There are a number of stages in our lives where we need support and care – be it immediately after birth, during childhood, due to an illness or injury, a handicap or in old age. The training to become a nursing specialist is very multifaceted and geared towards different groups of people. Anyone who completes it develops into a real all-round talent in the care industry.
Info: The nursing specialist is a new training occupation that, since January 2020, has combined the training for health and nursing staff, geriatric nurses and health and pediatric nurses. You can no longer start this training. The new training is a generalist. Means: The trainees get to know all care areas. By the way: From now on you will be paid for this training!
What does a nursing professional do?
Since the training to become a nursing specialist is bundled nursing training, nursing specialists can later be used in various nursing professions, which is why the subsequent activities can vary from job to job.
Working in geriatric care: When nurses decide to work in geriatric care, they work in retirement homes or assisted-living facilities, where they support seniors in coping with their everyday lives. They support them with personal hygiene, eating and taking medication, motivate them to engage in meaningful and supportive activities and help them with personal matters, such as appointments with doctors or authorities.
Work in (child) nursing: In the field of nursing or child nursing, nursing professionals work in inpatient or outpatient care in clinics or hospitals. There they are responsible for the care and nursing of patients and carry out simple medical treatments – for example, they change bandages or administer infusions on doctor’s orders. They also prepare surgical interventions, assist with treatments and are responsible for managing patient files.
Activity in curative education: As a nursing specialist in curative education, your everyday work revolves around people with disabilities. In addition to the care work, the main aim is to support people with a handicap so that they can maintain their independence. Nursing professionals plan trips and leisure activities for this. Remedial caregivers find employment in social institutions, in nursing homes or in outpatient services.
Documentation of the measures and administrative activities: Nursing specialists take on this activity in every job profile because it is important to monitor and document the progress and progress of the patients. To do this, they carefully maintain the patient files. The administrative activities include billing for nursing services or reordering materials or medicines. Why should one become a nursing specialist?
After the universal training as a nursing specialist, you have a broad base in the field of nursing, you can work in various medical and social institutions and you have the choice between different nursing professions. In addition, nursing professionals are needed everywhere, which is why you have a secure job after your training.
Can I no longer become a geriatric nurse, nurse or pediatric nurse?
All of these training courses have been discontinued – since January 2020. All students start training to become nurses. However, the separate qualifications for geriatric nurses and health and pediatric nurse are also possible as part of the nursing specialist training. You can decide on one of the two degrees in the last third of your training if you complete your training in a suitable institution. For example, if your training company is a nursing home, you can decide before the last year of training whether you would like to continue the general training or rather graduate as a geriatric nurse. If you choose geriatric care, you will be specially trained in this area in the last third of your apprenticeship. By then, however, you have already got to know all areas of application in nursing during the general training.
If you are then quite sure that, for example, care for the elderly is exactly your thing, specialization can make sense for you. Don’t worry: you can also work with a specialization in all care areas. But: Unlike the nursing degree, the separate geriatric care/child care degrees are not automatically recognized throughout the EU. The recognition must then be checked on a case-by-case basis if you want to work abroad. The separate degrees are initially possible until 2025. There is no longer a separate qualification as a nurse.
Info: It is very possible that you will still find the old titles in job advertisements – but since January 2020 you have been officially training to become a nursing specialist!
Where can I work as a Nurse?
As a nurse, you can find employment in hospitals, clinics, retirement homes and other social institutions.
Your locations at a glance
- health centres
- retirement homes
- facilities for assisted living
- other social institutions
- outpatient services
- 3209 vacancies as a nursing subject
What are the working hours as a nurse?
As a nurse, you work 38 to 40 hours a week in shifts, which is why you should be willing to organize your everyday life flexibly. Since patients depend on your help around the clock, you also work nights, weekends and public holidays. To compensate for this, you will then have another day off during the week.
Info: With the introduction of training as a nursing specialist, all nursing trainees are now paid. Already in the first year of training, prospective nursing specialists receive up to 1100 euros gross per month.
What work clothes do nurses wear?
In inpatient service, nursing professionals wear tunics, white trousers and medical shoes – as required by hygiene regulations.
What type do I have to be to become a Nurse?
Helper: Being able to help other people should bring you joy if you choose a career in nursing. We can count on your support and you are always happy to lend a hand when someone around you needs support.
People judge: Patients cannot always tell you what is wrong with them. Therefore, you should have a good knowledge of human nature so that you can recognize which care measures you need to take to increase well-being again.
Team player: For a job in nursing, you should have a strong sense of community, especially when it comes to planning joint activities or promoting communication among patients. In addition, coordination within a nursing team is a must, which is why you coordinate with each other in your everyday work.
What is the process of training to become a nursing professional?
The training to become a nursing specialist takes three years. It is a school education with practical assignments. Training providers can be clinics, hospitals, retirement homes or other social institutions. You either apply to the company or to the school: It doesn’t matter whether you do your training in a nursing school, a technical school for health professions, in a school for geriatric care or for nursing. Finally, all trainees do the general nursing training. Theoretical phases at the school alternate with practical phases in various care facilities.
Info: Officially, the nursing specialist is a school education. Externally, however, the training meets all the requirements for dual training: There is a training salary, equal parts practice and theory, and the training is uniformly regulated nationwide.
What does a nurse learn during training?
At vocational school, you will learn the difference between inpatient and outpatient care as well as acute and long-term care – i.e. people who need support after an accident while they are recovering and then people who need support for the rest of their lives. You will also learn what you have to consider when dealing with different groups of people since you will later work with children, injured and sick people, people with mental illness and handicaps, and with the elderly. The training outline plan lists eleven learning areas that the trainees work on in a total of 1,900 hours.
1st year of training
Basics for the start of training:
In this field of learning, the trainees are introduced to the work in nursing. They reflect on their experiences and expectations in group discussions, try outpatient contact in role plays and deal with the legal basis. They deal with the historical development and the social importance of the nursing professions as well as with the patient’s right to self-determination.
Supporting patients in exercise and self-care:
The trainees get to know concepts for promoting exercise – after all, a lack of exercise often leads to a restriction of personal mobility. And that is one of the main reasons that a person becomes dependent on care. In addition, the trainees acquire basic nursing skills such as personal hygiene, help with eating and the observation of vital functions.They are also trained in the documentation of the care process.
Reflection on the care experience:
Washing a sick person or helping them eat – for most nursing trainees, this is an unfamiliar situation at first. That’s why there is an extra learning field in which the trainees share their experiences and in which they learn to deal professionally with their emotions.
1st to 3rd year of training
Health promotion and prevention:
In this field of learning, the focus is on the topics of health promotion and prevention. The trainees dealt, for example, with the causes of health inequalities in the population, they question their professional self-image and consider how they can stay healthy themselves. They also discuss the contradiction between the patient’s self-determination and the caregiver’s duty of care.
Curative processes and patient safety:
Curative means healing: In this field of learning, the trainees acquire specialist medical knowledge, for example in the fields of surgery and internal medicine, in order to be able to make the correct nursing diagnoses. You will learn how to advise patients, how the care process is structured and how communication with doctors works. The schedule includes topics such as wound management, patient consultation and infection prevention.
Action in acute situations:
Nursing professionals are often confronted with situations in which action must be taken quickly, for example because a patient’s life is threatened. They are prepared for such acute situations during their training. You learn to make decisions calmly and confidently. Socially explosive topics such as organ donation or living wills are also discussed.
The aim of rehabilitation care is to enable patients to cope with everyday life independently. This is particularly relevant for people with chronic illnesses or after an accident. Nursing specialists provide information about rehabilitation offers and work closely with an interprofessional team of doctors, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, for example.
Accompanying patients in the last phase of life:
The trainees learn how to improve the quality of life of terminally ill patients and their families. It is primarily about measures to prevent and relieve pain. In nursing school, for example, the trainees discuss how to deal with the subject of death. You will learn the basics of palliative medicine and learn how to support those affected emotionally.
Supporting patients in organizing their lives:
In this field of learning, trainees learn how to help people to be cared for to shape their lives individually. It’s also about leisure activities that could be good for patients. In order to recognize them, the trainees include the life story and the social environment of the patients. Empathy, which is trained during the training, is important for this.
Caring for children and young people:
Sick infants, children and adolescents may need different treatment than adults. That is why the trainees devote themselves to this group in their own learning field. You will also learn communication and counselling skills: how to soothe a toddler, how to discuss treatment with a teenager, how to involve the parents. Such questions are answered here.
Caring for patients with mental health problems:
Mental illnesses such as depression, addiction or dementia are widespread in the population. In this field of learning, the trainees are prepared for dealing with sick people. Among other things, it is also about protecting patients from themselves – just like the environment and ultimately also yourself as a caregiver.
How does the practical training work?
You will complete most of your practical training at your training company. Depending on the type of training company, you automatically have a certain specialization in your training: This can be inpatient long-term care in a nursing home, acute long-term care in a hospital or outpatient care in nursing service. However, so that you can gain experience in all areas of care, you will also have assignments in other, external facilities. As a trainee in the hospital, you will also get to know the work in the outpatient nursing service, in a retirement home, in psychiatric care and in the care of children and young people.