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District nurse

District nurses care for people outside of hospital in patients' homes, GP surgeries and residential care homes.

Annual Salary

£35,000 to £43,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on a rota

Future employment

There will be 3.8% more District nurse jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In this role you could:

  • give drugs and injections and treat wounds
  • check breathing and take temperatures and blood pressures
  • help doctors with physical examinations and set up drips
  • monitor the quality of care a patient receives
  • give emotional support and advice to patients and their families
  • teach basic caring skills where needed

Working environment

You could work in the community or at a health centre.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and you'll travel often.

You can get into this job through an apprenticeship or working towards this role.


You might be able to do a district nurse degree apprenticeship.

You can train with the NHS or a private provider of healthcare services.

Entry requirements

To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:

  • to be a registered nurse
For more information

You can apply for training if you're a registered nurse with 1 or 2 years' experience in any branch of nursing.

You'll complete a course in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing - District Nursing, approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Your training will last 1 to 2 years and include practical community placements.

You could contact your local health trust or your employer about student training sponsorship opportunities.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Career tips

You'll be expected to understand how the NHS values apply in your work when applying for a course or apprenticeship.

Further information

You can get more advice about how to become a district nurse from Health Careers.

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With experience, you could:become a senior district nurse or a community matron; provide advanced care as a specialist community practitioner; move into general health service management or become head of community nursing; work in research, education or health promotion

You can get more advice about how to become a district nurse from Health Careers.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of biology
  • active listening skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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