Children's nurse

Children's nurses provide care for children and young people with acute or long-term health problems.

Average salary (a year)

£22,000 Starter

to

£48,500 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become a Children's nurse

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship

University

You can do a degree in children's nursing approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council.

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

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

Full-time courses usually take 3 years.

Entry requirements

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 at least one science or health-related subject

More information

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 in the workplace.

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More information

Volunteering and experience

You may find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in healthcare, or working with children and young people, before you apply for nurse training.

More information

Registration

Further information

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • knowledge of psychology
  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • working with doctors to assess the needs of children who are ill, injured or have disabilities
  • deciding what level of nursing care is required
  • working closely with parents and carers to help them cope with having an ill child in hospital
  • advising parents and carers on how to care for their child on returning home
  • interpreting a child's behaviour to recognise if their health has become worse

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital, at a hospice, at a children's care home, at a GP practice or at a health centre.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

With experience you could move into a specialised area like:

  • burns and plastics
  • child protection
  • cancer care
  • neonatal nursing
  • intensive care

You could also progress to sister, ward manager or team leader. In these roles you'd have responsibility for running a ward or a team of nurses in the community.

Other management roles you could work towards include matron or director of nursing.

You could train as a health visitor, neonatal or school nurse, or practice nurse in a doctor's surgery. You could also become self-employed or work overseas.

With further study and experience you could move into a nurse consultant position. In this role you'd work with patients to carry out research. You'd also develop and deliver training.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Children's nurse right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Health and Social Care Level 1

  • Provider: Blackburn College
  • Start date: 04 March 2019
  • Location: BLACKBURN

Level 2 Certificate in Health and Social Care

  • Provider: Eastleigh College
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: Eastleigh

Get help using this service

Call 08000 150 950

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

More ways to contact us

Is this page useful?

Yes No