Adult nurses provide nursing care for adults of all ages with acute or long-term illness. They prioritise the needs of the patient, building trusting relationships to play a vital role in health promotion and disease prevention.
Adult nurses work closely with healthcare professionals, patients and their families, to support recovery using evidence-based practice.
Adult nurses work with a wide range of conditions to help to improve patient’s health and overall quality of life, where possible. These can be grouped into five main categories:
- Cardio respiratory
This relates to the action of both the heart and lungs. Some of the conditions you might work with in this category are: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, care after organ transplants, pneumonia and shortness of breath, asthma and cardiac arrests.
This relates to the muscles and the skeleton. Disorders that you might see frequently are fractures, people that have fallen, and persistent pain conditions.
This relates to the anatomy, functions and disorders of the nerves and nervous system. Some of these conditions include Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, and people with potential head or brain injuries.
- Long-term conditions
Adult nurses work on a number of specialist wards to help patients with long-term conditions related to cancer, gastroenterological, sexual health, ear, nose and throat, renal and many more. You may work with people that have physical and mental health conditions, and people with a range of learning difficulties.
- Physical problems
Some of the conditions adult nurses might treat or help patients with include burns or scalds, broken bones, spinal injuries, minor injuries, loss of consciousness, fits that are not stopping, sepsis, severe bleeding, severe allergic reactions, those recovering from surgery and many more.
Within the nursing profession there are many job opportunities across a variety of sectors. These include:
- NHS hospitals
- GP surgeries
- Outpatient units
- Specialist departments such as A&E, trauma and cancer wards
- Care and nursing homes
- Patients' homes
- Public health and policy making
- Private practice
- Armed Forces
- Education and academia
- Leadership roles
What can you do with a nursing degree?