BackBack to menu

Forgotten password

Enter your email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password
  • 28 May 2018
  • 5 min read

Quick guide to becoming an RGN

  • Guest Writer
    nurses.co.uk

We look briefly at how anyone can become an RGN - the journey to a career as a general nurse.

This is Michaela - an ICU nurse who works for the NHS

The term RGN stands for Registered General Nurse and can broadly mean any nurse that has completed their degree or diploma and is then accredited by the Royal College of Nursing.

Nowadays, the term is being phased out and replaced with a different set of acronyms.

To help you understand the kinds of jobs you might find available, we've produced a guide to just what RGN jobs are.

How to become an RGN

To become an RGN, you need to have completed a nursing degree or, pre-1990s, a diploma.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have a list of accredited programs at appropriate institutes that you can use to find a good course.

From the mid-nineties, and after Project 2000, nurses were expected to hold modern academic degree qualifications.

Courses are three to four years long with the first year learning basic nursing and the others specialising in adult, child, mental health or learning disability.

After this, you can continue to specialise in a variety of ways.

To practice lawfully now, you study to become a pre-registered nurse and then you apply for current and valid registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Before registration, you may work as an HCA, care assistant, clinical support worker or nursing assistant.

Becoming a RGN (Registered General Nurse) means that you cover a wide spectrum of care... whatever care setting you enter, the path you go down is completely up to you!

What RGNs do

RGN jobs consist of all kinds of work and it will vary depending on your specialisation.

Broadly, you may work in hospitals or out in the community.

In hospitals, you could work in all kinds of inpatient and outpatient settings such as A&E, wards or an area like Oncology.

In the community, you'll work in areas like schools, prisons or GP surgeries.

After working in front-line jobs, you may wish to move into education and managerial work. To do so, you will need to study further.

Routes to a career as a general nurse

There are a few routes into nursing but these all involve university.

You cannot become a nurse in the UK without completing a nursing degree. There are many ways of accessing your degree:

5 A-C GCSEs including English and a science and at least 2 A Levels Access to nursing courses

BTEC National Diplomas

International Baccalaureates.

If you haven't the time to study full-time, there are part-time courses and you may also be able to secure a nursing secondment.

This route involves working as a senior health care assistant/assistant practitioner whilst studying part-time too.

A secondment may however reduce your chances for NHS bursary help.If you have previous experience or study, you may also be able to take the degree course more quickly than others.

Moving Forward

The best way to assess the jobs available is ultimately to look through them.

Now you have an idea of what you may be expected to do as an RGN and how you're able to do them, look through our RGN jobs and familiarise yourself.

Looking for a RGN job?

Next Steps...

Create an account.

We will help you build a CV as part of that process.

This will get you ready to start searching for jobs.

RGN jobs

1000s of RGN jobs available

Search Jobs

Create Your Account

We'll help build your CV

Create Account

About the author

  • Guest Writer
    nurses.co.uk

Our guest writers at nurses.co.uk come from all different walks of life. Although they come from different professions, whether that be a Mental Health Nurse, a Paramedic, a Surgeon, a Doctor, or a Recruiter, they all offer a wealth of experience and knowledge which is invaluable. Their dedication, loyalty and love for their role is what brings them here, to nurses.co.uk, where they write helpful content for you. They are real people bringing you real experiences.

See all of our RGN jobs

5468 jobs currently available

Search Jobs

  • Guest Writer
    nurses.co.uk

About the author

  • Guest Writer
    nurses.co.uk

Our guest writers at nurses.co.uk come from all different walks of life. Although they come from different professions, whether that be a Mental Health Nurse, a Paramedic, a Surgeon, a Doctor, or a Recruiter, they all offer a wealth of experience and knowledge which is invaluable. Their dedication, loyalty and love for their role is what brings them here, to nurses.co.uk, where they write helpful content for you. They are real people bringing you real experiences.