Children’s nurses provide care for children and young people with acute or long-term health problems.
Salary range: £24,214 to £37,267
How to become a children’s nurse
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
You can do a degree in children’s nursing approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council.
Some degree courses let you study another area of nursing alongside children’s nursing.
You may be able to join a nursing degree on the second year of a course if you already have a degree in:
- a health-related subject
- life sciences
- social work
Full-time courses usually take 3 years.
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
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
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.
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
Volunteering and experience
You may find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in healthcare, or working with children and young people, before you apply for nurse training.
- you’ll need to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- knowledge of psychology
- customer service skills
- knowledge of medicine and dentistry
- knowledge of English language
- the ability to use your initiative
- leadership skills
- the ability to work well with others
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- working with doctors to assess the needs of children who are ill, injured or have disabilities
- deciding what level of nursing care is required
- working closely with parents and carers to help them cope with having an ill child in hospital
- advising parents and carers on how to care for their child on returning home
- interpreting a child’s behaviour to recognise if their health has become worse
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 may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression
With experience you could move into a specialised area like:
- burns and plastics
- child protection
- cancer care
- neonatal nursing
- intensive care
You could also become a sister, ward manager or team leader. In these roles you’d have responsibility for running a ward or a team of nurses in the community.
Other management roles you could work towards include matron or director of nursing.
You could train as a health visitor, neonatal or school nurse, or practice nurse in a doctor’s surgery. You could also become self-employed or work overseas.
With further study and experience, you could move into a nurse consultant position. In this job you’d work with patients to carry out research. You’d also develop and deliver training.