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Children's nurse

Children's nurses provide care for children and young people with health problems.

Annual Salary

£28,000 to £43,000

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

Working hours

35 to 40 a week

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

Future employment

There will be 3.8% more Children's nurse jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In this role you could:

  • work with doctors to assess what a child needs if they are ill, injured or have a disability
  • decide what level of nursing care is required
  • give injections and medication, treat wounds and use medical equipment
  • observe and interpret a child's behaviour to monitor how well their treatment is working
  • support parents and carers who have a child in hospital
  • advise parents and carers on how to give ongoing care at home

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform.

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


You can do a degree in children's nursing approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. You might be able to study another area of nursing alongside children's nursing on some degree courses.

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.

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.

The degree apprenticeship 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 higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Volunteering and work experience

You might find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in healthcare before you apply for nurse training. It might also be useful to have experience working with children or young people.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

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

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With experience, you could:specialise in an area like burns and plastics, child protection, cancer care, neonatal nursing or intensive care; run a ward or team of nurses by becoming a sister, ward manager or team leader; work towards a management role like matron or director of nursing; train as a health visitorschool nurse or practise nurse in a doctor's surgery; do further study to become a nurse consultant and carry out research and training

The NMC has more information on registering if you qualified as a nurse outside of the UK.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine
  • knowledge of psychology
  • 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
  • customer service skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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