As with any career path, there comes one great dilemma: you need experience to get a job, but a job to get experience. Nursing can be a difficult career to break into, if you don’t have the right experience to support your application. In this, you’re not alone! Many prospective nurses face the same issues, but you don’t have to be stuck in this unfortunate cycle.

There are plenty of ways to amass nursing experience, and these are just a few strategies you might wish to investigate.


Healthcare professionals in the making can choose to pursue an apprenticeship in order to get more on-the-job nurse experience. Offered as a Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship, apprentices who take on this course will leave with a bachelor’s degree and full Registered Nurse status upon completion. Fortunately, apprenticeships in the UK also offer a minimum apprenticeship wage rate.


Volunteer positions in organisations such as the Red Cross are in great supply, and new volunteers are always welcome. Although these positions don’t pay, volunteering with a healthcare or health aid service is a viable way to hone your skills in a real-life setting, experience that becomes invaluable in the long term.


We’re living in the modern age, now. With that, comes the wonderful world of apps! Yes, there are even apps dedicated to matching nurses with the permanent roles that they’ll love. Nurse jobs can be difficult to find on your own, but online intermediaries can make the process so much simpler. There’s no easier way to find more wide-ranging nurse experience.


Networking is an important part of any career path, and this holds true in nursing. Make connections, and keep them! One way to network effectively is to join organisations, make conversation with fellow healthcare professionals-to-be, and ask questions to nurses in positions of authority – this gives you a glimpse into what the job is really like. One day, your networking might pay off into a permanent job role.

Look outside of the box

Many prospective nurses look straight to the state-of-the-art clinic or brand-new hospital for experience. While these are attractive prospects, they aren’t the only ones out there. So, don’t be afraid to look outside of the box! Experience can be found in places such as prisons, GP surgeries, and care homes. Nurses aren’t only appreciated in a hospital, and you might find that you prefer working as a nurse elsewhere.

Don’t give up

All experience is valid experience. There’s no right path to becoming a nurse. In fact, many nursing students pursue a different route to the accepted norm! If you’re not making any headway regarding nursing roles, look elsewhere. Working in research, data entry or as a clinic clerk are still viable ways of amassing experience in the healthcare field. Building your administrative, managerial and people skills in these roles will benefit your CV, and therefore your future career as a nurse.

Are you ready to start realising your own potential in nursing? If so, it couldn’t be easier for you to begin your search for that exciting new role, when you create a free profile



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