There are over 350 roles in Healthcare alone,
so when considering all roles in Social Care as well,
you will be sure to find the best role for you.

Whether you choose to go into adult or learning disabilities nursing, the role of the nurse is a busy, varied and highly responsible role. You could choose to work in a range of settings as a nurse from acute hospitals, GP practices, schools, providing care in people’s homes, clinics and various other community locations.

There are many different routes you can take in nursing; training directly from school, developing people skills and experience in other roles in health and care (such as a Healthcare Assistant) before moving into nurse training, or even undertaking an apprenticeship, meaning you can work and earn whilst you complete your training.

Types of roles available:

+Adult Nursing
An adult nurse specialises in taking care of people aged over 18.

After completing training and qualifying as a nurse, this role rewards you with excellent employment aspects, flexibility and the knowledge that you’re making a real difference in people’s lives. Adult nurses are an essential part of multidisciplinary teams in hospitals (wards and outpatient units) as well as within clinics and patients’ homes.

+Paediatric (Children’s Nursing)
Children’s nursing specialises in caring for people aged under 18.

As a children’s nurse you could be taking care of a newborn baby up to a teenager, and due to the young age of the patient, this role will usually include providing care and support for their parents, family members and/or carers. Communication is a key factor in this role; unlike adults, children may not be able to express, or communicate their feeling and needs.

Children’s nurses work as part of a wider multidisciplinary team, and you could work in hospitals, clinics or within the community.

+Learning Disabilities Nurse
As a learning disability nurse you will work with adults and children who have a range of learning disabilities in a variety of health and care settings. A learning disability nurse works to improve or maintain their patient’s health, encourage independent living and help them lead a fulfilling life. You may often find that you are also providing support to their families.
+Mental Health Nurse
As a mental health nurse you will support adults and children with a range of mental health conditions. Mental health nursing is a demanding but rewarding career choice. Your role would be promoting and supporting a person’s recovery and enabling them to have more involvement and control over their condition.
+General Practice Nurse
General practice nurses work in GP surgeries as part of the primary healthcare team, which might include doctors, pharmacists and dietitians. They are an essential part of delivering care to patients of all ages and backgrounds.

You will usually work closely with other practice nurses across a wide range of aspects of care, such as taking blood samples, ECGs, some wound management, vaccinations and travel health advice, immunisations, family planning and sexual health services, women and men’s health, and helping patients manage long-term conditions.

Typical entry requirements:

  • To work as a GPN you must first be a qualified, registered adult, paediatric, mental health or learning disability nurse, and willing to undertake further training.
  • Alternatively, you may take steps towards becoming a GPN by starting out as a healthcare assistant or assistant practitioner and developing your skills.

+Nursing Associate
The nursing associate is a new role within nursing teams. Nursing associates work with healthcare support workers and registered nurses to deliver care for patients and the public. The role is also a stepping stone to becoming a registered nurse.

Nursing associates work across all four fields of nursing: adult, children’s, mental health, and learning disability. Your duties are likely to include:

  • undertaking clinical tasks including venepuncture and ECGs
  • supporting individuals and their families and carers when faced with unwelcome news and life-changing diagnoses
  • performing and recording clinical observations such as blood pressure, temperature, respirations and pulse
  • discussing and sharing information with registered nurses on a patients’ condition, behaviour, activity and responses
  • ensuring the privacy, dignity and safety of individuals is maintained at all times
  • recognising issues relating to safeguarding vulnerable children and adults

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) – Nursing Associate

Typical entry requirements:

  • The most common route for nursing is via completion of a university degree.

For undergraduate courses, 2 or 3 A-Levels (or equivalent, such as an advanced GNVQ or Level 3 NVQ) / 5 GCSEs (A-C/4-9) including English language/literature and a science (*note: contact universities directly as entry requirements are varied).

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) – Becoming a nurse

Here is an example of routes in nursing from Anglia Ruskin University:

Nursing Apprenticeships:

Apprenticeships are an increasingly popular option as an entry route into nursing (or to start on the path towards a role as a nursing associate / degree apprentice)

For nursing apprenticeships you will be employed in one of our organisations as a health care support worker.

  • You will need GCSEs grade 9 to 4 (A to C) or equivalent in Maths and English, or Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths and English.

* To note: to undertake an apprenticeship you must have a minimum of 3 years UK/EEA residency or evidence of settlement status or pre-settlement status on commencement of the apprenticeship. 

What is the difference between a Nursing Associate and a Registered Nurse?

The registered nurse will undertake first assessments and plan and co-ordinate care for patients, as well as leading and managing teams. Nursing associates will support registered nurses by providing; monitoring and contributing to patient care (NMC 2018).

Nursing Associate

  • Be an accountable professional
  • Promoting health and preventing ill health
  • Provide and monitor care
  • Working in teams
  • Improving safety and quality of care
  • Contributing to integrated care

Registered Nurse

  • Be an accountable professional
  • Promoting health and preventing ill health
  • Assessing need and planning care
  • Providing and evaluating care
  • Leading and managing nursing care and working in teams
  • Improving safety and quality of care
  • Co-ordinating care

Additional places to search for jobs

For all nursing jobs you can search the NHS Jobs website. Here is an example of what the search may look like: