How to Become a Nurse Without Qualifications
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Nursing is one of the most satisfying jobs and one of the most demanding. Although many people have a passion for nursing, getting the right academic qualifications to pursue nursing doesn’t come easy.
If you’re still considering nursing as your dream profession without the proper qualification, you will be happy to know there are ways you can get your nursing certification. However, this might prove to be a longer path to your dream career, but it will get you there nonetheless.
Qualifications for University Nursing Courses
Before looking at alternative ways of getting your nursing certification, it’s essential to consider the entry requirements for a nursing course at university.
You will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4/C or above, most likely in English language, literature, or a science subject. You will also need two A-Levels or equivalent level 3 qualifications for an undergraduate degree.
Some universities might require only three A-Levels or equivalent. You can also study for a postgraduate qualification through an accelerated program if you already have a degree.
Is It Possible To Become a Nurse Without A-Levels?
If you missed on the traditional A-Levels, your dream of pursuing a career in nursing is still alive. There are other routes you can use to become a nurse with the qualifications and experience you have.
First, A-Levels are not mandatory for a nursing course in the UK, but you will need a recognised level 3 diploma in Nursing UK alternative to get a university degree.
If you have GCSEs at grade C or above, you can take the Access to HE Diploma route, which will allow you to get into university without A Levels.
The Access to HE Diploma (nursing) includes;
- Three modules on Study Skills
- 16 modules on notions of biology, physiology, anatomy, social care and health.
Can I Become a Nurse Without a BSN?
Having a BSN is an added advantage in nursing. But it is not mandatory. You also don’t need a nursing background to become a nurse practitioner. However, you will need a graduate or advanced degree to become licensed as a nurse practitioner.
There is also some registered nurse (RN) to master of science in nursing (MSN) programs that don’t require a BSN to pursue.
How to Become a Nurse Practitioner Without a BSN
There are two paths you can follow to become a nurse practitioner if you don’t have a BSN;
Become a Registered Nurse
As an RN, you may have an associate degree, or you may have completed approved nursing education to get licensed as a registered nurse. A direct-entry MSN program will prepare you to pursue RN licensure if you’re a career changer.
Earn your MSN Degree
The other avenue is to pursue MSN programs. The RN to MSN programs offer nurse practitioners specialisations. They take around two years to complete and might include upper-level nursing bachelor’s courses before the RN can begin the MSN graduate courses.
Alternative Routes to a Nursing Degree
Some universities offer a foundation year if you want to become a nurse without the necessary entry qualifications.
Foundation courses allow you to start university straightway. However, they add a whole year to your studies, and they might be a little expensive too.
Access to higher education nursing
If you don’t have the relevant Level 3 Science qualification but don’t want to go through the extra year of foundation classes, the Access to Nursing Course is one of the most popular alternatives.
Access to Higher Education Diploma in Nursing prepares students for studies as undergraduates in nursing at university. The course is designed for anyone who wants to study for a nursing degree but doesn’t have the relevant qualifications.
The course is recognised by almost all universities in the UK. It is perfect for students that don’t have an A-Level in Biology or other Sciences. With this course and the relevant GCSEs, you can proceed to study for a nursing degree.
Nursing degree apprenticeships
Nursing degree apprenticeships are another alternative route into nursing. This approach is more flexible, but it could take up to 4 years to complete and require you to complete a nursing degree while on the job.
Even with the nursing degree apprenticeship, you will still need a Level 3 qualification because you will be studying at a degree level. So, if you lack the proper A-Level qualifications, Access to HE Nursing is your best option.
The shortest and most productive path to a nursing career is highly restrictive and has high standards, which some people with a passion for nursing might not meet. But there are alternative routes you can use depending on your qualifications and previous relevant degrees. They might take you more time, but they will get you closer to your dream career.