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How to become an A&E nurse in England and Wales

Just starting out?

If you’re thinking about a career in nursing, you’ll be joining a profession that’s respected and where the skill set is in high demand around the world. And that’s not just because of COVID. Yes, right now there’s an acute need, but the high demand for nursing skills is set to last long after the pandemic has passed. 

Nursing in England and Wales

Towards the end of 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, the NHS launched its third big push of a three-year ‘We are the NHS’ recruitment drive. The campaign aims to attract thousands of new nurses and other health professionals. Most people get into nursing via a degree course involving academic study as well as practical hands-on experience. And to get into university, you’ll typically need A level qualifications (or equivalent) and supporting GCSEs. 

In September 2020 the UK’s recruitment campaign, which was already attracting many enquiries, received its own shot in the arm – in this case, a valuable annual study grant. The grant is available via the NHS Learning Support Fund and is worth at least £5000 per year to new and continuing undergraduate and postgrad nursing students ‘ordinarily resident in the UK and studying at a university in England.’

If you’re interested in qualifying as a nurse in England or Wales, follow this link for more information about training and NHS careers.

Becoming an A&E nurse

Qualifying as a nurse is the first step to working in an Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department. Once you’re a registered nurse, you’re able to apply to work in an A&E Department.

A&E nurses have lots of responsibilities, but typically you’ll be the first point of contact for injured or sick patients and their friends/families. You’ll see things that may shock and/or upset you, and you’ll need to be prepared to work as part of a team managing critical life or death situations. You’ll need to have a set of personal skills/competencies that include:

  • Being able to multitask
  • Feeling comfortable/confident working under pressure in a busy environment
  • Great communication skills
  • Resilience
  • Being able to make decisions
  • Problem solving
  • Sensitivity

The job responsibilities themselves will vary from hospital to hospital, but might include:

  • Triage
  • Record-keeping, patient testing and monitoring vital signs and symptoms
  • Administering treatments and maintaining care standards
  • Lab liaison and reporting to doctors
  • Assisting doctors, including discharge and outpatient instructions
  • Offering support and information to patients and their friends/families

At Thornbury Nursing Services we always need A&E nurses for temporary, last minute placements across England and Wales.

Many A&E nurses are already registered with us, benefiting from our higher rates of pay, support with revalidation and CPD and a wide range of other benefits including paid NMC fees and travel expenses, flexible shift patterns, and 24/7 nurse-led telephone support.

Check whether you meet the requirements to join the TNS team.

Ready to apply? Complete an application here.

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