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Medical

Nurse

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

Annual Salary

£24,907 to £37,890

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 42 a week

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

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

In this role you will:

  • take temperatures, blood pressures and pulse rates
  • help doctors with physical examinations
  • give drugs and injections
  • clean and dress wounds
  • set up drips and blood transfusions
  • use medical equipment
  • monitor patients' progress
  • update patient records and 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 career through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
University

You can do a degree in adult nursing approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council.

Some degree courses let you study another area of nursing alongside adult nursing.

You may 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
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
For more information
Volunteering and work experience

You'll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in social care or healthcare work before you apply for nurse training.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

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

With experience, you could specialise in a particular field such as intensive care or operating theatre work, or become a nursing sister, ward manager or team leader.

You could train as a midwife, neonatal nurse, health visitor, or district or practice nurse. You could also move into management, as a matron or director of nursing.

With a postgraduate qualification, you could become an advanced nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, then a nurse consultant. There are opportunities to go into teaching and research.

You could also become self-employed or 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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