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What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Nurse?

Nursing is an incredibly rewarding job that’s vital to healthcare across the world. To pursue a career in nursing, there are a variety of qualifications that are required. We’re taking a closer look at what qualifications you need to be a nurse in the UK and the career path you could pursue.

nurse taking care of patient



What Qualifications Do You Need To Be a Nurse in the UK?

To become a nurse in the UK, you must hold a degree in nursing and be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). But first, to get onto a nursing course, you’ll have to meet various requirements set out by your chosen university. This is usually five GCSEs and two A-levels or equivalent. You’ll also have to:


  • Demonstrate competent literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Complete a health questionnaire.
  • Declare any past criminal convictions. 
  • Be transparent with the university concerning any police records by allowing them to check.


Then, you’ll choose one of the four nursing specialisms you’d like to study - adult, children, mental health or learning disability. 


To ensure you have the technical competence and clinical skills needed to work successfully and safely as a nurse, you must spend half of your nursing degree completing supervised placements in a local hospital or community setting.


How are Nursing Qualifications Assessed?

Throughout the degree, student nurses are assessed by both theory and practise elements with methods such as presentation, essays, reports and exams. 


Like all medical degrees, a lot of practical work is required, such as spending time on hospital wards. To ensure you’re fit for nursing, this will also be assessed. 


What Career Paths Can I Pursue With a Nursing Qualification?

After qualifying as a nurse, there are so many different jobs within the healthcare sector that you can do. You could be a midwife, home visitor, learning disability and mental health issue specialist, paramedic, paediatrician, counsellor or social worker. Or, you could choose to specialise in an area such as elderly or intensive care.


Once you’ve gained more experience, you’ll have the opportunity to take on more senior roles, such as management or consulting. 


Alternatively, if you think that’s not for you, you could go into public health, teaching or clinical research. It’s even possible to be self-employed or work abroad.


Whichever nursing career path you choose, at some point, you’ll have to do an interview, so it’s important to be prepared. Our helpful guide is just what you need to make the best first impression in your nursing interview.


Make the Best First Impression in Your Nursing Interview

Whether you’re a newly qualified nurse or you’re hoping to move up to your next role, performing well in your interview is key to getting the job. So, to make sure you have everything you need to succeed in your nursing interview, we’ve created a comprehensive guide filled with lots of tips and tricks. 


Download the guide below.

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