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  • 23 November 2020
  • 8 min read

How To Get Into Nursing With No Experience

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    • Mat Martin
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
    • Shakilah Millian
    • Claire Carmichael
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  • 24295
Play video: "I qualified at 36. And do you know what? It was the best thing I ever did."

Having herself retrained during her 30s, General Practice Nurse, Claire Carmichael, offers practical advice and insights on how to become a Nurse with no prior experience.

Topics covered in this article

0.07 Introduction

1.27 The Different Routes Into Nursing

3.03 Nursing Homes Are A Great Place To Start

3.41 You Could Become A Dementia Friend

4.20 Going Down The Degree Route

5.43 Have A Look At Different Roles Online

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0.07 Introduction

Hi, everyone, and welcome back to the vlog.

My name is Claire and I'm a newly qualified General Practice Nurse.

Today's video is all about getting into Nursing if you have no experience whatsoever.

First things first, let's just get straight to the point.

If you've got no experience whatsoever in healthcare, care work, anything like that, you can absolutely go into Nursing.

Don't sweat it.

You can do it.

Nursing is a degree only qualification now.

It used to be diploma course, and you could get on it that way through NVQs and things like that.

But it is a degree only course.

There's also apprenticeships and stuff like that, but just because of the level of profession it is now, you do need A levels or an equivalent to an A level.

I didn't have any A levels, my GCSEs were poor, all of that jazz, so I had to put everything in place to get to where I am.

I had to do the equivalent GCSE.

I did numeracy and literacy, level two, then I went on and I did my access course, I did my NVQ2 and NVQ3 as well and helped in social care.

1.27 The Different Routes Into Nursing

I probably did it a long-winded way, but that's just the way I did it back then.

There are, again, different routes.

You can become a Nursing Apprentice.

There are apprenticeships that you can go on, so you'll get the job, and they'll train you on the job kind of thing.

You can go through open university now.

You can do the Nursing Associate route as well.

You will train for two years and then you'll become a band 4 Nursing Associate.

I've heard that you can go up to a band 5 as well, Nursing Associate, which is really interesting.

I'm not sure how that works.

I'm sorry guys.

But yes, you can do that as well.

However, if you have no work experience at all in working in healthcare and you want to go into Nursing and you're not too sure where to go or where to get started, a really good thing to do is call around places.

Call your local care homes or nursing homes, have a look online as well at some volunteering roles, ask if you can go in and do a shadow shift and just observe things happening.

I don't know what it's going to be like with COVID and stuff like that now, whether they'll allow you to do that, but it's really good to get in there and get a little bit of an insight to what's going to be involved on the Nursing course and what Nursing involves in general as well.

Because I think people that haven't had that background before, they can be a little bit shocked when they go onto the placement or into the area and they have to clean up things like faeces, urine, blood, vomit, and they're just like, "Whoa, I did not realize I was going to be dealing with this".

Yeah, it can be a little bit of a shock for some people.

So just to prepare you for that, it's good to get some experience.

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3.03 Nursing Homes Are A Great Place To Start

I always rave about nursing homes because that's where I fell in love with Nursing.

Nursing homes are a really, really good start, I think.

Really good to get the foundations of Nursing in there and get some skills along the way.

Another good area to go into as well is if you ring up your local hospices as well, because that's a really lovely area and a great place to see that end of life, palliative care process and see what sort of Nursing skills are involved in that sort of process, because at some point in your career you will probably have to deal with that sort of thing.

That's a really good area to go in and get some experience as well, and insight.

You can browse our sister site for over 1000 Social Care roles.

3.41 You Could Become A Dementia Friend

Also, you could become a dementia friend.

This could be someone that does voluntary experience at social clubs and things like that that are run especially for those people that have dementia.

They are really, really good. I did this when I was up in Birmingham.

It was called the buds scheme, and it was really, really nice to do that and go and interact with people.

It was just lovely.

The way it was run was fantastic and it was just nice to gain those different communication styles as well and how to interact with someone that does have dementia.

Yeah, it's definitely a good foundation for you as a Nurse to do.

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4.20 Going Down The Degree Route

If you want to become a Nurse and you have the qualifications and you want to do the degree route, you literally just have to apply via UCAS.

UCAS is a website that will store all of your information and your application and your personal statement and everything to apply for nursing, and other courses as well.

It's just the application process as a whole for universities.

Yes, go onto UCAS, have a look at Nursing courses in your area, think about what sort of university you want to go to, which one you would prefer to go to.

When you're thinking about choosing your university, make sure you're thinking, "Okay, if I'm going to that university, where am I going to be placed? What hospitals am I going to go?".

Thinking about that and actually getting there for 7:00 in the morning or if you're coming back late at night.

Thinking about those little things will really help you decide which university to go to as well.

If you've got everything you need, your qualifications and all that, just get applying on UCAS and go for it.

However, if you haven't got those qualifications, then you need to get those qualifications to be able to get into university, like I said at the start of the video, and you'll be well away.

Don't think, "Oh, it's going to take me years and blah, blah, blah".

I qualified at 36.

And do you know what? It was the best thing I ever did.

I did the longer route round and got all my qualifications and experience first and then built it bit by bit that way.

But just pick the route for you that's going to work for you, and don't think about the time it's going to take, because that time is going to fly past anyway, whether you do it or not.

5.43 Have A Look At Different Roles Online

Have a look again online at different roles that you can do, the Nursing apprenticeships, Nursing Associate roles.

Have a look because they will be advertised on job sites as well, so have a look at those and what you need to get through to that process.

[Um, no need to go to any other job sites, as we have 1000s of nursing jobs right here! Ed.]

That will just give you an idea of where you want to aim for and if you've got the qualifications and experience and whatever they're asking for to apply for that sort of job now if that's the other route that you want to take.

I will post some links in the video description, to all the different routes and how to go through them, and that'll just give you a bit more understanding, hopefully, on how to apply and what to do and what's expected of you and what's needed and all that jazz, and then you can go from there and just build on it.

It's better that you do that, because if I sit here talking to you for hours and hours about the different routes, the different qualifications, the different things you need to do, you're going to get bored, guys.

Honestly, follow the links, have a look, and just figure out where you want to go, and which route you want to take.

Just remember, it's not about the destination, it's about the journey and the experience.

Until next time, I'll see you later and have a great day.

Let me know in the comments your thoughts on becoming a Nurse and what I've said about how to go about it - let's chat there!

Oh, and please Like this article to let me know you enjoyed it - thank you!

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About the author

I am a Registered Nurse with over 12 years healthcare experience including: elderly care, orthopaedics, sexual health / family planning, qualified GP nurse, transgender healthcare and now in my new role as an assistant lecturer (as of Nov 2022). I believe that nursing gets a lot of bad press, so I create blogs and vlogs to help anyone considering their nursing career and to create positivity surrounding our profession as I'm so passionate about nursing.

    • Mat Martin
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
    • Shakilah Millian
    • Claire Carmichael
  • 1
  • 24295

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    • Aneesah Aneesah 3 years ago
      Aneesah Aneesah
    • Aneesah Aneesah
      3 years ago

      I am doing nursing via the apprenticeship route and I love it