District nurse

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

Salary range: £30,401 to £43,772

How to become a district nurse

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

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.

More information


Further information

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of biology
  • 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

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • administering drugs
  • checking temperature, blood pressure and breathing
  • helping doctors with physical examinations
  • giving injections
  • cleaning and dressing wounds
  • monitoring or setting up intravenous drips
  • providing emotional support and practical advice to patients and their families
  • teaching 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.

Career path and progression

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.

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