Are you good at helping people through difficult times? Can you provide the necessary first-aid care to people who have suffered from an accident/injury and need immediate attention? Would you be able to care for and look after people suffering from diseases or injuries? Does working as a Nurse interest you? Do you think you would like to work for women who are about to give birth? If so, you should aspire to become a Nurse!
Nursing is a crucial profession in the healthcare industry, responsible for taking care of patients, administering medication, monitoring vital signs, and providing emotional support. It is a highly respected and rewarding profession that offers a fulfilling career in the healthcare sector. India, being a country with a growing population, is in dire need of qualified and trained nurses. If you are passionate about healthcare and wish to pursue a career in nursing, this blog will provide you with all the information you need to know about the profession, eligibility, and job roles in India.
Who is a nurse?
As a Nurse, your primary job responsibility will be to provide nursing care to patients either at hospitals/health clinics or at the home of the patients. You will not only have to look after injured and sick patients, but you will also have to offer emotional support to patients as well as to their family members. Typically, Nurses work as part of a team and in close collaboration with other medical professionals and staff including doctors, therapists, etc. It is their job to assist Physicians throughout the diagnostic and treatment process of the patients and offer nursing services till they recover.
As a nurse, you will be required to observe and monitor, record, and report the health status and symptoms of patients to the Physicians/Surgeons. Apart from this, you will have to perform a host of other duties such as maintaining accurate records of patient’s medical histories and reports, administering medication to patients promptly, preparing patients for diagnostic tests, preparing patients for various examinations and treatment procedures, training and supervising junior nurses, and so on.
A Nurse’s job extends beyond just caring for patients – they act as an emotional pillar for patients and their families; they educate patients, their families, and the general public about various diseases, and how to prevent them; they chart out special diet plans and after-care procedures for patients; they teach patients how to self-administer medication/injections, and much more.
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Popular Specialization in Nursing Career
- General Nurses: As General Nurses you will assist Registered practicing Nurses (those with a degree in Nursing) in providing nursing care and other healthcare support to patients before and after surgical treatment or during different non-surgical treatments at hospitals, nursing care homes, health clinics and also at patients’ homes.
- Midwife: As Midwives, you will work with pregnant women before childbirth (throughout pregnancy), and assist them or medical doctors during childbirth. In most places, you will work with doctors (especially in the maternity wards in hospitals). However, in rural areas and small towns, you might also work independently and help pregnant women in childbirth. You will also provide health care to women and newborns post-childbirth.
- Auxiliary Nurses: Auxiliary nurses are trained first-level healthcare providers. They are mostly knowns as Aya in India. Auxiliary nurses work in primary healthcare centers, healthcare clinics, nursing homes, and hospitals to take care of the basic needs of patients.
What does a Nurse do?
A nurse is a healthcare professional who is responsible for providing high-quality care to patients. The job responsibilities of a nurse may vary depending on their specialization, level of education, and work setting, but some common duties of a nurse include:
- Monitoring and assessing patient health: Nurses are responsible for monitoring and assessing patients’ health, including vital signs, symptoms, and medical history. They use this information to develop a care plan for the patient and make any necessary adjustments to the plan as needed.
- Administering medications and treatments: Nurses are authorized to administer medications and treatments prescribed by doctors. They ensure that patients receive the correct dosage of medication and that they are taking it at the appropriate time.
- Assisting in medical procedures: Nurses assist doctors in medical procedures such as surgeries, diagnostic tests, and treatments. They help to prepare patients for the procedure, monitor them during the procedure, and provide post-procedure care.
- Educating patients and families: Nurses provide education to patients and their families about their medical conditions, treatment plans, and medications. They help patients understand how to manage their health and prevent future health problems.
- Documenting patient care: Nurses are responsible for documenting patient care in medical records, including vital signs, medications, treatments, and procedures. This documentation helps to ensure that patients receive high-quality and consistent care.
- Collaborating with other healthcare professionals: Nurses work closely with other healthcare professionals such as doctors, pharmacists, and therapists to provide coordinated care to patients. They communicate patient information and collaborate on treatment plans to ensure that patients receive the best possible care.
How to become a Nurse – eligibility criteria
Undergraduate studies after school:
- If you have completed your 10, then you can take a Vocational stream of Auxiliary Nursing & Midwifery in 12 and then complete a Diploma in Auxiliary Nursing & Midwifery. You can also take the Vocational stream of Health Care Science and then either take a Diploma in ANM or GNM.
- If you have completed your 12, you can pursue a Diploma in General Nursing & Midwifery or Auxiliary Nursing.
- To become a Nurse, you have to study for a B.Sc. Nursing, complete internship, and then register with the Nursing Council of India. After your B.Sc., you can do a Post Basic Nursing course to gain practice knowledge in a specialized area.
- After your B.Sc., you may also opt for an M.Sc. Nursing and specializing in a Speciality nursing area.
- At the beginning of the career, you will begin as an Auxiliary Nurse / General Nurse in the various health department of the Indian and State Governments. National Health Mission for women also sends ANM to various towns and villages to improve health conditions and pregnancy-related problems.
- Hospitals, Health centers, and private clinics also hire fresh GNM nurses.
- Medical companies and departments hire Midwifery for the role of Medical Coder.
- Midwives can also practice social enterprise schemes independently.
- ANMs and GNMs also serve old patients with home service before and after hospitalization.
You will get a career opportunity in the following facilities:
- Private Hospitals
- Public Hospitals
- Maternity Hospitals
- National Rural Health Mission
- UN Health Development Programs
- State Government approved health programs
- Village level Angadbadis
- Medical equipment and medicines-producing companies
Salary of a Nurse
For freshers, who have just joined the Nursing profession as Registered Nurses/Assistant Nurses, your average monthly salary package will be around Rs. 10,000 – 20,000.
As you become more experienced and progress to mid-level positions, your monthly salary will range anywhere between Rs. 18,000 – 38,000.
Nurses who hold senior-level positions draw a monthly salary package of Rs. 50,000 – 85,000.
If you move abroad as a Nurse Practitioner in the countries mentioned before, your monthly salary earnings will be much higher.
Career progression in Nursing Profession
Once you begin your career as an Assistant Nurse, you can grow into the position of a Senior Nurse after about 7-10 years of service. As you gain more experience, you can get promoted to the position of Nurse-in-Charge of a particular department, and ultimately, you can upgrade to the highest level of Nursing, as the Head of Nursing Services in a hospital/health clinic.
As a midwife, you will start your career as a general nurse in hospitals.
Once registered, you can use your qualification to work in other healthcare settings such as special baby care units (SCBU) / neonatal intensive care units (NICU).
After 2-5 years, some midwives become specialists in areas such as diabetes or public health and perinatal mental health.
After 10-15 years of service, you can work with the National Health mission on the management level.
What do industry trends say – future prospects
The nursing profession in India is growing rapidly, and there is a significant demand for nurses in the country. According to the Indian Nursing Council, there are approximately 3 million registered nurses in India, and the demand for nursing professionals is expected to increase by 19% by 2025. Here are some statistics that highlight the future of a nursing career in India:
- Rising demand for nurses: According to a report by KPMG, the demand for nurses in India was expected to increase from 2.4 million in 2018 to 4.7 million by 2022. This is due to an increase in healthcare spending, an aging population, and the need for more healthcare facilities.
- Increased focus on healthcare: The government of India has launched several initiatives to improve healthcare services in the country. For example, the Ayushman Bharat scheme aims to provide healthcare coverage to over 100 million families in India. This increased focus on healthcare is expected to create more job opportunities for nursing professionals.
- Growing medical tourism industry: India is emerging as a major destination for medical tourism, with an estimated market size of $9 billion in 2020. The growth of medical tourism is expected to create more job opportunities for nursing professionals in hospitals, clinics, and healthcare facilities.
- Increasing opportunities for specialization: Nursing professionals in India have the opportunity to specialize in various areas such as critical care, pediatrics, oncology, and community health. Specialization can lead to higher salaries and better job prospects.
- Higher education opportunities: There are several options for higher education in nursing in India, including Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, as well as diploma and certificate programs. These higher education opportunities can lead to career advancement and better job prospects.
Overall, the future of a nursing career in India looks promising, with increasing demand for nursing professionals, a growing healthcare industry, and opportunities for specialization and higher education.
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