What can one say about nursing! It’s such a noble and virtuous occupation. Although an age old profession, nursing gained demand after the work done by the legendary English nurse Florence Nightingale. This angel of grace is also known the world over as the founder of modern nursing.
Nursing require taking care of patients suffering from all sorts of physical and psychological maladies. Nurses always have to monitor the condition of these patients and administer prescribed medicines at regular intervals. They also assist medical specialists and help set up medical tools in operation theatres and clinical laboratories.
Moreover, nurses provide assistance to people who are unable to lead a normal life due to one reason or another or are recovering from illness. Other than these general activities, nurses can acquire specialisation in a particular area such as midwifery, cardiac care, intensive care, orthopaedics, paediatrics and so on. Nurses also have to keep beside with the latest technological developments in the field of medicine.
Nursing is not just taking care of the sick people. Other chance for qualified nurses includes teaching, administration and research jobs. An interesting aspect of this profession is that a huge majority of nurses are women. However, of late, men are also showing concern in the profession.
Aspiring nurses can get into this career at different levels. You can get the admission into the Auxiliary Nurse Midwife/ Health Worker (ANM) course. The duration of this diploma course is one-and-a-half-years and it can be joined after completing Class 10th. Then there is the General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) course. The GNM is a three-and-a-half-year diploma course. The eligibility criterion for this program is Class 12th with Biology, Chemistry and Physics with an aggregate of 40% marks.
Apart from ANM and GNM, you can apply for BSc Nursing (Basic) in different colleges and nursing schools across the country your schooling. The eligibility criterion for this course is a 10+2 with 45% aggregate in Biology, Chemistry, English and Physics and a minimum age of 17 years. For B.Sc. Nursing (Post Basic) program, the candidates can either select a two year regular or a three year distance learning option. The basic requirement for the regular program is a 10+2 and GNM whereas for the distance learning program it is 10+2 + GNM along with two years of work experience. The post basic program is considered as an advanced qualification.
A GNM or B.Sc is good for obtaining a job of a nurse in any medical organisation. Each state has its own organisation that registers certified nurses. Once candidates obtain qualification they can get themselves enrolled with the Nurses Council of their respective state. This makes them eligible to obtain a job.
Other than picking up the basic nuances of nursing, nurses can go for a distinct specialisation by choosing any Post Basic Specialty (1 year diploma) program on offer.
Specialisations are as follows:
- Critical Care Nursing
- Neuro Nursing
- Nursing Education and Administration
- Operation Room Nursing
- Practitioner in Midwifery
The cost of course in nursing schools varies from institution to institution. Government owned and aided nursing colleges provide education at a subsidised rate compared with private colleges. The fees for private and unaided nursing schools for a B.Sc program can vary from anything between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,80,000 per annum. In the same manner the cost for the GNM course in a private institute can be in the range of Rs 45,000 to Rs 1,40,000 per year.
Nurses do not remain unemployed. They simply get jobs in private and government run hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, old age homes, industries, sanatoriums and the armed forces. They can also seek employment in the Indian Red Cross Society, Indian Nursing Council, State Nursing Councils and various other nursing organisations. Even nurses who have completed the ANM course get to work as primary health workers and midwifes in primary health care centres that are spread throughout the length and breadth of the country.
Nurses can also take up managerial and teaching positions in medical colleges and nursing schools. Enterprising individuals can start their own nursing bureau or even work on their own terms and conditions.
Nurses who are new to this profession often earn a monthly salary that is in the range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 17,000. Mid-level positions can fetch a salary anywhere between Rs 18,000 to Rs 37,000. Highly experienced nurses can even get a income in the band of Rs 48,000 to Rs 72,000 per month. Nurses who get employment in foreign countries such as US, Canada, England and Gulf countries can easily earn even heftier monthly salary.
Demand for Nurse in India:
With the rapid growth in the population coupled with the requirement for better healthcare facilities, there is an endless demand for nurses in the country. However, the supply of nurses really falls short of meeting this ever growing demand.
According to a latest study there are approximately 10.3 lakh nurses enrolled with the Nursing Council. However, only four lakhs of these nurses are actively in service. A huge majority of them have left service due to retirement, marriage and immigration. In this context, there is a vast gap in demand and supply.
With increasing focus on health care, job projection for nurses look brighter than ever before. More and more hospitals, nursing homes and medical institutions are being coming up.
The govt. on its part is trying hard to give impetus to the nursing sector in the country. According to the most recent development, the government has planned to set up more than 130 ANM and GNM schools each. Also, there is planning to make stronger the State Nursing Councils and Nursing Cells in various states.
Government has also allowed hospitals to start M.Sc. Nursing course without these institutions having the prerequisite to set up corresponding graduate programs. The norms for admission to nursing schools have also been relaxed so that married women can now get admission to various nursing courses.
There is great demand for skilled nurses overseas. In fact, India has emerged as the major provider of nurses to foreign countries. The lure of big money and better living conditions overseas often attracts experienced nurses from India. A big reason for the scarcity of nurses in the domestic sector is their flight to foreign lands.