Job Description

Nurses work with other professionals to provide care and assistance to patients. This could be in an hospital, health centre, hospice, care home or in their own home. They will administer medicines, treatments and therapies, provide pre and post operation care, take samples, pulses, blood pressure amongst many other duties. Nurses normally work a regular number of hours but this would include evenings, night and weekend shifts.

Entry Requirements

You can get into this role through a university course or an apprenticeship


You will need to do a degree course in nursing, there are four main fields of nursing that you could study in:

Some degree courses will allow you to study in two areas, these are known as 'dual field' degrees.  Once you have qualified you will be able to work as a nurse anywhere in the UK or even internationally.

University entry requirements can vary but you will usually require:

  • 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 heath, science or nursing

You may be able to do a degree apprenticeship in nursing if you already 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 will usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship

Career Tips

You will find it useful to get some paid or voluntary experience in a health or social care setting before you apply to train as a nurse

You will need to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

You will need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service

Royal college of nursing and Health Careers have further information on how to become a nurse.

Career Path and Progression

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

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

With a master's, you could become an advanced nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist then a nurse consultant.

You could also become self-employed or work overseas.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Community matron
  • District nurse
  • Health visitor
  • Healthcare assistant
  • Learning disability nurse

Required Skills

  • A caring and empathetic nature
  • A natural compassion to provide support to suffering patients
  • The ability to keep calm in stressful situations
  • Good communication skills 
  • The ability to deal with people from different backgrounds
  • A good sense of humour
  • Physical and mental strength

Salary Range

£24,214 to £37,267

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