Advancing your career in nursing or midwifery
Your graduation is the first rung on your career ladder as a nurse or midwife. It is the springboard for a career that provides a diversity of opportunity.
Career opportunities and pathways are for the most part divided between:
- Education and research
While roles may overlap, most career opportunities in nursing and midwifery lie within these major areas. Each area includes general nursing along with a range of specialist areas for those who wish to go down the path of specialisation or advanced practice.
Clinical means working as a nurse or midwife directly with patients and or clients. The career options if you want to work as a clinician are:
- Staff Nurse/Staff Midwife
- Clinical Nurse/Midwife Specialist (CNS/CMS)
- Advanced Nurse/Midwife Practitioner (ANP/AMP)
Management means supervising nursing/midwifery staff and their provision of care to patients and clients. There are three front-line nursing and midwifery management roles, Clinical Nurse/Midwife Manager I, II and III. Additionally there are Assistant Director of Nursing, Assistant Director of Midwifery as well as Director of Nursing and Director of Midwifery roles. These roles are organisational and strategic and are generally part of corporate management and stewardship of organisations.
Education and research
Education career pathways tend to be either in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) or in the Centres of Nursing and Midwifery Education where undergraduate, post graduate and continuing professional development courses are delivered. Opportunities include nurse/midwife lecturers with progression to senior lectureships or professorships within the Schools of Nursing and Midwifery.
Research pathways may be within a clinical role or nurses/midwives can work as researchers in a variety of research facilities.
Opportunities to learn
The critical mass of nurses and midwives love the cut and thrust of general nursing. They remain within their scope of practice through CPD courses, long or short, as long as they are constantly building on their practice to improve the quality of care.
There are countless opportunities to learn and to build on your skills. You may decide to do a postgraduate course, some of which lead to additional registration. You will also be presented with promotional opportunities as you build your skills and experience. Graduation is the start of a fulfilling, challenging and exciting career as a nurse or a midwife.
Gaining your BSc and registration with NMBI may be just the starting point for you. Perhaps you will want to specialise in a particular area of nursing and midwifery. If so, there are many opportunities available to you. NMBI has approved a number of specialised post-registration programmes including:
- Children’s Nursing.
- Nurse Tutor.
- Public Health Nursing.
- Nurse Prescriber.
- Advanced Nurse Practitioner / Advanced Midwife Practitioner.
- Psychiatric Nursing.