How to become a critical care nurse: Kate's story

Meet Kate, 21, and find out about her life as a critical care 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 critical care 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: £24,214 to £37,267 per year
  • Nurse working hours: 37 to 42 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to become a nurse?

  • 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)

Find more expert advice about nursing careers on the NHS website and, if you're interested in a career in nursing, get your guide to a nursing career. Discover more on the Prospects website about the role of an adult nurse.

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

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Tanoh: paramedic
Kestra: doctor
Bethany: carer