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Webster B. A nurse will perform your operation today: how nursing roles are changing. Br J Nurs. 2020; 29:(20)1212-1213

Choosing a nursing path to follow

07 September 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 16

I (BW) joined a critical care department early on in my career after only a few months of registering and qualifying as a nurse. My plan had been to remain in my first post, which was in an inpatient elective orthopaedic ward, while completing a master's degree. So I would work there for 3 to 4 years and then consider looking at the likes of a trainee advanced nurse practitioner role or perhaps a specialist nurse role. However, at 5 months' post-registration, I moved to intensive care, the most critical area of the critical care department.

This move seemed appropriate at the time as I had been working in COVID-19 admissions and seeing some very acute patients at that time, having to develop my skills such as using the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) 2 and ABCDE assessments, among other skills and abilities.

You will often hear that nurses need many years of experience before working in critical care, something I had been told both by university staff and the nurses I had reached out to in other critical care areas across the UK. However, today, more newly registered nurses are being offered roles in critical care areas, as well as in theatre, anaesthetics, community nursing and research. Whether that is a good or bad development will be open for much debate.

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