What is nursing?

It has been said that nursing may not always be easy to describe but we know when we get good nursing, and when we do not. Nurses are compassionate and have the ability to think critically and respond effectively to the diverse needs of people in their care.  

There has never been a more exciting time to join the nursing profession. Nowhere is this more evident than when looking at the role of nurses, the work they do and where they do it.

Career opportunities for nurses

As a nurse it is possible to work in many settings, including hospitals, GP surgeries, clinics, nursing and residential homes and occupational health services, voluntary organisations that run hospices and residential care, and the pharmaceutical industry, to name but a few. Nurses also work in the prison service, university education, on leisure cruise ships or for the armed forces.

The future of nursing is moving towards enabling people to be cared for in the community not just in hospital, removing the restrictions that ill health had, in the past, placed on many.

Nurses' roles in the community can include:

  • practice nursing
  • community mental health nursing
  • community learning disabilty nursing
  • district nursing
  • community children's nursing
  • health visiting and public health nursing

In whatever context, the commitment and the responsibility is considerable, but nurses may have the opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives.

What is nursing?