Why more people need to study nursing and midwifery

Your country needs you!

All of us are aware that nursing and midwifery is experiencing an unprecedented amount of vacancies; in January NHS Improvement published figures showing 35,000 nurse posts in England were vacant. This vacancy rate is a real cause for concern when we consider the role that nurses and midwives fulfil.

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A general misconception exists in the media that the profession of nursing revolves around sponge baths and bedpans. Generally, today’s public is more educated about the important role nurses play in the wider healthcare community. Yet, the truth of the matter is, unless you or a loved one has spent time in a hospital, you may not fully appreciate the breadth of expertise and knowledge that nurses bring to the table.

Nurses are on the frontline of administering and evaluating treatment

Nurses and Midwives are key to the Governments plans for delivering a healthcare system fit for the 21st Century. Nurses are on the frontline of administering and evaluating treatment. If you’re a patient, nurses are your greatest advocate. Because they spend more time with you, nurses can comprehensively monitor your progress. They know what symptoms might be a red flag and can assess the effectiveness of treatment. They then communicate this to the wider multidisciplinary team. Keeping this open dialogue is just one of the countless things nurses do to ensure quality of care. This care is delivered in hospitals GP practices, and the community.

One of the main roles embraced by the nursing profession is the provision of emotional support. They understand the complexities and implications of an illness. They counsel patients and family through everything from understanding a chronic condition to coping with death and dying. Their knowledge of illness combined with exceptional people skills provides comfort and stability. For many patients, this relationship is an anchor at the most challenging periods of their life.

Nursing is a true calling

It’s a physically demanding position; many nurses cycle through 12-hour shifts on their feet. We work Public Holidays, nights and weekends to ensure 24-hour seamless care when our patients need it. This selflessness is a key component of what makes Nurses proud to be identified as a profession. Nurses are a key member of the multidisciplinary team, this description of nursing was written by a doctor!

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Midwives are equally important to the wellbeing of the nation; in recent years, in the UK, there has been an increase in the number of pregnant women who are living in poverty, who do not speak English as a first language and who need support in accessing services. This is particularly true of areas of Birmingham. Midwives are caring for increasing numbers of women with complex physical and social needs such as young teenagers, older mothers, the higher incidence of fertility treatments such as IVF, and women who misuse drugs and alcohol.

In homes, birth centres and hospitals, midwives are the lead professional caring for women and their babies in the majority of cases. And that’s for the over 700,000 women who give birth each year in the UK. Midwives coordinate a woman’s journey through pregnancy, providing the continuity to ensure that she experiences safe, compassionate care in an appropriate environment. They provide total care to women and their babies from the diagnosis of pregnancy as an autonomous healthcare professional as well as supporting the transition to parenthood right up to 4 weeks following birth if required. This requires advanced skills that have been associated in the past with medical staff.

Midwives also play a role in protecting the health of the population by supporting breastfeeding wherever possible. Breastfeeding has a proven positive impact on long-term health, reducing chronic conditions like childhood obesity and cardiovascular disease later in life of the child as well as reducing a woman’s risk of stroke. This can also reduce NHS costs in dealing with these issues.

We are all passionate nurses and midwives

We realise deciding to pursue a career as a nurse or midwife requires investment; financially, emotionally and three years of your life! As a School we are all passionate nurses and midwives, absolutely committed to providing the very best environment and support for our students, to ensure you are all able to succeed and enrich a profession we are immensely proud of. We are constantly looking to the future to ensure the facilities and placements we offer are reflect the variety of settings our students will be working in when they qualify, and into what is a hugely varied career.

The School of Nursing and Midwifery has some of the best employability statistics across any University course; the latest statistic for our School is 99.6% (latest DHLE survey, 2016/17). The Government have provided some funding concessions for student enrolling on nursing and midwifery courses.

Nurses and midwives are essential for the wellbeing of our population

With challenges such as BREXIT, and the pressures on our NHS, it is more important than ever. The Nursing and Midwifery Council has realised this, and has released new guidelines on preparing nurses to meet these challenges. In response to this, we are currently developing exciting new courses that will equip you with the knowledge, skills and proficiency to enjoy an enriching career while embracing the healthcare challenges.

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Come and see for yourself

Find out more about what we’re looking for from our student nurses and midwives at one of our Open Days. 

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