You will by now have realised that nursing is a ‘big’ profession, and this ‘bigness’ manifests itself in many different ways. In terms of the sheer number of nurses, it is by anyone’s estimation big. In the UK, there are 600 000 qualified nurses (Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2008a). The scale of that figure – over half a million nurses – says, if nothing else, that modern society clearly has a need for nurses. But what do they all do? The nursing profession must be one of the most diverse in the world, ranging from high-technology care in intensive care to community care, from caring for the very young to the very old, from working with people of great affluence to those in extreme poverty, from birth to death, encompassing every culture and belief. It seems that nursing offers a bewildering scope of career opportunities: clinical, management and leadership, education and research. But one thing is absolutely certain, it always starts from the same place – the day came you decided ‘I want to be a nurse’.