Community nurses have always been important, but their prominence has grown significantly in recent years, and will continue to as more and more patients continue to be treated outside of traditional healthcare settings. The role of community nurse has never been more vital to the NHS and demand in the UK is growing rapidly. Here, we take a look at 5 reasons to consider a career in community nursing:
Community nursing offers more day-to-day flexibility and often a better work-life balance than working shifts in the hospital system. Community nursing encompasses all types of nursing in the community from practicing in a GP, to visiting people in their homes. Whichever route you choose to take, it will often allow you to manage your own time better than working odd shifts in the hospital working structure. There is also often no need to work night shifts, which can be hugely appealing. Moving into this kind of healthcare is also a different type of nursing where you will learn new skills to enable you to grow as a nurse and enhance your career progression prospects.
2. It is a varied role
Community nurses have to be able to adapt to a variety of workplaces, whether that be looking after an elderly patient who can’t leave their home, or seeing patients with varied issues in a general practice setting, all without the resource of a hospital environment. If you are looking for more variety than working on a ward setting may offer, then it is worth looking into community nursing. You will also need excellent communication skills in order to relate to people of all ages and backgrounds, and be able to offer emotional support and instructions to family and friends, who may have to administer additional care to their loved ones when you are not there.
3. You are giving back to the community
Nurses who work within the community help to keep hospital admissions down, relieving some pressure on hospital patient numbers and freeing up beds for critical cases. They also assist people to live as much of a life as possible in the comfort of their own home and not inside a hospital setting, which is just as beneficial to the patient and their loved ones. You are also making a difference to a varied and diverse healthcare landscape amongst local communities, as well as making a direct, positive difference to your patients’ lives. By working with the same patients regularly, you are able to build a more personal rapport and care support than if they were on a ward where they would likely be treated by multiple different nurses.
4. You teach people how to be more independent
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a community nurse is helping those who are being cared for at home to maintain their independence as much as possible. Patients cared for in the home are still able to have a level of independence that being in a hospital setting would not allow. It may also be the case that by helping a patient in their home, they are able to stay with their partner which helps to avoid anxiety they may encounter by being separated by a hospital or care home admission. By helping patients to feel more comfortable in their own living space, trust and a closer relationship is also built between nurse and patient. This is beneficial because you will be advising the best courses of action and treatment that will be administered by either the patient themselves, or their loved ones in your absence.
5. You will be joining a team of outstanding community nurses in your local area
Every area needs a strong community nursing team to look after its residents and knowing you are part of this team, going out and taking care of patients in the community is a great feeling. Community nurses work closely with GPs, social services, hospitals and other healthcare staff to provide a service tailored to meet individual needs, which is vital to your patient’s wellbeing and happiness, and makes for a rewarding career path.
If you’re interested in continuing your career within a community nursing role, take a look at our live jobs here