There are many employment opportunities for nurses and healthcare workers today in Ireland and globally, with nursing agencies busier than ever. This trend is predicted to continue over the next three to four years. This article considers the most in-demand nursing roles and what they involve.
While nursing agencies report a good demand for all types of nurses in Ireland, nurses with specific nursing specialisms are highly sought after. The most in-demand jobs include:
There is a shortage of highly skilled community nurses and the demand for nurses in the community is growing. An increasing elderly population has generated a greater demand for nurses in the community and brought about a marked increase in referrals. Consequences of the pandemic also mean Covid-19 survivors need extended community care upon discharge from the hospital.
What do Community Nurses do?
Community nurses provide essential healthcare and medical services to patients in their homes, residential accommodation, primary care settings and clinics. They offer healthcare that allows patients to stay at home and live in their own communities instead of going to the hospital. Community nurses work alone or within small teams and regularly liaise with other healthcare professionals to coordinate patient care plans. Their daily tasks include:
- Conducting physical exams and checking vitals.
- Monitoring patient health.
- Giving injections and vaccinations.
- Taking blood samples.
- Wound care.
- Continence and catheter support.
- Administering medication.
- Palliative care.
Why work in Community Nursing?
Some benefits of working as a community nurse are listed below:
- Community nursing provides an essential service and eases pressure on hospitals.
- It also lets patients avoid the stress of staying in a hospital setting and keeps them closer to their families and support networks.
- It promotes independence among patients.
- Community nurses forge close relationships with patients and their families over long periods.
- Shifts are often flexible and can revolve around your personal life.
- There are excellent opportunities for career progression as a community nurse with pathways into district nursing.
There’s a significant demand for psychiatric nurses globally. While greater public awareness of the importance of mental health is positive, health services are struggling to meet the demand for specialised psychiatric care. Furthermore, the impact of the pandemic has led to an increase in referrals for patients suffering from anxiety and depression.
What do Psychiatric Nurses do?
Psychiatric nurses are specialised nurses with training in psychiatric care. They support and give medical treatment to patients suffering from mental health issues. Psychiatric nurses help patients manage their mental health issues and might work within hospitals, prisons, psychiatric hospitals, outpatient clinics, or the community. Although their roles and responsibilities vary according to the environment where they work, daily tasks often include:
- Administering medication and monitoring the general health of patients.
- Observing and assessing patients.
- Updating charts and record keeping.
- Providing input to multiagency workers to compile coordinated care plans.
- Crisis intervention.
- Counselling patients and their families.
- Advising patients on how to manage their conditions and informing them of support groups and activities in the community.
Why work as a Psychiatric Nurse?
Psychiatric nursing is a challenging career which brings nurses into contact with a variety of disorders and mental health conditions. Pathways to healing are not always clear cut and outcomes are often unpredictable within psychiatric nursing so every day is very different. Reasons to pursue a career in this field are suggested below:
- It makes a huge difference in people’s lives and can be very rewarding.
- There are great routes for progression in the mental health sector.
- Potential to specialise in a particular area like adolescent mental health, elderly mental health or addiction.
- Advanced study opportunities might lead to a practitioner or nurse consultant career.
Learning Disability Nurses
The shortage in learning disability nurses is partially due to learning disability nurses being used elsewhere in the sector to fill fewer specialist roles. The large number of nurses retiring in recent years has compounded the problem. Learning disability nursing courses of study have reported declining numbers of applicants in the last few years. These factors have led to gaps in services and a significant number of vacancies for learning disability nurses.
What does a Learning Disabilities Nurse do?
Learning disability nurses provide specialist healthcare and medical support to people with learning disabilities. They facilitate patients with learning disabilities, helping them to lead healthy and independent lives. They work alongside patients of all age groups in a variety of settings. Typical tasks include:
- Assessing and monitoring health.
- Compiling case plans.
- Assisting and showing patients how to perform day-to-day tasks like hygiene, dressing and meal preparation.
- Advising on support groups, resources, benefits and entitlement.
- Organising social group activities.
Why work as a Learning Disabilities Nurse?
There are excellent job opportunities and routes for progression within learning disabilities nursing. You might work in schools, care homes, clinics, wards or the community. Learning disability nurses work one-to-one with patients and develop unique relationships with them.
There’s a significant shortage of paediatric nurses in recent times. A higher percentage of children are born prematurely and require specialised healthcare and support. Chronic health problems among children have also risen and fewer nurses are choosing to train in paediatric nursing.
What does a Paediatric Nurse do?
Paediatric nurses provide specialised medical and healthcare to children from birth right through to late adolescence. Children’s constantly growing and developing bodies need professionals with specialist knowledge of young patients. The work environment may be in a hospital ward, school, clinic or residential care home. Duties often include:
- Conducting routine physical examinations.
- Treating illnesses and injuries.
- Administering medication.
- Performing vaccinations.
- Taking blood samples.
Why work as a Paediatric Nurse?
Working as a paediatric nurse can be a gratifying profession that combines knowledge of medicine and healthcare with a love for children. There is tremendous potential for career progression and specialisation in this area.