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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

£25,654 to £45,838

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(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 6% more District nurse jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

You may:

  • administer drugs
  • check temperature, blood pressure and breathing
  • help doctors with physical examinations
  • give injections
  • clean and dress wounds
  • monitor or set up intravenous drips
  • provide emotional support and practical 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
  • working towards this role

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

You can train with the NHS, and independent and private providers of healthcare services. You can look for training opportunities on NHS Jobs.

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. Any branch of nursing is acceptable.

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

Your training will last 1 or 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

When applying for courses and apprenticeships, you'll be expected to have an understanding of how NHS values apply in your work.

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 lead a team of nurses or become a community matron. You could also go into general health service management or become head of community nursing.

You could move into health promotion, research or education. You may also be able to find work overseas, especially in developing countries.

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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