In-Depth Jobs


Career in Nursing

Usha Albuquerque &
Nidhi Prasad

Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life.
Nursing forms the largest group of professionals who work in the health sector. Their job involves giving bedside care to convalescing patients, attending to newborns, to assisting physicians during examination and operation of patients.
In India, nursing is a profession largely chosen by women. According to statistics, Kerala and Rajasthan churn out the largest numbers at present.  The space occupied by male nurses is still limited to those spaces that require the least interaction with patients such as the ICU. However, people still do not accept male nurses especially in obstetrics/ gynecology departments.
The Health Ministry hopes 22,000 new nurses will enter the profession annually.  The numbers show India lacks 1 lakh auxiliary nurse midwives and 4 lakh general nurse midwives.
The English nurse “Florence Nightingale” was the founder of the modern nursing over the world. Nursing is the essential part of our medical system.
Nursing is the right career option for those candidates who have the zeal and interest to serve the mankind. The person who believed in the curing of medically ill people and can work in hard condition for long hours may choose the nursing as the career for himself/herself.
Hospital nurses constitute by far the largest group. Their responsibilities are:
*Assisting physicians during examination and operation of patients
*They record temperature and pulse rate
*Administer medication orally and hypodermically injections
*Change dressings
*Assist patient in personal care
*Maintain patient’s treatment record, temperature, respiration, pulse rate, nourishment, progress etc.
*Nurses observe patients condition closely and report the progress to the physicians
*They prepare patients for examination or operation and help to maintain a healthy and hygienic environment
*They must ensure that cleanliness is maintained in the wards to check the spread of communicable diseases
*Senior nurses are designated as Matron or Nursing Superintendent and they are responsible for supervision of the work of nurses and related administrative
A nursing career is not easy; it is a mentally and physically demanding field. Nurses are exposed to health risks such as infectious diseases while caring for their patients.  Waste management in terms of disposal of syringes, wearing gloves and masks need to be followed strictly.  Long hours of work are part of the parcel, you need to be service oriented, willing to work extra hours and put in night shifts.  To excel as a nurse, develop loads of patience, courage and a smile that comes automatically.
Options for studying nursing
A student has various options available to enter the nursing profession. One can pursue a diploma, graduate or postgraduate course in nursing.  You can also opt for midwifery courses though some nursing courses.
Diploma courses
*ANM (Auxiliary Nursing & Midwife) -18 months
*GNM (General Nursing & Midwife) -3.5 years
UG Degree courses
*B. Sc – Basic (Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Basic) – 4 Years
*B. Sc – Post Basic (Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Post Basic) – 2 Years
*B. Sc – Distance (Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Distance) – 3 Years
Bachelor’s programme In order to be eligible, you need to have completed 10+2 in Science with Biology, Physics and Chemistry as subjects.  The duration of the course depends on the institute but is typically for 4 years.  As a student, you would receive training in theory as well as practical aspects of nursing.  The course will provide you with basic knowledge about nursing, first-aid and midwifery as well.
Auxiliary programme ANM is Auxiliary Nurse Midwife/Health worker course, eligibility is having completed Class 10 and the duration is for 18 months.  You would be provided with training of health-related issues usually related to people living in rural areas; the focus is largely on children, mothers and old people. One can study further by opting for an MSc in Nursing; the duration is for 2 years.  Some continue to do an MPhil or PhD. Doing post basic specialty diploma courses is more common along with continuing programmes. Nurses, in some specialties, such as those working in intensive care units, are required to takes extra courses after the basic training and a few years work experience.
Skills Required
*Communication Skills
*Critical Thinking
*Attention to detail
The one and the best part of this field is that nurses never remain unemployed. They easily get the job in health care organizations and hospital. This is the field where you may get the government job easily.
At present, the nursing homes and private hospitals are mushrooming across the country. By the growing numbers of health care centers the nursing professional are not sufficient in numbers. Every year the government hires 22000 nurses in India and even after that we are lacking with 4 lakh nurses.
After the completion of this course, you may get the respectful position and good platform to boost career in nursing care.
One would have to dispense medication, keep complete records of each patient’s progress, set up and operate medical equipment along with administration and routine duties. As you gain seniority, you would need to manage people functioning in areas like the psychiatric, paediatric and intensive care units. Part of your job as a nurse would include health education to individuals, families and other groups.  Also, you would need to instruct on nutrition, child care as well as disease prevention. Nursing is multi-faceted. You can become an educator, researcher or practitioner.  In each, you have another set of choices available like geriatrics, women, children and accident survivor care.
The top job profiles in the field of nursing are as the following:
*Staff Nurse
*Assistant Nursing Superintendent
*Department Supervisor
*Deputy Nursing Superintendent
*Nursing Supervisor or Ward Sister
*Director of Nursing
*Nursing Superintendent
*Teacher of Nursing
*Community Health Nurse (CHN)
*Military Nurse
*Industrial Nurse
*Nursing Service Administrators
*Nursing Service overseas
Employment Area
The employment areas where nurses can work are as the
following :
*Government run hospitals
*Super specialty hospital
*Nursing homes
*Old age homes
*Private clinics
*Health Department
*Armed Forces
*Indian Red Cross Society
*Indian Nursing Council
*State Nursing Council
*Educational institutions
Some of the Colleges offering courses in Nursing
*All India Institute of Medical Sciences, AIIMS College of Nursing
*Rajkumari Amrit Kaur College of Nursing, New Delhi
*Jamia Hamdard, Faculty of Nursing
*College of Nursing, Christian Medical College
*College of Nursing, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh
*Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad
*Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai: Nursing
*SNDT Faculty of Nursing, Mumbai
*Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai: College of Nursing
*Manipal University: Manipal College of Nursing
*Apollo College of Nursing, Chennai
*Amrita University: College of Nursing, Cochin
*Government College of Nursing, Kottayam
*Government College of Nursing, Calicut
*Government College of Nursing, Thiruvananthapuram
*CMC Ludhiana: College of Nursing
*National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore: Department of Nursing
*School of Health Sciences: IGNOU
(Usha Albuquerque is Director & Nidhi Prasad is Senior Counseling Psychologist at Careers Smart Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi. e-mail :
Views expressed are personal.
Image: Courtesy Google