, less bodily fluids more of a 9-5 job more work in the community in a different place all the time but more student debt, Ahh I'm so confused.
Firstly I would suggest you choose what you are most interested in. It seems from your post that you like them both equally but assuming you have had no significant work experience in either field maybe you should think hard about which you would actually prefer to do as perceptions are often very different from reality.

If you are divided between the two I would then look at other tangibles. Salary, Career progression, working hours etc. and weigh up these, placing significance on each as you see fit.

I have no knowledge of either field, but my first thoughts are that nursing may be more intellectually stimulating and it may be easier to go from a nurse to a social worker but not the other way round, again I have no knowledge so take this with a (few) pinches of salt.
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Catherine_H
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I wouldn't even consider the fees. Yes, NHS students are very fortunate to get their fees paid but don't think you will be effected hugely by having to pay for tuition fees with Social Work. You barely even notice the fees being paid back once you have a graduate job, it really shouldn't be a factor. What's important is that you have a career that you enjoy. With Social Work, it is also very diverse as you don't have to stay as a Social Worker forever. You can specialise in housing, immigration etc, so you will probably never ever get bored! There's huge amounts of paperwork though, and many Social Workers I've spoken to are constantly complaining about the 'red tape' set by the Government which sometimes prevents them from doing their job properly (so they say). If you haven't already, I would recommend getting some work experience in both of these fields. Another thing to consider is biology, if you enjoy learning about the body and find it very interesting then Nursing might be more suited.
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Happy_Holidays
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There are one or two uni's that allow you to train as a nurse and social worker at the same time.


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Dave10
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I was under the impression social work was £9,000 year one and then free for years two and three

Is that incorrect?
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vickidc18
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Nope theres only a limited number of social work bursaries available now, only half the students get the social work bursary. so half of social work students will end up with the full student debt. I have decided to study Mental Health nursing as I'm more interested in the science of mental health conditions and I would like more direct access with patients.
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Frankcheris
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Hi Vikie, considering its 5years now, can you advise me on ur decision to go with Mental Health Nursing instead of Social Work? Iam considering 1 of them but not sure which to go forFrank.
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Queenb017
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Hi. I'm both a nurse and a social worker. So nursing in the UK is definitely a tough choice. I found it to be very stressful and highly pressurised. You're constantly taking orders and direction from others. I really found through all three of my nursing jobs that there was very little praise when things went well but constant negative feedback when it wasn't. I was band 5 as a nurse, however I was administering chemotherapy etc and undertook extra exams and training to do so. I finally give up and went for social work. I'm just about to commence my first job but I can tell you that my experience even as a student social worker was much nicer than nursing. In nursing placements and even as a qualified nurse, you are seen as the lowest. It was often the norm that during your placements the nursing sister or manager wouldn't even know your name. It was tough!! However, I loved the patients! I just felt I was so busy doing everything else that I never even had time for the patients. Social work gives me the opportunity to spend a lot more time with people as its all about relationship building. Even as a student social worker, the autonomy, responsibility and trust placed in me by the managers was huge. It was hugely different from nursing. I found myself attending court, taking meetings and visits alone. This was very different to nursing where you feel there is constantly someone breathing down your neck.Social work is very tough also of course. There are still time pressures etc. However, I have definitely found it to be less than nursing. There is also the perk of a better wage. For the first year after qualifying, you are band 5 as a social worker (which is the same as nursing) however unlike nursing, on completion of your assessed year in employment as a social worker, you move to band 6 which is a significant pay increase.It really depends on the person. I have two sisters who are nurses also. One does not work in the clinical field any longer and the other is really not enjoying working as a nurse. I also have several friends who are contemplating leaving the profession which is very sad. Nurses are so undervalued and underappreciated! It is a great profession and very rewarding. But I do feel that you need to be exceptionally good at taking orders and dealing with criticism. That being said, I still work part time as a nurse to keep up my registration. Personally, I just really prefer social work!
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Beediza
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Thank you very much for your advice.Im also stuck,I cant choose between Nursing and Social work.I know with Nursing there is plenty of jobs out there but Im worried about finding a job once I graduate as a Social worker and career progression...what can I do to earn more maybe move up to Band 7 or 8 as a Social worker?The other thing I'm worried about is Social work Bursaries.....as I understand there is no bursary in the first year,only in the second and third year but even then not every Student social worker will get one as they are capped.... Maintenance loans can be applied for via SFE but will need to be paid since it's not a bursary or allowance.....Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Queenb017
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(Original post by Beediza)
Thank you very much for your advice.Im also stuck,I cant choose between Nursing and Social work.I know with Nursing there is plenty of jobs out there but Im worried about finding a job once I graduate as a Social worker and career progression...what can I do to earn more maybe move up to Band 7 or 8 as a Social worker?The other thing I'm worried about is Social work Bursaries.....as I understand there is no bursary in the first year,only in the second and third year but even then not every Student social worker will get one as they are capped.... Maintenance loans can be applied for via SFE but will need to be paid since it's not a bursary or allowance.....Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hi, I have to say I find more career progression in social work than nursing (possibly because there are a lot less social workers than nurses and therefore more opportunity and less competition?) As I mentioned in social work you will be band 6 after a year. In nursing you would only be band 6 if you went into a management post etc (here in NI anyway). Also, social workers can move to band 7 and become a senior practitioner within their team. I don't know many nurses who can easily make the jump to band 6 here let alone band 7 and know no band 8s. Although it can be done with hard work and determination if you don't mind putting the years in.

Career wise I managed to get a permanent post straight from qualifying as did my friends but this is likely due to coronavirus and the need for social workers at the minute. I do know there is a lot of agency work and some of my friends have opted for that over permanent trust jobs as it is better paid and you can move if you don't like the work.

In terms of funding, I'm not sure about the bursary for first year as I did the graduate route which was only 2 years. I got it each year and it was 4,500. I did also receive student loans in which I was able to get grants and loans. If you are scared of paying loans back I would really advice you not to be. You really don't even notice a student loan leaving your bank each month. This is a loan which is only paid back when you make a certain ammount and if it's not all paid back within a certain ammount of years, it is written off. (that's the guidance I recieved when choosing to study but double check).
Last edited by Queenb017; 6 months ago
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Beediza
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(Original post by Queenb017)
Hi, I have to say I find more career progression in social work than nursing (possibly because there are a lot less social workers than nurses and therefore more opportunity and less competition?) As I mentioned in social work you will be band 6 after a year. In nursing you would only be band 6 if you went into a management post etc (here in NI anyway). Also, social workers can move to band 7 and become a senior practitioner within their team. I don't know many nurses who can easily make the jump to band 6 here let alone band 7 and know no band 8s. Although it can be done with hard work and determination if you don't mind putting the years in.

Career wise I managed to get a permanent post straight from qualifying as did my friends but this is likely due to coronavirus and the need for social workers at the minute. I do know there is a lot of agency work and some of my friends have opted for that over permanent trust jobs as it is better paid and you can move if you don't like the work.

In terms of funding, I'm not sure about the bursary for first year as I did the graduate route which was only 2 years. I got it each year and it was 4,500. I did also receive student loans in which I was able to get grants and loans. If you are scared of paying loans back I would really advice you not to be. You really don't even notice a student loan leaving your bank each month. This is a loan which is only paid back when you make a certain ammount and if it's not all paid back within a certain ammount of years, it is written off. (that's the guidance I recieved when choosing to study but double check).
Thank you.I wanted to do Adult Nursing initially and my patner advised me to do Social work instead but my brother and sister in law recommend Nursing over social.My brother did Mental health he says Social work is easier but whilst Nursing is hard it is in demand and offers more opportunities and freedom if let's say I wanted to move elsewhere,he is now living in Australia,but with kids I think Social work would be more ideal.Im really grateful for your advice,I really wanted to hear from someone who has done both Nursing and Social work because you have the experience in both fields so thank you!
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heatherclarky
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(Original post by Beediza)
Thank you.I wanted to do Adult Nursing initially and my patner advised me to do Social work instead but my brother and sister in law recommend Nursing over social.My brother did Mental health he says Social work is easier but whilst Nursing is hard it is in demand and offers more opportunities and freedom if let's say I wanted to move elsewhere,he is now living in Australia,but with kids I think Social work would be more ideal.Im really grateful for your advice,I really wanted to hear from someone who has done both Nursing and Social work because you have the experience in both fields so thank you!
Go for social work I say! I was a student nurse for 3 years and hated my placements (mentors so unsupportive as the wards are mega stressful and understaffed) and many a time it wasnt very clear what our responsibilities were (what we could or couldn't do) I just felt like a glorified healthcare assistant the whole time. I would also say that the nursing pay is awful and social work pay is better and more chances to progress quickly. You also spend much more time with the people your supporting as a social worker. I'm starting a masters in social work in September. Best of luck with whatever decision you make
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Vam1970
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(Original post by Beediza)
Thank you very much for your advice.Im also stuck,I cant choose between Nursing and Social work.I know with Nursing there is plenty of jobs out there but Im worried about finding a job once I graduate as a Social worker and career progression...what can I do to earn more maybe move up to Band 7 or 8 as a Social worker?The other thing I'm worried about is Social work Bursaries.....as I understand there is no bursary in the first year,only in the second and third year but even then not every Student social worker will get one as they are capped.... Maintenance loans can be applied for via SFE but will need to be paid since it's not a bursary or allowance.....Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hi I work as a health visitor and we have hardly any social workers left in my area.the professional is so short staffed and it’s extremely pressured job, they are always on long term sick.
You only see the worst parenting and poor families with huge issues, it wears you down and burns you out and it’s definitely not 9-5.
You’ve got to prepare court reports last minute No matter what time it is, you can’t just clock off.
With nursing you hand patients over and they are someone else’s responsibility for the next shift.

As a nurse you can definitely progress, I know a young nurse who qualified at band 5 then did her health visitor training which is a 5.5 to train and became a 6 on completion, then she went to 111 Band 7 pay,shortly after that did her prescribing and now earns in the higher tax bracket working for the out of hours service.
You can definitely go as far as you want in nursing and there is private nursing, bank, agency Nurses.
Masses of specialties too.
Plus the added bonus of getting the extra £5000 grant per year on top of loans so it’s definitely more affordable than ever.
I think social workers are fantastic people but it’s One of the hardest jobs in the world and I certainly would never say you can do more in Sw than nursing as that’s fundamentally untrue.
I don’t think people realise how many jobs nurses do, hospital nurses are the tip of the iceberg!
Last edited by Vam1970; 5 months ago
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Beediza
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(Original post by Vam1970)
Hi I work as a health visitor and we have hardly any social workers left in my area.the professional is so short staffed and it’s extremely pressured job, they are always on long term sick.
You only see the worst parenting and poor families with huge issues, it wears you down and burns you out and it’s definitely not 9-5.
You’ve got to prepare court reports last minute No matter what time it is, you can’t just clock off.
With nursing you hand patients over and they are someone else’s responsibility for the next shift.

As a nurse you can definitely progress, I know a young nurse who qualified at band 5 then did her health visitor training which is a 5.5 to train and became a 6 on completion, then she went to 111 Band 7 pay,shortly after that did her prescribing and now earns in the higher tax bracket working for the out of hours service.
You can definitely go as far as you want in nursing and there is private nursing, bank, agency Nurses.
Masses of specialties too.
Plus the added bonus of getting the extra £5000 grant per year on top of loans so it’s definitely more affordable than ever.
I think social workers are fantastic people but it’s One of the hardest jobs in the world and I certainly would never say you can do more in Sw than nursing as that’s fundamentally untrue.
I don’t think people realise how many jobs nurses do, hospital nurses are the tip of the iceberg!
Hi.The main reason I wanted to do Nursing was so that I could become a health visitor afterwards because of the hours,so health visitor or General practice nurse or a Community Nurse that's what I am looking at because I have kids I really cant be doing 12hr shifts all my life.I was a healthcare assistant for quite a while and used to do long shifts and nights so I just need to relax a bit.I know if I do a degree in Nursing first I can then do a Masters in Social work/or Step up to Social work afterwards so I could change jobs from Nursing to Social work but I'm not sure if i will be able to change easily from Social work to Nursing without having to do the full 3year Bachelors degree in Nursing?
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Vam1970
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(Original post by Beediza)
Hi.The main reason I wanted to do Nursing was so that I could become a health visitor afterwards because of the hours,so health visitor or General practice nurse or a Community Nurse that's what I am looking at because I have kids I really cant be doing 12hr shifts all my life.I was a healthcare assistant for quite a while and used to do long shifts and nights so I just need to relax a bit.I know if I do a degree in Nursing first I can then do a Masters in Social work/or Step up to Social work afterwards so I could change jobs from Nursing to Social work but I'm not sure if i will be able to change easily from Social work to Nursing without having to do the full 3year Bachelors degree in Nursing?
Health visiting is very family friendly and we have laptops and do lots of admin at home, obviously at this time we are all working from home.
Hv don’t often visit after 3.
I definitely would recommend the hv qualification, the fancy title is specialist community public health nurse and lots of employers really like it as it’s a specialist area.
Practice nurse is also a really good option or school immunisation nurses,my trust the imms team have all school holidays off and work 9-3, great for nurses with kids, obviously pay reflects the hrs you work but fantastic if you want stress free job for a few years, not too long as you de skill quickly.
There are courses for practice nurse once you qualify and now they take newly qualified nurses which they never did in the past.
Nursing is an amazing career with so many options, good luck
Last edited by Vam1970; 5 months ago
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Beediza
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(Original post by Vam1970)
Health visiting is very family friendly and we have laptops and do lots of admin at home, obviously at this time we are all working from home.
Hv don’t often visit after 3.
I definitely would recommend the hv qualification, the fancy title is specialist community public health nurse and lots of employers really like it as it’s a specialist area.
Practice nurse is also a really good option or school immunisation nurses,my trust the inns team have all school holidays off and work 9-3, great for nurses with kids, obviously pay reflects the hrs you work but fantastic if you want stress free job for a few years, not too long as you de skill quickly.
There are courses for practice nurse once you qualify and now they take newly qualified nurses which they never did in the past.
Nursing is an amazing career with so many options, good luck
Thank you for your advice!
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mackers_ire
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(Original post by Beediza)
Hi.The main reason I wanted to do Nursing was so that I could become a health visitor afterwards because of the hours,so health visitor or General practice nurse or a Community Nurse that's what I am looking at because I have kids I really cant be doing 12hr shifts all my life.I was a healthcare assistant for quite a while and used to do long shifts and nights so I just need to relax a bit.I know if I do a degree in Nursing first I can then do a Masters in Social work/or Step up to Social work afterwards so I could change jobs from Nursing to Social work but I'm not sure if i will be able to change easily from Social work to Nursing without having to do the full 3year Bachelors degree in Nursing?
if you're willing to do a 4 year course, a limited number of unis offer a combined nursing and social work degree, for example Edge Hill Uni.
Last edited by mackers_ire; 5 months ago
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Tia Sophia
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(Original post by Queenb017)
Hi, I have to say I find more career progression in social work than nursing (possibly because there are a lot less social workers than nurses and therefore more opportunity and less competition?) As I mentioned in social work you will be band 6 after a year. In nursing you would only be band 6 if you went into a management post etc (here in NI anyway). Also, social workers can move to band 7 and become a senior practitioner within their team. I don't know many nurses who can easily make the jump to band 6 here let alone band 7 and know no band 8s. Although it can be done with hard work and determination if you don't mind putting the years in.

Career wise I managed to get a permanent post straight from qualifying as did my friends but this is likely due to coronavirus and the need for social workers at the minute. I do know there is a lot of agency work and some of my friends have opted for that over permanent trust jobs as it is better paid and you can move if you don't like the work.

In terms of funding, I'm not sure about the bursary for first year as I did the graduate route which was only 2 years. I got it each year and it was 4,500. I did also receive student loans in which I was able to get grants and loans. If you are scared of paying loans back I would really advice you not to be. You really don't even notice a student loan leaving your bank each month. This is a loan which is only paid back when you make a certain ammount and if it's not all paid back within a certain ammount of years, it is written off. (that's the guidance I recieved when choosing to study but double check).
Hi, can you please help.
you’ve said you received a student loan Grant and Loans. Which loans and grants were they please as I’ll be starting SE in September and not sure what funding is available. Thanks x
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ladysquacy
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Hello Vam 1970 please How is Health Visiting like?Do you give medication, immunisation, do drug calculations. Do student have to drive to client's Houses on their own, do need to have a car to be able to do the course? Is the Job difficult and how about university is it hard?Thank youSandy
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Beediza
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(Original post by mackers_ire)
if you're willing to do a 4 year course, a limited number of unis offer a combined nursing and social work degree, for example Edge Hill Uni.
Hi.Thanks for your message.I did look into this a while back but the unis that offer 4 yr combined degrees seem to be far from where I live ....I wouldn't mind moving but i have 2 kids and a patner......I live in Harlow Essex....I really wish I could do the 4 year combined nursing and social work degree.
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