Education Universities

Degrees Offered By Nursing Universities And Colleges

Introduction to Degrees Offered by Nursing Universities and Colleges

Nursing is one of the oldest professions in the world and today the degrees offered by nursing universities and colleges are varied. As well as being able to study undergraduate degrees, nurses can now study degrees at a postgraduate level and they can specialise in certain areas. The main areas that nursing universities and colleges offer are adult, pediatric and mental health, but many now offer more specialist subjects such as sexual health.

The main degree format that nurses take is a BSc. BSc. nursing degrees are designed to educate prospective nurses in the basic concepts about disease, anatomy and physiology, as well as how to care for patients. The majority of them operate on a 50/50 basis when it comes to practical and theoretical experience. On the theoretical side of things, students will study in lectures. On the practical side of things, students will shadow other nurses, as well as doctors, in a hospital and other health care environments.

Those nurses who choose to specialize often do so while they are working. Many take postgraduate courses such as MScs in areas like sexual health, drug addiction, and many other subject specialities. Some nurses can even progress to study a PHd and conduct their own research into a certain area of health care.

History of Nursing Universities and Colleges

Until the late nineteenth century, nurses did not have to study at nursing universities and colleges. Instead, they would just pick the skills they needed up as they worked. In the later half of the nineteenth century the famous nurse Florence Nightingale introduced the idea of running a special course for nurses in the UK and a little bit later the US began educating women on how to practice nursing. 

Until the middle of the twentieth century, there were only a few places where nurses could study. Today, that is not the case and the majority of universities in the developed world offer degrees for nurses. In addition to this, it is now the case that men are allowed to study in order to gain a nursing degree. Until the middle of the twentieth century, it was usually the case that only women went to university to study nursing.

Features of Nursing Universities and Colleges

One of the main features that nursing universities and colleges have is that they allow their students to spend a lot of time with patients. This allows those who want to become nurses to apply the things they learn in lectures to real-life situations. The majority of nursing universities and colleges will also allow their nurses to work in a range of different areas.

Many now offer their students the chance to go straight on to studying a masters in nursing. The University of Columbia in the US was one of the first universities to start doing this, while the University of Oxford was one of the first in the UK to do so. 

Many colleges and universities that offer students the chance to study nursing also offer them financial support. In the UK, undergraduate courses are supported by the NHS and all students receive a bursary. In the US, scholarships are granted depending on the university where a student studies.

Tips for Studying at Nursing Universities and Colleges

Before you begin applying for nursing universities and colleges, make sure you get some relevant work experience. As many more people now want to become nurses, the degrees are harder to get on to. By taking some time to volunteer in a health care environment, such as a hospital, you are far more likely to succeed with your application.

You should also consider preparing yourself carefully for your university or college interview. Do this by considering what current events your university or college admissions team may ask you about, such as changes to the health care budget and anything else that has been in the news. If possible, practice with your family and friends.

Finally, ask your university or college which books are on their reading list and buy the main ones in advance. By doing this, you won't have to fight with other students for materials in the library and you will be better prepared for your studies.

By Laura Mckeever, published at 03/23/2012
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