What is a Nurse?

Nursing is a highly responsible and extremely varied job, where people skills and initiative are essential for the hands-on care that nurses provide. Nurses care for all ages from babies to adults who are sick, injured or have physical disabilities. As well as working in hospitals, there are opportunities across the community, such as in GP practices, clinics, and schools.

There are many different nursing roles across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, from nurse specialists, advanced nurse practitioners, community nurses to ward nurses. However you have to start somewhere…..

Your journey will usually start at university where you will study one branch of nursing, however in some universities you are able to study two branches during your course. It is also possible to change after graduating, so this doesn’t mean your career is decided.

There are four branches of nursing:

  • Adult Nursing
  • Children’s Nursing
  • Learning Disability Nursing
  • Mental Health Nursing

Adult Nursing

Adult nurses work with patients over 18 in most settings. They can work in hospitals or in community settings such as people’s homes, health centres or nursing homes.  Once qualified, they can take extra courses to specialise in areas such as cancer care, women’s health, accident and emergency, critical care, practice nursing, health visiting or school nursing.

Children’s Nursing

Children’s nurses work with children and young people up to 18 years old’s (in some settings). There are a variety of places you can work in C&P, from specialist baby care units to adolescent units and hospices.  Children react to illness in a very different way to adults, and children’s nurses are specially trained to understand their needs. Children’s nurses also support, advice and educate parents and carers. Once qualified, they can specialise in areas such as health visiting, school nursing, intensive care, child safeguarding and cancer care.

Learning Disability Nursing

Nurses who qualify in this branch of nursing help adults and children with learning disabilities to live independently and fulfilling lives. Settings you may choose to work in include: supported accommodation, in hospitals or in specialist secure units for offenders with learning disabilities.

Mental Health Nursing

Mental health nurses plan and deliver care for people living at home, in specialist hospital services or acute care hospitals. Nurses working in this field need enhanced communication skills to support families and carers. They work with other health care professionals to ensure patients with mental illness get the specialised care they need.