A day as a children's nurse

Your day starts on the children's hospital ward, monitoring the progress of a teenager who's been in a car accident. You talk with his parents, assuring them he's recovering well, and discuss future care plans. Although his mother is very upset, you manage to reassure her that her son is in safe hands, and persuade her to go home and rest. Later, you help monitor a toddler with breathing problems. Since you can't communicate verbally, you pay close attention to the child's facial expressions and movements to try and establish how she is feeling. You enjoy being around children and young people, and making a positive difference to their lives.

Real-life stories

Katie Ryan

Find out more
Careers A-Z

Does this sound like you?

You enjoy communicating with young people, and are good at picking up both verbal and non-verbal clues about how they're feeling. You're calm in a crisis and good at handling people in distress.

What's next after GCSE?

You need a degree to be a nurse and it's usually necessary to decide you want to be a children's nurse before you start the course. You will usually need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above (typically including English language or literature and a science subject), plus at least two A levels (although most universities will ask for three) or equivalent level 3 qualifications, so make sure you check with the uni you're interested in directly.

What's next after A level and beyond?

Alternatively, you can take A levels (or equivalent level 3 qualifications) and apply for an approved three-year degree in children's nursing. Different universities will have different entry requirements - check prospectuses to see the sorts of A levels/qualifications you'll need.