Childcare

Nurse

Nurses give care, advice and support to adults who are sick, injured or have physical disabilities.

Annual Salary

£22,000 to £48,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 42

What's it all about?

You'll work in hospitals, nursing homes, health centres, clinics or prisons.

In an NHS hospital you could work in accident and emergency, cardiac rehabilitation, outpatients, neonatal nursing or an operating theatre.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • taking temperatures, blood pressures and pulse rates
  • helping doctors with physical examinations
  • giving drugs and injections
  • cleaning and dressing wounds
  • setting up drips and blood transfusions
  • using medical equipment
  • checking patients' progress
  • working with doctors to decide what care to give
  • advising patients and their relatives
  • handling confidential information

You can get into this career through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship

University

You can do a degree in adult nursing approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council.

Some degree courses let you study another area of nursing alongside adult nursing.

You may be able to join the second year of a nursing degree if you already have a degree in:

  • a health-related subject
  • psychology
  • life sciences
  • social work

Full-time courses usually take 3 years.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths and a science
  • 2 or 3 A levels, including a science, or a level 3 diploma or access to higher education in health, science or nursing

Apprenticeship

You may be able to do a degree apprenticeship in nursing if you work in a healthcare setting like a hospital.

The apprenticeship takes around 4 years and is a mix of academic study and on-the-job training.

You must be supported by your employer to take this route.

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A levels for a degree apprenticeship

Further information

You'll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in social care or healthcare work before you apply for nurse training.

You'll need to register with the Nursing & Midwifery Council

You'll find more advice about how to become a nurse from the Royal College of Nursing and Health Careers.


£22,000 to £48,000

Starter salary: £22,000 to £28,500

Experienced salary: £26,250 to £41,000

These figures are a guide.

37 to 42

You'll usually work 37.5 hours a week including evenings, weekends, night shifts and bank holidays.

The job can be physically demanding.

Most jobs are in the NHS. You could work in hospital wards, nursing homes, hospices, schools, colleges, private hospitals and in the community, visiting patients at home.

With experience, you could become a nursing sister, ward manager or team leader.

You could train as a midwife, neonatal nurse, health visitor, district or practice nurse. You could move into management, as a matron or director of nursing.

With a master's, you could become an advanced nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist then a nurse consultant.

You could also become self-employed or work overseas.


Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others
  • a desire to help people
  • knowledge of psychology
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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