Being young, I went with the flow and perhaps didn’t appreciate the sheer diversity the profession encompasses - not just in the people you encounter but also in the different specialist pathways within nursing. After three and half years, I qualified as a staff nurse and was over the moon, no longer a student nurse. I really looked forward to my long-awaited first shift as a trained nurse. It was certainly worth the wait.
I was very proud of my profession back then, and I still am now. At the time I assumed everyone held a similar title to me: general registered nurse. How wrong I was. Gradually I came to understand that there were specialities in the nursing profession. I understood that psychiatry was one of the specialities which specialised in care for people with mental health problems; I learned about learning disability nursing, community nursing, paediatric nursing, infection control nursing and many other specialties. The list was endless.
My excitement was not going to fade anytime soon and I was off to university to do a degree and a subsequent master’s in public health. The more I ventured out, the more nurse specialists I came across who initially I had never imagined would exist.
I have continued to marvel at the endless opportunities the nursing profession brings. The old notion of nursing only taking place in hospital ward settings is long gone. Nursing has become a modern profession that’s attracting people from all walks of life who are fulfilling their desire to make a difference in people’s lives. The profession has embraced technology and one can only imagine what this will look like in years to come. I’d say if you are thinking about embarking on a career, now would be the time to go to university and do nursing.