HELP! what degree should I take??

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Arrnab
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Up until recently I was certain I wanted to pursue a career in Nursing as it seems like a stable career. But I am also interested in two other degrees
- Bio sciences
-Neuroscience
I am hesitant to pursue nursing because I have heard you work long hours with little pay - I don't want to be miserable and stuck in a job
.. but i'm worried (with the other 2 degrees above) that I will have a useless degree which wont get me a definite job after I graduate and I will be in a lot of debt.
Which would be more practical (please don't say pick the one which I will enjoy)
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ajj2000
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Which A levels are you doing? I'd be inclined to do a more general degree then a nursing conversion masters degree if you fancy nursing. This gives you some chance to decide if it is the right career for you and get appropriate experience in different fields.
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Vam1970
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(Original post by Arrnab)
Up until recently I was certain I wanted to pursue a career in Nursing as it seems like a stable career. But I am also interested in two other degrees
- Bio sciences
-Neuroscience
I am hesitant to pursue nursing because I have heard you work long hours with little pay - I don't want to be miserable and stuck in a job
.. but i'm worried (with the other 2 degrees above) that I will have a useless degree which wont get me a definite job after I graduate and I will be in a lot of debt.
Which would be more practical (please don't say pick the one which I will enjoy)
Just to inform you nurses work 37.5 hrs full time (Aldi work 45 full time)and Nurses start with 7 wks annual leave a year this goes to 8wks after 10 years service and shifts can be long 12.5hrs but you just do 3 per week.
There are 9-5 jobs out there too.
Practice nurse or contraceptive nurse’s do more 9-5 as do health visitors.
There are school nurses, immunisation nurses.
School immunisation nurses just work term time 9-3.
There are lots of nursing roles, some in private insurance companies some in research companies.
Some nurses have their own business and do bottox treatments.
It can be as exciting and varied as you want and I don’t think the pay is too bad.
There is potential to earn a really decent wage.
One things for sure as a graduate you can walk straight into a job.
However if you are not sure if nursing is for you you probably won’t get offered a place as you need to be passionate about it and really want to make a difference in people’s lives.
I don’t know much about the other degrees you are talking about but would they lead to research jobs or teaching?
Some people use them as step into medicine.
Like others have said you can do 2 year Msc nursing course after degree, however you will have 2 loans to repay so 18% of your pay over £26,000ish unless you can self fund.
Read a bit around different nursing roles and see if anything interests you and hopefully someone can give you advice on your other subjects.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Vam1970)

Like others have said you can do 2 year Msc nursing course after degree, however you will have 2 loans to repay so 18% of your pay over £26,000ish unless you can self fund.
Do you have a source for that? I was under the impression that nursing courses were repaid on the same 9% basis as the undergrad loan - and thus no increase in repayments for most people.
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giella
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Look at the Allied Health Professions. You’ll probably find something in there.
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Vam1970
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Do you have a source for that? I was under the impression that nursing courses were repaid on the same 9% basis as the undergrad loan - and thus no increase in repayments for most people.
I’ll try and find it, sure I read it on the sfe part of this forum
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Vam1970
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I must have dreamt it😊
Just checked on the government website and no you are right the 9% would go to pay off the two loans so, bonus, I’m really happy now!
Good luck with your decision 😊
Makes it easier to do both !
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by Vam1970)
Just to inform you nurses work 37.5 hrs full time (Aldi work 45 full time)and Nurses start with 7 wks annual leave a year this goes to 8wks after 10 years service and shifts can be long 12.5hrs but you just do 3 per week.
There are 9-5 jobs out there too.
Practice nurse or contraceptive nurse’s do more 9-5 as do health visitors.
There are school nurses, immunisation nurses.
School immunisation nurses just work term time 9-3.
There are lots of nursing roles, some in private insurance companies some in research companies.
Some nurses have their own business and do bottox treatments.
It can be as exciting and varied as you want and I don’t think the pay is too bad.
There is potential to earn a really decent wage.
One things for sure as a graduate you can walk straight into a job.
However if you are not sure if nursing is for you you probably won’t get offered a place as you need to be passionate about it and really want to make a difference in people’s lives.
I don’t know much about the other degrees you are talking about but would they lead to research jobs or teaching?
Some people use them as step into medicine.
Like others have said you can do 2 year Msc nursing course after degree, however you will have 2 loans to repay so 18% of your pay over £26,000ish unless you can self fund.
Read a bit around different nursing roles and see if anything interests you and hopefully someone can give you advice on your other subjects.
A lot of the jobs you have listed as mostly 9-5 jobs are very quickly moving away from that sort of shift pattern. Many practices are open late evenings and very early mornings, for example. It's also uncommon to enter most of these roles as a newly qualified nurse.

The information regarding shifts and holidays can vary from trust to trust, and within the UK, and does not apply if you work for a charity or the private sector.
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artful_lounger
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If you are interested in biomedical science and working in healthcare, you may want to consider a career as a biomedical scientist in the NHS. You would want to do one of the Healthcare Sciences (Life Sciences) degrees that are part of the NHS PTP to be able to directly enter that profession as a band 5 BMS.

I'm not sure what the hours for it are like though - RegisteredBMS might be able to advise if it's more 9-5 type hours or more variable shift work (or if it depends on the particular area you specialise in or trust you work in)?
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RegisteredBMS
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
If you are interested in biomedical science and working in healthcare, you may want to consider a career as a biomedical scientist in the NHS. You would want to do one of the Healthcare Sciences (Life Sciences) degrees that are part of the NHS PTP to be able to directly enter that profession as a band 5 BMS.

I'm not sure what the hours for it are like though - RegisteredBMS might be able to advise if it's more 9-5 type hours or more variable shift work (or if it depends on the particular area you specialise in or trust you work in)?
All disciplines include a 9-5 shift. Some run a 24 hour laboratory service where they'll have shifts that supplement the 9-5 to allow a 24 hour service. Some, mainly Microbiology, use an on-call out of hours service and have a BMS on-call. I believe most Cellular Pathology (histology/cytology) are just 9-5.
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Vam1970
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(Original post by Charlotte's Web)
A lot of the jobs you have listed as mostly 9-5 jobs are very quickly moving away from that sort of shift pattern. Many practices are open late evenings and very early mornings, for example. It's also uncommon to enter most of these roles as a newly qualified nurse.

The information regarding shifts and holidays can vary from trust to trust, and within the UK, and does not apply if you work for a charity or the private sector.
Yes It’s true In Private sector Holidays are not the same but pay reflects that usually.
I have worked for 4 different trusts and holidays were always The same so I don’t know about why there are differences as I didn’t experience that within nhs.
You can work as a newly qualified nurse in practice but it won’t be as easy as if you have experience and may depend on area you live in.
There are courses you can go on to improve your chance of success.
Progress is dependent on area and route you take.
I know the youngest hv in the uk, she trained in my area.
She went straight into hv training then did one year in practice ( band 6)
Then she got a job at 111 band 7
Then she self funded her prescribing and now she earns in the higher tax bracket so 3 years later she’s a nursing prescriber and could definitely work in a practice.
The hours I’m not really bothered about, early mornings and Saturday mornings don’t account to much and still is not a 12 hr night so all good in my book 😊
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by Vam1970)
Yes It’s true In Private sector Holidays are not the same but pay reflects that usually.
I have worked for 4 different trusts and holidays were always The same so I don’t know about why there are differences as I didn’t experience that within nhs.
You can work as a newly qualified nurse in practice but it won’t be as easy as if you have experience and may depend on area you live in.
There are courses you can go on to improve your chance of success.
Progress is dependent on area and route you take.
I know the youngest hv in the uk, she trained in my area.
She went straight into hv training then did one year in practice ( band 6)
Then she got a job at 111 band 7
Then she self funded her prescribing and now she earns in the higher tax bracket so 3 years later she’s a nursing prescriber and could definitely work in a practice.
The hours I’m not really bothered about, early mornings and Saturday mornings don’t account to much and still is not a 12 hr night so all good in my book 😊
Not necessarily, I've worked in the private sector and pay can vary massively, as can the overall benefits package. I certainly wouldn't say you get fewer holidays but more pay, as that isn't often the case.

I mentioned it was uncommon to work in those roles - not impossible. It can happen but is not something I would recommend relying upon to someone entering the profession as those roles are so competitive. It is not realistic for someone to enter into a nursing degree and expect not to work shifts at any point during their career.
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Vam1970
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(Original post by Charlotte's Web)
Not necessarily, I've worked in the private sector and pay can vary massively, as can the overall benefits package. I certainly wouldn't say you get fewer holidays but more pay, as that isn't often the case.

I mentioned it was uncommon to work in those roles - not impossible. It can happen but is not something I would recommend relying upon to someone entering the profession as those roles are so competitive. It is not realistic for someone to enter into a nursing degree and expect not to work shifts at any point during but you definitely can do a more daytime job eventually.
No I’m definitely not saying “do nursing you will work 9-5” as most nursing is obviously 24 hr care.
What I’m saying is you can work 9-5 ish or at least daytime with some jobs.
A lot of nurses like shifts and find night shifts work well with young children. I know one who did 2 Split 12.5hr nights for years so she could look after her children.
I got a 9-5 job within 2 years and that was my experience it may not be others.
however, most nursing is shift based for sure due to the nature of the job.
I love nursing but sometimes nurses remain static and don’t realise their potential.
I’ve been extremely lucky to work in progressive trusts who encourage personal development.
I know not everyone is that lucky and management supervision is scarce, even none existent for some.
I actually liked nights as there were no visitors 😂😂
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Arrnab
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The A-levels I am doing are : Biology, English Lit, Psychology and sociology. I have been researching and I don't think taking Neuroscience is wise as chemistry a-level is highly preferred and in some courses is necessary. Also I would have to study further/specialise as a Bsc in Neuroscience isnt enough to get a job.
My original plan for the future was to study a Bsc in Adult nursing, gain experience and study for a masters and become an advanced nurse. I noticed Exeter offers a Msci in nursing which is in between a Bsc and Masters degree, if that makes sense. It might make my journey of becoming an advanced nurse easier I think.

But also If i do an Msci and want to study further - doing a masters it will not be funded. If i do a Bsc in nursing and then go onto a masters it will be funded. But i need 5 years minimum experience if i do the Bsc and want to then do a masters.
ugh this is so difficult. I am passionate about helping others but I need to look at things realistically - iv'e heard nurses are underappreciated and underpaid!

Yet for some reason I still have doubt. I was trying to find work experience but got no success and Covid is not exactly helping either - work experience is a must for nursing. Because of my doubt I wanted to look at Bioscience - a degree I can do with just biology. I do enjoy biology so I thought it was worth looking at

Thanks for all your response btw! I really appreciate it
Last edited by Arrnab; 4 weeks ago
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milliewolf
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(Original post by Arrnab)
Up until recently I was certain I wanted to pursue a career in Nursing as it seems like a stable career. But I am also interested in two other degrees
- Bio sciences
-Neuroscience
I am hesitant to pursue nursing because I have heard you work long hours with little pay - I don't want to be miserable and stuck in a job
.. but i'm worried (with the other 2 degrees above) that I will have a useless degree which wont get me a definite job after I graduate and I will be in a lot of debt.
Which would be more practical (please don't say pick the one which I will enjoy)
i was in exactly the same position as you and I decided to do neuroscience because my heart wasn't fully into the idea of nursing and I didn't want to do a job that would make me unhappy and also it frees up a space for someone that actually does want to do nursing. One of the main things you need to be a nurse is commitment and if you don't have that, then there's really no point in doing it. But this is just my personal experience, make sure you do research and look at the options available and be completely sure. Good luck
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Arrnab
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(Original post by milliewolf)
i was in exactly the same position as you and I decided to do neuroscience because my heart wasn't fully into the idea of nursing and I didn't want to do a job that would make me unhappy and also it frees up a space for someone that actually does want to do nursing. One of the main things you need to be a nurse is commitment and if you don't have that, then there's really no point in doing it. But this is just my personal experience, make sure you do research and look at the options available and be completely sure. Good luck
Thank you for the advice!. How are you finding Neuroscience? What is your plan after completing your degree? . i've attended a virtual open day and explored a bio science degree. They were very helpful and stated after I complete the degree, I can gain experience as a lab assistant and create a portfolio to become a biomedical scientist.
I haven't fully decided yet but i'm still keeping my options open
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MalcolmX
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medicine or dentistry. you like biosciences and you want something practical that will lead to a lucrative career.
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Arrnab
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(Original post by MalcolmX)
medicine or dentistry. you like biosciences and you want something practical that will lead to a lucrative career.
i'm not taking chemistry for a-level
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MalcolmX
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(Original post by Arrnab)
i'm not taking chemistry for a-level
not all medicine/dentistry degrees require a-level chemistry. https://www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2...hools-2021.pdf
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moosec
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(Original post by Arrnab)
The A-levels I am doing are : Biology, English Lit, Psychology and sociology. I have been researching and I don't think taking Neuroscience is wise as chemistry a-level is highly preferred and in some courses is necessary. Also I would have to study further/specialise as a Bsc in Neuroscience isnt enough to get a job.
My original plan for the future was to study a Bsc in Adult nursing, gain experience and study for a masters and become an advanced nurse. I noticed Exeter offers a Msci in nursing which is in between a Bsc and Masters degree, if that makes sense. It might make my journey of becoming an advanced nurse easier I think.

But also If i do an Msci and want to study further - doing a masters it will not be funded. If i do a Bsc in nursing and then go onto a masters it will be funded. But i need 5 years minimum experience if i do the Bsc and want to then do a masters.
ugh this is so difficult. I am passionate about helping others but I need to look at things realistically - iv'e heard nurses are underappreciated and underpaid!

Yet for some reason I still have doubt. I was trying to find work experience but got no success and Covid is not exactly helping either - work experience is a must for nursing. Because of my doubt I wanted to look at Bioscience - a degree I can do with just biology. I do enjoy biology so I thought it was worth looking at

Thanks for all your response btw! I really appreciate it
You seem to be very well informed about Nursing & its prospects for career development... that's good! An MSci isn't necessarily 'in-between' a BSc and MSc though, an MSci is an integrated masters: 'a longer undergraduate programme that eventually awards a Masters-level degree (as an integrated Masters). It stands for ‘Master in Science’ (as opposed to ‘Master of Science’).' So it basically means that your first 3 years will be an undergrad (BSc), with your fourth year being used to top-up to Masters level
You are correct that if you do an integrated masters, you won't be eligible for a postgraduate loan for an additional masters as it's an ELQ (Equivalent or Lesser Qualification.)
Having an MSci in Nursing won't necessarily do much for you tbh... all newly-qualified nurses start at Band 5 regardless of whether they qualified at Bachelors or Masters level. Particularly if you want to be an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, you may be better off doing the BSc so that you are then eligible for a postgraduate loan for your MSc Advanced Clinical Practice. You don't need 5 years experience before doing a masters! For an Advanced Clinical Practice masters, some uni's require 36months of experience (but some don't, such as De Montford Uni... you just need to be NMC registered!). Check around some uni's postgrad courses, there are others that don't specifically require a set amount of experience
36 months for ANP/Band 7 is fairly typical/slightly accelerated progression for a Nurse's career though... you can apply for Band 6 positions usually with 18months of experience but even then some nurses can progress sooner (I know someone who was promoted to a B6 job just over 6 months post-qualifying haha!)

You say you're passionate about helping others - that's the reason most people go into nursing. I don't think anybody goes into the job for the money... we do it because we care & we're passionate about what we do yes, it can be long hours... yes, we're not paid enough in the grand scheme of things... but when you're treating patients and you make a difference to their lives when they're at their most vulnerable, it makes it all worthwhile. Nursing is rewarding, that's for sure.

In terms of pay, we're paid in accordance to the Agenda for Change. Newly-qualified nurses start at the bottom of band 5, their pay then increases incrementally the more time/experience you have within that band... but as I've said, you can be moving up into more advanced pay bands from band 5 to band 6 and beyond within 18 months of qualifying... I suppose it's up to you to decide whether the pay's feasible for you to live on and such. We do get decent enough annual leave, pension, childcare etc in the NHS as well. https://www.nhsemployers.org/pay-pen...-scales/annual

(PS, work experience isn't necessarily a must for nursing. It's desirable... not essential. I was an audio engineer before I was a student nurse lol, no background in healthcare at all, just a passion for the field)
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