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Nurses care for adults who are sick, injured or have physical disabilities.

Annual Salary

£28,000 to £43,000

Average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 42 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on shifts

Future employment

There will be 3.8% more Nurse jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In this role you could:

  • take temperatures, blood pressures and pulse rates
  • give drugs and injections, treat wounds and set up drips
  • monitor the progress of patients and update records
  • handover information to colleagues at the end of a shift
  • work with doctors and other healthcare professionals to decide what care to give
  • give advice to patients and their relatives

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work in an NHS or private hospital, at a health centre, at a hospice, at an adult care home, at a client's home or in a prison.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You can get into this job through a university course or an apprenticeship.


You can do a degree in adult nursing approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. You might be able to study another area of nursing alongside adult nursing.

You might be able to get additional student financial support through the NHS Learning Support Fund.

You might 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.

Armed forces

You can also train to be a nurse in the armed forces. You can find more information at:Army; Royal Air Force; Royal Navy

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

You might be able to apply for a Registered Nurse Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship if you work in a healthcare setting like a hospital.

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

You'll need the support of your employer to do a degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
For more information
Volunteering and work experience

You'll find it helpful to get some experience before you apply for nurse training.

You could:

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

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

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With experience, you could:become a nursing sister, ward manager, team leader, or move into a management role like matron or director of nursing; specialise in an area like intensive care, neonatal nursing or operating theatre work; train to become a midwife, health visitor, district nurse or practice nurse; become an advanced nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist or nurse consultant if you have a postgraduate qualification; move into teaching, research or become self-employed and work overseas

You can find out more about career progression from the Royal College of Nursing.

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
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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