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Nursing in the United Kingdom has a long history. The current form of nursing is often considered as beginning with Florence Nightingale who pioneered ‘modern nursing’. Florence Nightingale initiated formal schools of nursing in the United Kingdom in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The role and perception of nursing has dramatically changed from that of ‘handmaiden’ to the doctor to professionals in their own right. There are over 300,000 nurses in the United Kingdom and they work in a variety of settings; hospitals, health centres, nursing homes, hospices, communities, academia etc. with most nurses working for the National Health Service (NHS). Nurses work across all demographics and requirements of the public; Adults, Children, mental health and Learning Disability . Nurses work in a range of specialties from the broad areas of medicine, surgery, theatres, investigative sciences such as imaging, neo-natal etc. Nurses also work in a large areas of sub-specialities such as respiratory, diabetes, neurology, infectious diseases, liver, research, cardiac etc. Nurses often work in multi-disciplinary teams but increasingly are found working independently.
To practise, all nurses in the United Kingdom must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

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