What is a care home?
Often nurses move from the NHS into the private sector, however you will find that some have started their career in private care homes and never left! There's a common misconception that nursing homes can’t offer the same level of training to newly qualified nurses but this is untrue.
Hospitals and care homes in the private sector often have a smaller workload so the managers and senior staff can spend longer with their patients and have more opportunity to provide training to the newly qualified staff.
What progression is there?
The progression route from being a nursing home nurse can be very quick. Staff nurses usual move onto be well trained senior nurses and with the experience and hitting key nursing competencies that would open their career path to a clinical lead role. The progression following on from a clinical lead role usually involve a management title, often referred to as a Unit Manager, who is in charge of the clinical and care staff in a unit. Often the next step will be a deputy manager role as this would involve a lot of supernumerary work and acting in the General manager’s place, who is the next step up.
Aren’t nursing homes boring?
The opportunity to learn new skills whilst working in a care home environment is immense. They may have PEG feeds, tracheostomy’s, complex medication regimes or challenging behaviour that cannot be managed in other environments. In a dementia specialist unit, you have to adapt and use first class communication skills to control the environment. You must also be ready to de-escalate aggressive patients, and deal with family members who are going through a tough time. There is always something going on, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll be bored!
What about the money?
The private sector patients use their own finances to pay for their care. This can cost anywhere from about £500 - £2000 per week. The average salary for a nursing home nurse from our recent salary survey is £32,500 per year, compared to the NHS where mid band 5 pay is £25,551 per year!
If this is a career that you have not considered, then it is worth a second look!