How to become a nurse: Kate's story

Meet Kate, 21, and find out about her life as a nurse working in the NHS. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

"I absolutely love being a nurse and seeing my patients smile."

  • Kate is a nurse in a hospital
  • It's her job to do regular observations of her patients, to check if they are getting better or more ill
  • Kate started working as a nurse the Monday after she finished her university degree.

What to expect if you want to be a nurse

  • Nurse salary: £23,023 to £49,969 per year
  • Nurse working hours: 37 to 42 hours per week
  • Typical entry requirements: You can do a university degree in Adult Nursing approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council. Some degree courses let you study another area of nursing alongside Adult Nursing. Full-time courses usually take three years. You may be able to join a nursing degree on the second year of a course if you already have a degree in:

    • a health-related subject
    • Psychology
    • Life Sciences
    • Social work

You’ll need five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, Maths and a science, and two or three A-levels (or equivalent), including at least one science or health-related subject. You'll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in social care or healthcare work before you apply for nurse training.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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