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Job profile! Nursing specialist: Through training against the shortage of skilled workers

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In Germany there is a real Skills shortage. This is particularly serious in the area of ​​nursing. What solutions are there?

Job profile! Nursing specialist: Through training against the shortage of skilled workers

Important facts about professional training as a nursing specialist

Above all, the fact that we are getting older - and as a result the demand for nursing staff is increasing - ensures that this is the case job profile is discussed again and again by nurses. Much has been done with the new general nursing training to increase the attractiveness of this profession. We show how to become a nurse, what requirements you need and what the everyday life of a nurse is like.

Until now, you had to decide at the beginning of nursing training: whether you wanted to work in nursing, child care or geriatric care was crucial for the training. This has changed since the Nursing Professions Act, which has been in force since January 1, 2020. The three individual job descriptions were merged into a general nursing education. This enables trainees to get a taste of the three different areas in the first two years of their apprenticeship and then to determine which direction interests them the most. In addition, you acquire an EU-wide recognized degree, so you can later work in other EU countries if you wish.

How long does nursing training take?

Total lasts training to become a nurse or to become a nursing specialist three years. It takes place both at school and in various facilities where trainees can gain practical experience. After the first two years of training you can decide: Do you want to continue on the general path and acquire a degree as a nursing specialist? Or do you want to specialize in one area?

The admission requirement for the training is at least a high school diploma. Anyone who has completed secondary school can first be trained to become a nursing assistant and then complete a shortened training course to become a nursing specialist.

How does the vocational training work?

The new training as a nursing specialist is free of charge, there will no longer be school fees. Instead, the trainees receive appropriate remuneration. According to the collective agreement for trainees in the public service nursing (TVAöD Pflege), the monthly salary in the first year of training is 1 euros, in the second 1.191 euros and in the third 1.252 euros, each gross. In addition, the three-year training course is very practice-oriented.


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About half of the training period is spent in a hospital or nursing facility. In this way you get to know the real everyday care routine and acquire skills to cope with it. Another advantage: there is the prospect of being taken on as a specialist by the respective training institution after graduation.

Dual vocational training at a glance

How exactly does the training work? Here is an overview of the different levels of training.

This is what the first year of training looks like

  • Learning the essential basics and important details of the nursing process
  • The trainees learn what is important when dealing with people in need of care and what the differences are in caring for children, senior citizens and people with dementia and mental illnesses
  • In addition, dealing with different cultural backgrounds is taught

This is what the second year of training looks like

  • In the second year of training, the focus is on the medical and scientific basics
  • The trainees learn important things about medicines and medical products, such as how they affect the human body
  • In addition, the subject of nursing science teaches how the physical and psychic Well-being of patients can be promoted - for example through nutrition, exercise, accident prevention or various safety measures

This is what the third year of training looks like

  • The focus is on social sciences and the humanities
  • sociology and Psychology are two of the most important subjects
  • In addition, the importance of social groups for the development of the individual is explained
  • As part of their training, trainees also learn the principles of quality assurance

What are the fields of activity of trained nursing staff?

Trained nurses can work in a variety of fields. If you want to specialize in the field of elderly care, retirement homes or residential complexes that offer assisted living are among the potential employers. There, old people are helped with personal hygiene, food intake and medication. In addition, they are available to advise on various appointments. In addition to permanent care facilities, outpatient care services can also be used as locations.

In general nursing or pediatric nursing, you work either in the hospital or in outpatient care. Patients are looked after here, for example by changing bandages or giving infusions. Assisting the doctor and managing patient files are just as important. Accounting and administrative work such as ordering medicines or materials are part of the daily routine. Therefore, computer skills are also required.

Nursing professionals need these personal skills

A high level of social skills is a basic requirement for all nursing activities. Because you are confronted with sick people and people in need of help every day, you need a strong psyche. Patience and empathy are also required, and you should also be able to work under pressure. Because older people and people in need of care need a lot of help as well Motivation and in many cases also a conversation partner.

Both Teamwork as well as independent work characterize a good nursing specialist. As a nurse or geriatric nurse, you usually have to work in shifts. Overtime is also not uncommon, as is working on weekends or public holidays.

Career in nursing - that's how it works

Nursing professionals have the best prerequisites for further training in various areas. Digitization in care could for example be an area to specialize in. But also one Further Training to become a specialist in health and social work is possible. In addition, there areCourses in the fields of care planning, palliative care or kinaesthetics.

Extra-occupational further training opportunities are particularly popular and help to acquire or deepen knowledge in various specialist areas. For example, the fields of oncological care, intensive care, emergency medicine or psychiatry are possible. You can also opt for an academic degree.

That is why the nursing profession is so important

As the link between patient, doctor, therapist and relatives, the nursing specialist plays an important role. After all, as a carer you are not only an important contact person for the person in need of care, but also for their relatives. Empathy, sensitivity and a sense of responsibility are therefore required.

Nursing professions still have a rather bad image. The shortage of nursing staff will only get worse in the future, many experts are convinced of that. This is the conclusion reached by an analysis by management consultancy PwC. According to this, an important reason is the poor image of the nursing professions: low wages, overtime and excessive demands seem to be the order of the day in many places. Better ones are all the more important for the experts Payment and the increased use of digital technologies to make healthcare work easier.


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