Nurses are one of the most dedicated workforces that can be found in any profession around the globe. They are responsible for the primary treatment and day-to-day care of a patient and play a role as important as a doctor in saving lives.
The statement that nurses form the backbone of the health workforce in India is better illustrated by the fact that nurses form over 60% of the health workforce in India. Although that might seem like a lot, the patient-to-nurse ratio in India is nowhere near the WHO-specified standard and India is still facing a shortage of nurses. According to a 2016 report, India needed over 24 lakh nurses to overcome the shortage and the demand was only expected to grow with the years.
In such a job market that is facing an acute shortage and expecting an increase in demand, taking up nursing as a career after 12th is a great option for any student. For dedicated students who have managed to get into a good college, nursing courses even offer excellent career prospects abroad.
GNM Vs ANM Vs B.Sc (N)
While we have in-depth information about nursing courses after 12th in a different article, here is a quick at-a-glance comparison of the three most popular nursing courses in India.
|Overview||This diploma programme has been designed to train nurses individuals as nurses and develop skills that will help them to function competently in a hospital environment and perform duties such as providing first aid, functioning effectively in a team, assisting in research activities etc.
The programme also serves as a base for those wishing to pursue higher education.
|Although the ANM course is similar to GNM in many ways, it is more of a basic training programme. Students of ANM course are expected to have a knowledge of the basics of nursing as well as being able to provide first aid and primary medical care to the patient.
However, since it is a shorter-duration course, ANM has a more limited syllabus when compared to GNM and B.Sc (N).
|An undergraduate degree programme designed to train nurses into the practical aspects of nursing including providing first aid, setting up equipment, briefing the patients, coordinating the proper functioning of hospital wards and ward personnel.
The programme also goes into assisting doctors during medical procedures as well as research etc.
|Degree||Diploma||Bachelor of Science (B.Sc)|
|Duration||3 years 6 months||2 years||4 years|
|Age Eligibility||17-35 years||--||17-35 years|
|Subject Eligibility||(10+2) with Biology, Physics and Chemistry as the main subjects||(10 + 2) in Arts or Science Stream||(10 + 2) with Biology, Physics and Chemistry as the main subjects|
(As specified by the Indian Nursing Council. May vary from college to college.)
|Entrance Exam||Conducted by State Nursing Examination Boards||Conducted individually by colleges and universities|
|Scope||Graduates of both, GNM and ANM courses, share a similar scope of employment. However, one major difference is that GNM offers a better opportunity for growth in terms of salary as well as work in a workplace environment.||Since B.Sc (N) is a 4-year degree course, it has much better prospects when compared to Diploma courses, especially if you are considering pursuing postgraduate education.|
Since all of the three courses are quite similar, the places of employment of all the three are similar too. However, B.Sc in Nursing graduates can expect to get into better organizations and can demand higher salaries than GNM and ANM graduates. Some of the places that hire ANM, GNM and B.Sc in Nursing students are:
|Average Starting Salary||GNM starting salary in India is approx. between Rs. 10,000 - Rs. 15,000||ANM Starting Salary in India can be from Rs. 8,000 - Rs. 12,000||B.Sc Nursing starting salary in India is from Rs. 10,000 - Rs. 25,000|
Key Roles and Responsibilities of a Nurse
Following are the duties that a nurse has to perform daily.
Providing first aid.
Observing a patient for existing or new symptoms.
Creating and maintaining medical records.
Ensuring a patient is getting the required medication as prescribed by the doctor.
Interacting with a patient on a day-to-day basis and guiding a patient on the best practices that might help them.
Assisting doctors and healthcare specialists in setting up equipment and carrying out medical procedures.
Skills Required to be a Nurse
Nursing can, by no means, considered to be an easy job. It is a demanding career pathway and requires a person who is dedicated to taking care of the unwell. A nursing aspirant must already have or be prepared to develop the following skills if he/she wants to build a successful career in Nursing.
Strong communication skills: Nurses need to communicate with doctors and patients throughout the day.
Ability to work under pressure: Nurses should be able to look beyond the long working hours and unfavourable working conditions in their line of work.
Thinking quickly in a critical situation: Nurses are often the first responders in a hospital and the action that they take can sometimes make all the difference between life and death.
Staying alert and paying attention to detail: Since nurses spend the most time with a patient, they are the best person to judge if there is any change in the condition or symptoms of a patient.
Empathy and a strong sense of caring: Nurses have to take care that they do not insult a person's pain, religion, physical and mental condition etc.
There is plenty of scope in India to build a career as a nurse, and although the starting salaries are a bit low, especially for nurses from a Diploma background, experienced nurses can get salaries ranging from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 75,000 in India. The nursing courses in India after class 12th include:
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Nursing: Also called B.Sc (N), this undergraduate degree course is of three types:
B.Sc (N) Basic
B.Sc (N) Post-Basic
B.Sc (N) Distance
If you have completed 12th class from a non-science stream, ANM is your only option to get into a nursing career. After completing the ANM programme and getting registered as a nurse, a candidate can pursue a GNM course, which will make him/her eligible to go for a B.Sc (N) Post Basic programme. If you are from a science stream and wish to gain experience and start a career before gaining higher education, a GNM course would be your best bet. GNM graduates can either go for a B.Sc (N) Basic or B.Sc (N) Post Basic programme. GNM candidates with at least two years of work experience are also eligible to join B.SC (N) Distance programmes.
A science stream candidate who wishes to finish studies before starting a job should consider a B.Sc in Nursing programme as that opens up prospects to pursue an M.Sc course. Once a candidate has completed M.Sc, they can then go for further studies such as PhD or apply for a job.
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