We're building a new service – your feedback will help us to improve it.

Nurse Adult nurse

Nurses give care, advice and support to adults who are sick, injured or have physical disabilities.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £22,000 to £48,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 42 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll need:

Nursing degree apprenticeships are being developed in 2017. Health Careers have information about all nurse training, including nursing degree apprenticeships.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council have information on how to become a nurse.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent organisational and time management skills
  • good practical skills
  • the ability to inspire confidence and trust in people
  • the ability to remain calm under pressure
  • good teamwork skills and the ability to work on your own initiative
  • excellent listening and communication skills

3. What you'll do

You'll work in hospitals, nursing homes, health centres, clinics or prisons.

In an NHS hospital you could work in accident and emergency, cardiac rehabilitation, outpatients, neonatal nursing or an operating theatre.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • taking temperatures, blood pressures and pulse rates
  • helping doctors with physical examinations
  • giving drugs and injections
  • cleaning and dressing wounds
  • setting up drips and blood transfusions
  • using medical equipment
  • checking patients' progress
  • working with doctors to decide what care to give
  • advising patients and their relatives
  • handling confidential information

4. Salary

Starter: £22,000 to £28,500

Experienced: £26,250 to £41,000

Highly Experienced: up to £48,000 (nurse consultants)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 37.5 hours a week including evenings, weekends, night shifts and bank holidays.

The job can be physically demanding.

Most jobs are in the NHS. You could work in hospital wards, nursing homes, hospices, schools, colleges, private hospitals and in the community, visiting patients at home.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a nursing sister, ward manager or team leader.

You could train as a midwife, neonatal nurse, health visitor, district or practice nurse. You could move into management, as a matron or director of nursing.

With a master's, you could become an advanced nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist then a nurse consultant.

You could also become self-employed or work overseas.


Last updated: 23 January 2017