India’s nurse density per 1000 population is 12.7, says World Health Organization (WHO). Evidently, there is a huge supply-demand gap! And this gap could widen further in the coming years. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report, the country might require around six million nurses in the period between 2014 and 2034.
And not just in the domestic market! Indian nurses are highly sought after in many foreign countries, including the UAE, the UK and the US. In fact, India is the largest exporter of nurses to Europe, with Indians representing around 40 percent of the UK’s nursing recruitment from non-EU countries.
The point emerges that nursing, although still underrated, holds a lot of promises as a career option in India, especially for female candidates – because opportunities for male nurses are still limited to psychiatry departments and emergency wards. Bullish job market, high salary and job satisfaction levels and ample opportunities to work overseas – you seem to have all the reasons to plan a career in nursing. But, are you the right candidate for this profession? What do you need to excel in this career? To find out the answers, you need to know certain things about the specific of this profession.
Job DescriptionA nurse’s job is to plan and provide nursing care to patients in hospitals, healthcare centers, residential homes or any other places. Nurses are employable in different job positions and their roles and responsibilities vary accordingly. For instance, staff nurses provide direct nursing care to patients, while nursing supervisors are mainly responsible for monitoring the patient’s health conditions and nursing assistants assist doctors and surgeons during treatment. As a nurse, you need to gain the trust of your patients by providing them the emotional support and nursing care they need to restore their physical and/or mental health. Your duties may vary, but typically include;
Identifying a patient’s nursing care requirements and preparing plans for providing nursing careImplementing the plans by performing nursing tasks, such as, administering medications, taking samples, checking blood pressure, pulse and temperature, providing pre and post surgery careMonitoring and keeping a record of the patient’s health conditionsResponding to medical emergencies in a timely mannerCommunicating with doctors and surgeonsTaking the necessary steps to maintain a clean and hygienic work environmentGiving instructions to junior nurses and mentoring themGiving advice to patients and their relativesHandling admission and discharge of patients
Educational QualificationThere are many entry routes to this profession, but each route requires some training and formal education, as per standards set by the Indian Nursing Council. After 10+2, you can enroll in the one-and-a-half year diploma in auxiliary nursing and midwifery (ANM), or in the three-and-a-half year diploma in general nursing and midwifery (GNM). If you pass 10+2 in science with Physics, Chemistry and Biology, you could be eligible to enroll in a four-year bachelor’s degree in nursing (B.Sc. N) program. After completing B.Sc. N, you can do Master of Science in Nursing (M.Sc. N) or start your professional career. Students of M.Sc. N can opt for specialization in different areas of nursing, such as, Pediatric Nursing, Community Medicine, Medical Surgical Nursing, Obstetrics & Gynecology Nursing and Psychiatric Nursing. Those who want to study further can continue with MPhil and PhD in Nursing.
Skills RequiredNursing is a physically and mentally demanding profession. You should be healthy, hard working, compassionate, patient and reliable to excel in this field. You cannot become a good nurse without an inherent desire for helping others. Some must-have skills and qualities for nursing are;
Physical and emotional strengthCommunication skillsConfidence and compassionEthicsTeam spiritAccountabilityObservational skills and attention to detail
Career Opportunity and SalaryWith a diploma or degree in nursing, you can easily find a job in government hospitals, private nursing homes, old age homes, army hospitals, maternity homes and rehab centers. The Indian Nursing Council and Indian Red Cross Society regularly hire nursing graduates. Jobs are also available in various medical colleges and nursing schools across India. Salary in entry-level jobs could be anywhere between Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 4 lakh, depending on your qualification. You can expect around 20-30 percent hike in your annual salary after 3-4 years in this profession.
If you are a caring and compassionate person with a passion for volunteering; nursing could be the right career option for you!