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To ask any MN nurses their advice on working in NHS or private, and which is better?

(55 Posts)
QueenOfTheKippax Thu 06-Aug-15 18:45:35

DD2 has just finished her nursing degree. smile <collapses with relief>

She's applying for loads of jobs and has applied to NHS and lots of private care homes.

What should my advice be about which one to take? Which area is it better to work in and what are the pros and cons of each?

crustsaway Thu 06-Aug-15 18:48:29

My advice would be to work for the the place that trained her for a couple of years in order to give something back before she swans off into the world of private medicine.

Elllimam Thu 06-Aug-15 18:53:20

Helpful there crusts. So far I have found the NHS better as to pay but also benefits such as sick pay and maternity pay. If she is going to work for a nursing home check sick pay, mat pay and pensions. She doesn't want to find out that she only gets stat sick pay when she is off sick. The NHS is very variable as to the actual working conditions, I work in a very heavy ward with few staff and a lot of patients. The community does tend to be easier from my own experience. What is she interested in?

QueenOfTheKippax Thu 06-Aug-15 18:56:01

She's an RMN, has enjoyed pretty much every placement she's done so far.

Itsmine Thu 06-Aug-15 19:14:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

softcat Thu 06-Aug-15 19:16:26

Does she have a preference in terms of working with children, adults or older adults?
Private sector can offer a useful insight into running care settings as a business which could be useful if she could visualise running her own care business one day.
Pay and conditions vary in the private sector but are generally comparable to NHS or they would struggle to retain staff.
NHS offers a wider range of care environments and specialisms and stronger links with research and academia.
Working on a general adult acute ward in the NHS in the first instance would offer her preceptorship and give a broad base of experience from which to continue her career.
Well done to her for completing her RMN, it's a tough course. Good luck x

mappemonde Thu 06-Aug-15 19:19:08

Nhs is better by a mile interns if pay and conditions and for things like accessing support and learning opportunities. Most private provision is so piecemeal that you really feel the lack of a bigger, experienced organisation. The mat leave and annual leave in the private sector is paltry by comparison ime.

MammaTJ Thu 06-Aug-15 19:20:25

My advice would be to work for the the place that trained her for a couple of years in order to give something back before she swans off into the world of private medicine.

Do you have a clue how hard student nurses work when on the wards? Do you know how much they contribute when on duty? Do you know this includes weekends, bank holidays and night shifts? Do you realise that when at uni, they continue long after other courses have closed down, at Christmas, Easter and Summer? Half terms do not exist!

Do you know how little they get 'paid' for doing all this? For an adult with dependents it is £3.37 an hour. All for actually pulling their weight on a ward, along with their colleagues.

Oh I know the degree is free, but it didn't used to be a degree, it was a course fully done within a hospital, in the nursing school within the grounds and placed on wards back then and these people are now training future nurses.

frikadela01 Thu 06-Aug-15 19:23:43

I qualified as an RMN 18 months ago. My cohort was split pretty much half went nhs and half went private. I chose nhs because the benefits are good, there's good career progression and as a newly qualified I felt very supported.
Most of my colleagues that went private did so because the money as a newly qualified tends to be better than nhs however most have since come to the NHS. They said the support was poor and they were expected to take on a lot of responsibility straight out of uni that they weren't ready for. I interviewed at a few private places and when I asked about ongoing training (mentorship, masters etc) they really pushed their own in house training so I got the feeling I wouldn't be supported to further myself like I would be in the nhs.

yorkshapudding Thu 06-Aug-15 19:28:58

I work in the NHS. Several of my colleagues have left for the private sector over the years but they have all returned to the NHS. Lack of training opportunities (unless you're able to fund your own training) and poor working conditions seemed to be big issues.

frikadela01 Thu 06-Aug-15 19:29:40

And to the person who said about giving back.... I felt like slave labour for the nhs when I was a student... I was supposed to be supernumerary but the reality was that I wasn't, if the students weren't there then certain things don't get done. I myself this week have been utterly thankful for the 2 studenta currently on my ward as both have helped me do the prep work for a case conference next week that I wouldn't have had time to do. Students work bloody hard and as MammaTJ said, it's not for very much money at all.

QueenOfTheKippax Thu 06-Aug-15 19:38:01

This is all very interesting and helpful, thank you.

She'd prefer to work with adults or the elderly.

After lots of her placements with NHS she says they told her they'd hire her once she finished, but they don't seem to have been being genuine there because she hasn't had a offer yet for any NHS job sad

She's been offered a job in a BUPA care home, the pay is slightly higher than NHS starting salary so she's thinking of taking it, but I always thought that NHS was better, (for reasons such as increasing pay scales, training which from comments above may be accurate).

I don't want to burst her bubble but I think she should keep pushing for an NHS job.

QueenOfTheKippax Thu 06-Aug-15 19:38:01

This is all very interesting and helpful, thank you.

She'd prefer to work with adults or the elderly.

After lots of her placements with NHS she says they told her they'd hire her once she finished, but they don't seem to have been being genuine there because she hasn't had a offer yet for any NHS job sad

She's been offered a job in a BUPA care home, the pay is slightly higher than NHS starting salary so she's thinking of taking it, but I always thought that NHS was better, (for reasons such as increasing pay scales, training which from comments above may be accurate).

I don't want to burst her bubble but I think she should keep pushing for an NHS job.

frikadela01 Thu 06-Aug-15 19:58:57

The thing with private companies is that whilst generally the basic pay is better, most do not offer enhancements for working nights or weekends, once that has been factored in whith the nhs it really does boost up your pay to the private levels .

Itsmine Thu 06-Aug-15 20:14:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Anniesaunt Thu 06-Aug-15 20:15:29

On average NHS is better for long term prospects. In terms of private companies it depends what they're offering, there's a lot of variation.

I would say though if the choice is between private or no nursing job then take the private job as lack of post qualification experience can complicate job hunting.

AboutTimeIChangedMyNameAgain Thu 06-Aug-15 20:35:54

They won't just offer her a job. She will have to apply and be interviewed just like anyone else.

Anniesaunt Thu 06-Aug-15 20:51:35

abouttime the OP said that her dd had been applying for loafs of jobs so it doesn't sound like she's just sitting back.

AboutTimeIChangedMyNameAgain Thu 06-Aug-15 21:00:17

In a separate post she also said her placements said they'd offer her jobs, and haven't. Some placements do just say 'oh of course we'd have you back', which isn't the same thing. Hence why I said that.

So if she has been applying and attending interviews and not getting jobs, then she needs to look at what's going wrong and get some feedback.

CrystalCove Thu 06-Aug-15 21:07:40

Crusts I take it you have no clue about student nurses and nursing courses these days? Your advice to work for the place that trained her is laughable because no Universities employ nurses!

attheendoftheday Thu 06-Aug-15 21:12:18

The NHS will protect her better, offer more support in terms of her career development and more training (there are central training grants than NHS nurses can apply to for training in different psychological approaches, for example).

My brief experience of working in a care home was extremely demoralising as my managers were in no way interested in my skills or my patient's needs, only in providing basically adequate care for the minimum cost.

lougle Thu 06-Aug-15 21:16:33

If she's applying for jobs via NHS jobs, she needs to realise that her name will have been stripped from her application before they shortlist. So no association with the ward will be evident unless she says '....when I head my placement on this ward' and even then it won't be clear which of the many students she is.

So that leaves her application. She needs to be aware that many of the person specifications lead to a scoring matrix. A point will be given for evidence that she meets each of the specifications. The recruiters may have a points cut off (e.g 11 out of 16) for interview, or interview the 6 highest scorers, etc. So she needs to address each bit of the spec. Even if it is to say 'I am extremely IT literate and am very experienced with <insert IT system used in Trust>. Every point counts.

attheendoftheday Thu 06-Aug-15 21:17:27

Not sure why everyone's giving Crusts such a hard time. Yes, students are technically trained by a university, but the vast majority of my learning took place within my trust and I was massively supported by my nurse mentors, not the university staff. Nurse training is heavily subsidised, so I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that students have some ethical obligation to benefit society rather than just themselves when they qualify.

attheendoftheday Thu 06-Aug-15 21:19:52

Also, Crystal, I think you're being unnecessarily rude. Particularly as you are wrong, obviously universities do employ nurses to teach their courses.

Anniesaunt Thu 06-Aug-15 21:22:10

attheend that's a fair point but if a newly qualified nurse does not succeed in getting any of the many NHS jobs they apply for they should not be obliged to remain unemployed. Especially as there is a limit to how long you can remain out of practice before registration is lost and your chance of getting a job reduces with you being out of practice and can become well nigh impossible well before you lose your registration.

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