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Children's nurse

Children's nurses provide care for children and young people with acute or long-term health problems.

Potential salary

£24,907 to £37,890

Employment by 2024

+4.68%

Working hours

35 to 40 a week

  • knowledge of psychology
  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of medicine
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

You may:

  • work with doctors to assess the needs of children who are ill, injured or have disabilities
  • decide what level of nursing care is required
  • carry out a range of clinical procedures like using medical equipment, dressing wounds, giving injections and medication
  • monitor and interpret a child's behaviour to recognise if their health has become worse
  • support parents and carers to help them cope with having an ill child in hospital
  • advise parents and carers on how to care for their child on returning home

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work in an NHS or private hospital, at a hospice, at a children's care home, at a GP practice or at a health centre.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

With experience you could move into a specialised area like:burns and plastics; child protection; cancer care; neonatal nursing; intensive care

You could also become a sister, ward manager or team leader. In these roles you'd have responsibility for running a ward or a team of nurses in the community.

Other management roles you could work towards include matron or director of nursing.

You could train as a health visitor, neonatal or school nurse, or practice nurse in a doctor's surgery. You could also become self-employed or work overseas.

With further study and experience, you could move into a nurse consultant position. In this job you'd work with patients to carry out research. You'd also develop and deliver training.

You'll find more advice about how to become a children's nurse from the Royal College of Nursing and Health Careers.

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