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How to Become a Marie Curie Nurse

Updated November 21, 2016

Marie Curie Cancer Care is a charitable organisation that provides care to terminally ill patients throughout the United Kingdom. Marie Curie nurses and health care assistants provide care in patient homes, and they frequently work through the night, enabling relatives to get rest. Thus, Marie Curie nurses not only have expertise caring for terminally ill patients, but also provide emotional support to relatives.

Research this position. Visit the Marie Curie Cancer Care website. Also, if possible, speak to a practicing Marie Curie nurse. Complete three years of nursing school; in some cases, four years, to become a registered nurse. Register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Gain experience in palliative care and district nursing. Complete the National Vocational Qualifications to levels two or three at your place of employment.

Apply for a position. One way is to respond to an advertisement in the nursing press, such as the Nursing Times; you can also inquire directly at the centre. Visit the jobs and volunteering section of the Marie Curie Cancer Care website to find contact information for the nearest regional office. Contact the office and request an application package. Consider the differences in pay and conditions between working for the NHS (National Health Service) and working in the private sector.

Attend an induction program, if your application is accepted and your interview approved. Complete further training courses, which include drug administration (including syringe driver), manual handling and palliative care. Health care assistants typically do not administer medication.

Work in patient homes, monitoring effects of medication and any changes in condition. Offer support to families.

Tip

Expect to work night shifts and unusual hours.

Warning

This work can be sad and distressing, and is not for everybody, according to the Marie Curie Cancer Care website. Some nurses, however, find it rewarding.

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About the Author

Noreen Wainwright has been writing since 1997. Her work has appeared in "The Daily Telegraph," "The Guardian," "The Countryman" and "The Lady." She has a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences from Liverpool Polytechnic and a postgraduate law degree from Staffordshire University.