Want to pursue a career as a nurse? The most traditional route into nursing involves studying a three to four year course at a university, graduating as a fully-licensed nurse. However, there are other routes that you can take if this doesn’t work for you. Here are some of the alternative routes into nursing.
Become a nursing associate
Becoming a nursing associate could allow you to get into nursing without having to study a degree. It usually involves two years of practical ward based training, followed by two and a half years of on-the-job training as a nursing apprentice. After all this, you can then gain your full nursing license.
Hybrid courses do exist which may include a shortened degree of 18 months followed by on-the-job training. Some people find this balance of education and on-the-job training beneficial, giving you both the experience of studying and the experience of working in a hospital before you get licensed as a full-time nurse.
You can apply for nursing associate programmes online. Having good school grades can help, as can having experience in a medical or caring role (such as working in a care home or working as a porter).
Take an online course
Most people that take the university route study on campus, however there are now a growing number of nursing courses available online. You can even study an online MSN to get into the higher ranks of nursing. These online courses allow the freedom to study in one’s own time from home, which could allow you to study around commitments such as work or looking after kids.
Online courses tend to have the same requirements as on-campus courses. In some cases, fees may be cheaper than studying at a university (you could also save money on living costs whilst studying).
You may be able to pursue a nursing degree abroad. This could allow you to travel and gain experience living in another country whilst studying. It could also be cheaper to study a nursing degree in some countries.
Applying for a nursing degree abroad could require doing some research into the country’s application process. You may be able to get help from study counselling services that can guide you through the process and ensure that you’ve got everything you need.
Most nursing courses around the world will be taught in English. Qualifications are usually also transferrable between countries. That said, there could be some courses that aren’t taught in English and don’t offer transferrable qualifications – this is something you may want to look into beforehand. You’ll also need to consider getting a passport if you haven’t already got one and a visa for that country if it is needed.