How to become an A&E nurse in the UK & Ireland

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 Scotland and Northern Ireland

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.

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

Nursing in the Republic of Ireland

In the past, the Republic of Ireland (ROI) relied on foreign-trained nurses and doctors. For example, in 2000 the ROI began actively to recruit nurses from India and the Philippines. In 2015, to reduce this dependence, the Health Service Executive (HSE) launched its ‘Bring them Home’ campaign which aimed to encourage nurses trained in Ireland to return there to work. However, the campaign wasn’t a great success, and the strategy is now more focused on encouraging locally-trained, degree-qualified, nurses to remain in the country.

The pandemic has highlighted the shortage of nursing staff. In March 2020, Simon Harris, Minister of Health, launched an appeal for new staff through a national recruitment campaign saying that the only limiting factor in the campaign would be the availability of people, not the resources to pay for them.

Interested in joining us?

Discover more about what it’s like working for the Nursing Guild and what sets us apart from other agencies.

Nurse training in ROI

To meet the changing and increasingly complex demands of healthcare, as well as mounting pressure from the workforce itself, the ROI has introduced major changes to nurse training and education in line with EEC/EU Directives: from an apprenticeship model, to a diploma level qualification in 1994, and more recently to degree level education from 2002. This is known as pre-registration training. If you successfully complete a full-time, four-year BSc degree, you’ll be eligible to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

Follow this link for more information about nurse training in the Republic of Ireland.

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 with discharge and outpatient instructions
  • Offering support and information to patients and their friends/families

At the Scottish Nursing Guild, we always need A&E nurses for temporary, last-minute placements across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

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 and NMBI fees and travel expenses, flexible shift patterns, and 24/7 nurse-led telephone support.

Check whether you meet the requirements to join the Scottish Nursing Guild team.

Register with the Nursing Guild

We’re looking for exceptional nursing and midwifery professionals like you to join our team. Register with the Nursing Guild to access high rates of pay, paid mileage and support with revalidation.

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