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Health visitors are nurses or midwives who are passionate about promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing illness. They work with families to give pre-school-age children the best possible start in life.
Training and qualifications required
In order to work as a health visitor, you must first qualify and register as a nurse or midwife and will need to take an approved programme in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing or Health Visiting (SCPHN - HV). Entry requirements are flexible and no minimum period of post-registration experience is required.
Expected working hours and salary range
Most jobs in the NHS are covered by Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. NHS staff usually work 37.5 hours per week but terms and conditions for non-NHS employers and contractors vary. Health visitors start at band 6 but it’s possible to move up the bands with more experience.
Desirable skills and values
You need to be able to work independently for most of your time, although you will work as part of a team of other healthcare staff. You’ll be responsible for people with a range of needs, so being highly organised, flexible and able to prioritise effectively is vital. You should also be highly observant, able to assess a family’s needs, and take responsibility for determining the best course of action.
There are opportunities to go into service management or clinical academic research. You may want to become a community matron and lead a team of health visitors and other nurses. Also, the NHS Leadership Academy runs a number of programmes to support nurses into leadership roles.
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