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Career Ideas and Inspiration

What Nursing roles suit you?

Many members who come through to the RCN Career Service are looking to take the next step and progress within their career.

Some individuals will have a very clear idea of what they want to do next, whilst others know that they want to develop or progress but aren't sure what path they want to take.

This page is intended to encourage thoughts and ideas, and inspire you with some choices to explore and research further.

A lot of members who contact RCN Careers express a desire to develop, progress or change, but might not be sure which way to go, or where to start looking.

If you're looking for ideas about different options and what you might like to do next, this page could help you. Rather than compiling a long list of all the various roles to be found within nursing, we've tried to separate roles into groups of attributes, interests and strengths. See if any of the groups below resonate with you and if so, you can explore some of the related jobs in more detail.



  • Is working closely with patients important to you?
  • Would you like to expand your clinical skills or knowledge?
  • Do you wish you had more scope when caring for patients?
  • Or are you interested in a particular clinical area or patient group?


  • Are you good at making decisions and planning?
  • Do you often find yourself taking charge or leading in situations?
  • Do you enjoy supporting and motivating colleagues?
  • Do you consider yourself a good role model?
  • Do you mind having less direct contact with patients?


  • Do you enjoy coaching or mentoring?
  • Do you like the idea of supporting and developing others?
  • Are you passionate about education and learning?
  • Would you mind having less direct contact with patients?


  • Would you like to use knowledge and innovation to transform care?
  • Have you got strong verbal and written communication skills?
  • Would you like to improve patient care or patient experience?
  • Do you have good organisational skills with an eye for detail?
  • Do enjoy working with data and technology?
lifestyle 570 x 125

Work-life balance

  • Is having a work life balance the biggest priority for you?
  • Do you need to put your mental or physical health first?
  • Do you feel you need to put yourself/your family before your career?

Career pathways

  • Practical information about different nursing roles
  • Identify what education, training or skills you might need
  • Watch videos and case studies about different roles