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Career in Nursing

NURSING - A Paying Career Option

When great medical feats are performed, it is the doctors who walk away with all the credit. When patients are cured of life-threatening diseases, it is the doctors who get all the limelight.

But no great medical feat can be achieved, nor can patients be cured of diseases without the services of a Nurse. Nurses comprise that part of the medical community who rarely come to limelight for doing their work. But the contribution of Nurses to the sick and the infirm people is not less than that of doctors. It is the Nurses who render the caring band and the warm hear to patients, in order to help them get rid of their illnesses. The profession is a noble one and one who becomes a Nurse gets into the footsteps of Florence Nightingale. The prospect of good money is also assured as the demand for trained Nurses is on the rise.

The profession of Nursing involves taking care of the sick and the infirm people. A Nurse is one who apart from taking care of ill and convalescing people also assists and aids doctors, during examinations and operations on patients. A Nurse is responsible for the post-operative care of a patient, in administering medicines and giving basic services. A nurse also takes care of the hospital records and medical equipment. Nursing is one of the few careers that is dominated by women.

Nursing had a very few takers earlier, mostly because of a lack of proper appreciation of the career of Nursing and also due to reinforcement of the stereotyped image of the servile and inferior position of the Nurse in movies and television.

Though there is great disparity in the pay, position and benefits between the doctors and nurses, they are the cogs in the same medical wheel. Initially, Nurses are given the task of the bedside care of patients. As one gains seniority, one specialises in the management of patients in a particular section like Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Cardiology, etc.

One requires specialized skills to work in these sections.

Eligibility for a Nursing Career One needs to have completed 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology as compulsory subjects in order to do a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. The successful completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing is the eligibility criteria for doing a Postgraduate course in Nursing. The eligibility criteria required for doing a Ph.D. in Nursing is the successful completion of Postgraduate degree in Nursing.  

Aptitude

The most important quality one needs for possess, in order to go in for a career in Nursing, is the ability to establish a rapport with patients and respect them. One should be able to understand situations and tackle them effectively.

As a Nurse, one helps patients to fight off diseases and illnesses. Hence, qualities like patience, perseverance, responsibility and punctuality are required for one who in inclined to follow the profession of Nursing. Organizational skills, adaptability and the ability to make observations and to arrive at decisions rapidly and qualities, which are needed to be cultivated in order to be successful in this profession. Nursing also requires the qualities of team spirit and alertness of mind in order to tackle emergency situations. A high level of physical fitness is a must since the job involves a lot of hand work.

Courses

Generally, two types of courses are offered for nursing : the B.Sc. Degree (of four years) and General Nursing Programme (GNP), a Diploma course (of three years duration). In addition, there is the Auxiliary Nursing and Midwifery programme (18 months duration) which targets those who want to work in community health centres. Both the B.Sc. and the Diploma programme require students with a Science background.

The hospitals and colleges themselves usually conduct the entrance exams for B.Sc./Diploma courses, which test the student in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English and General Awareness. Some colleges like Jamia Hamdard also ask students to have the ability to communicate in Urdu/Hindi. There, is a combined entrance exam for Nursing along with medical, dental and pharmacy in some States of India.

A large number of Nursing schools, run by the various State governments in hospital campuses, also offer a Diploma course in Nursing. The three-year Diploma course includes generic nursing and midwifery. Such a diploma programme is also offered by some private organizations.

The Government has made provisions for specialisation in the field of Psychiatric Nursing, Neo-natal Nursing, Public Health Nursing, etc., through a Ph.D. programme. Industrial Nursing is another area of specialization where one assists industrial physicians to take preventive measures in order to avoid any untoward mishaps. An Industrial Nurse also provides first-aid during accidents inside the industrial premises.

Prospects

Once the course is completed one can join as Staff Nurse in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes, irrespective of whether one has done the B.Sc. or the Diploma programme. The real difference is in the number of increments and the duration between the promotions. The nurses with a B.Sc. Degree get two extra increments and they also get promoted faster. After five years of work experience, State hospitals often sponsor the interested students for the M.Sc. course in nursing.

There is a great demand for trained nurses, specially in the rural areas. The global norm followed by most advanced countries to keep an ideal doctor-nurse ratio is at 1 : 3. One can get employed as a Nurse in school, health departments, orphanages, old age homes, defence, industrial houses etc. One can also join the health department of Railways or other public sector medical departments. There is also the options of joining a training institute as an educator .

Ample job opportunities for Nurses are also available abroad. There is a great demand for Nurses in the UK , the US and the Middle East where a Nurse gets paid more very handsomely.

Remuneration

Nurses generally get a starting salary in the range of Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 12, 000 per month. In Government hospitals, the Government gives certain allowances like uniform allowance, house rent allowance, washing allowance, Government quarters and free medical treatment. In the private sector, the remuneration is at times lower than that offered in Government orgainsations. One can expect a high salary when a Nurse gets specialised in a particular field. The salary of a Nurse increases with experience in the sector.

Few Institutes / Universities Offering Courses in Nursing

  • Hindu Rao Hospital
    Near Malka Ganj, New Delhi-110007
  • Lady Reading Health School
    Bara Hindu Rao, New Delhi-110006
  • College of Nursing
    Post Graduate Institute of
    Medical Education & Resarch, Chandigarh-160012
    Tel.: 0172-2747585, E-mail: pgimer@chd.nic.in
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital
    Hari Nagar, New Delhi-110064
  • Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narain Hospital
    Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, New Delhi
  • Rajkumari Amrit Kaur College of Nursing
    Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi
  • Directorate of Family Welfare
    2-Battery Lane , Rajpur Road, New Delhi-110054
  • Jamia Hamdard
    Rufaida School of Nursing , Hamdard Nagar,
    New Delhi-110062
  • Lady Hardinge Medical College
    New Delhi-110001
  • Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital
    New Delhi
  • FR Muller’s College of Nursing PB No. 501,
    Fr. Muller’s Road, KanKanady, Mangalore-575003, Karnataka
  • Institute of Health Sciences
    Vidyanagar, Panjimogaru, Mangalore-575013, Karnataka