Children's nurse

Child nursing involves everything from nursing a sick newborn to an adolescent road accident victim. You'll need to consider the care and support needed by the wider family, including parents and carers.

Why choose children's nursing

There are many reasons why you should consider a career as a children’s nurse. It offers you the chance to make a difference, a high degree of flexibility and a career with excellent employment prospects.

"To be able to go into that situation and be able to help calm the child down and assure the parent that everything was ok was incredible." Ewout, a student children's nurse.

Read Ewout's story in full

two child nurses in hospital

Working life

Nursing a child is not just a question of caring for a small adult. Children have very specific health needs and you need to understand how a healthy child develops towards adulthood to minimise the impact of illness. This involves working in closely with the parents or guardians.

Communication is also factor when treating children. Adults can express their feelings and can identify the severity and nature of pain. A child may not be able to communicate this in such detail and the nurse needs to interpret child’s behaviour and reactions. Children's nurses need to be able to spot when a child's health takes a turn for the worse, which can often happen rapidly.

Where will I work?

A child’s care can take place in a range of settings:

Across all fields of nursing, more care is being delivered in the community.

Children's nurses are part of multidisciplinary teams that look after patients. You will be at the centre of teams that include doctors, hospital play staff, healthcare assistants, newborn hearing screeners, psychologists and social workers.

'I’ve been well guided and supported in my career choices to date, and the job I now do is one-of-a-kind'. Katie Ryan, practice educator

Read Katie's story

How to become a children's nurse

To become a children's nurse you’ll need to train and study at a degree level. Entry requirements vary depending on where you’d like to study. You can find a child nursing course to suit you using our Course Finder tool.

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