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.

Some degree courses let you study another area of nursing alongside children's nursing.

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:

  • 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

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.

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

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

More Information

Volunteering

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 psychology
  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of medicine
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You may:

  • work with doctors to assess the needs of children who are ill, injured or have disabilities
  • decide what level of nursing care is required
  • carry out a range of clinical procedures like using medical equipment, dressing wounds, giving injections and medication
  • monitor and interpret a child's behaviour to recognise if their health has become worse
  • support parents and carers to help them cope with having an ill child in hospital
  • advise parents and carers on how to care for their child on returning home

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 become a 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 job you'd work with patients to carry out research. You'd also develop and deliver training.

Current 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

Diploma in H&SC and C&YP services Level 5

  • Provider: VOCATIONAL TRAINING SERVICES CARE SECTOR LIMITED
  • Start date: 01 December 2020
  • Location:

Health and Social Care Diploma Level 1

  • Provider: LTE GROUP
  • Start date: 11 January 2021
  • Location: Manchester

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

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