For many nurses, the process often begins with the interview and the first consideration can be to decide what type of job and employer interview should be selected. A key criterion here will be:
Do I want to work in a hospital or a nursing home?
Many of the Employers in the UK and Ireland seeking nurses come from the public hospital sector, and to an extent the private hospitals. The hospital setting is very popular with many nurses, and for some it is the natural choice. If your nursing profile is in an area of specialist nursing, or you aspire to nurse in a specialist area, this may be for you. A lot of the vacancies though will be in the general medical, surgical areas. However, OT, CCU, ICU, orthopaedic, emergency medicine, renal, psychiatric nursing and others are always in high demand.
Most appointments are at Band 5 level (GBP£22,128 to £28,747). It may be possible to achieve some recognition of existing nursing experience, and seek an appointment somewhere higher in this scale. This is something that may be worth discussing at interview. Experience in the Middle East, in an English-speaking environment is often received well.
Overall, the hospital position will benefit from a level of job security and fringe benefits associated with a large employer. The environment will be doctor led, generally involve the use of up to date equipment and techniques. Socially, there will be potential interaction with many colleagues. The relocation package offered will vary from employer to employer, but may include flight costs, visa fees, initial accommodation and professional registration, together with a contribution towards language training., or some combination of these.
Nursing Homes are large employers in the United Kingdom and Ireland and are subject to the same pressures to find nurses. In some respects, they have the additional hurdle that nurses often migrate from the nursing home to the hospital sector, but only to a lesser extent in the other direction.
However, that is certainly not to say that they do not offer a valid career choice, and are often an excellent choice. Pay rates may be better than in hospitals reflecting the competitive nature of the marketplace. They also will offer competitive relocation packages. Some of the larger Care Home groups are very large employers indeed, sometimes employing thousands, or even tens of thousands of employees.
The area of nursing is also very clinically demanding as the service is nurse led and generally the resident profile will be frail elderly, and those with dementia, or both. Some other homes may cater for those with intellectual and physical challenges within a younger age group. Nursing in the sector though often involves those with complex needs, and the nursing skills and experience gained will be valuable.
A care ethos is always a pre-requisite in nursing, but it is paramount in the care setting as the care is delivered to the resident in the setting of their own home. Care is also more relationship based as there is an interaction with residents sometimes over months and years, though in many cases palliative, end of life care will also be a focus.
Due to the aging of the population, opportunities for advancement in this growing sector are good. A nurse will often be able to progress to supervisory or management grades within 5 years.
For those of you with specialist experience or aspirations to work in a specialist setting, within a hospital, it is the natural choice. However, if you have a developed care ethos and have an interest in nurse led, relationship based nursing, the care sector has many advantages. The care groups also have opportunities for trainers, clinical leads, intellectual disability and psychiatric nurses.