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Which field of nursing should I pursue?


Can you advise this soon-to-be student nurse?

”I’m not actually a student nurse yet – I’m applying to university right now, and looking at the various programs each one offers. There’s just so much to consider! I know that the broad fields of study are adult, children’s, learning disability, and mental health nursing, which all have different advantages and drawbacks for me.

”I love working with children but it really upsets me to see them in pain; adults don’t upset me as much, but other than that they’re not nearly as much fun to work with.

”I think I would be good at learning disability nursing, but I also think it could get frustrating. And I have some personal experience with mental health issues, so I could definitely relate to my patients in that field – I just don’t know if going into a specialty where I’m constantly surrounded by mentally ill people would be very good for my own.

”My friends have all given me advice, but obviously none of them are nurses, so I’d love to hear from other people who have actually been through this! Which field did you go into and why? Which one does it sound like I should pursue?”

Please use the comments section below to share your advice

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Readers' comments (4)

  • Hi!
    I chose adult nursing and can honestly say it is the best decision I ever made, even though before beginning my training I struggled between nursing and paramedic science. I think it's natural to worry about which field you enter; after all, it's going to hugely impact the rest of your life. But when you do make decision you will know it's the right one.

    Adult nursing for me, has encompassed all the other branches. Through a wide variety of placements in acute hospital wards, day case surgery, community nursing and emergency nursing I have encountered people from all walks of life; some with learning disabilities, others with mental health issues. I have cared for a 16 yr old following surgery placed on an adult ward and new born babies on a mother and baby placement. Adult nurses can even go into neonatal nursing upon qualifying!
    As an adult nurse we see such a broad range of health conditions and so our knowledge base needs to be wide and varied. Every patient brings a learning experience, and often, our patients are experts in their conditions and so make exceptional learning tools.
    I can honestly say I was made for adult nursing. My training has been the most incredible journey and I'm sure whichever branch you undertake, you will feel the same. Good luck making your choices. I hope this helped :)

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  • Hi i am currently a student nurse. Previous to embarking upon the degree i was undecided of which branch i wanted to persue but knew 100% that i wanted to work within the healthcare sector.

    Ive had various experience working as a health care assistant within a broad range of areas including mental health, learning disabilities, maternity, adult based wards and even community care.

    The deciding factor for me when choosing adult nursing was that it opens doors to so many different areas and makes it possible to undertake many 18 month post graduate courses in various fields. I love adult nursing but have had my doubts on and off over the past 8 years. However knowing that i have so many options to consider after qualifying it was definitely the best option for me.

    I wish you all the best of luck!

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  • the opportunity to move direction arises throughout your career in nursing now and later by training and ongoing development. there are so many interesting roads to go down its like being in a sweetie shop but it is up to you. What is your personal passion

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  • Due to my own personal experience if I could turn back the clock I would apply for adult branch rather than child. Although I've loved my placements I feel like I've limited myself by choosing the child branch as I can't go on to do anything like gp nursing (which I enjoyed when I went on a visit). This is especially frustrating as my areas of interest (neonatal nursing and health visiting) can be accessed via adult branch. You can also do conversion courses from adult branch whilst it's harder to go from being a child branch to something such as midwifery. Overall there's probably more opportunity from adult branch which could be better if you're currently unsure!

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