As a children's nurse you will deliver care for children with various medical conditions.
Stamina and resilience are essential because the work is often physically and emotionally demanding. But helping a child's recovery can be incredibly rewarding.
We can prepare you for professional life as a children's nurse. Studying children's nursing here at City, University of London offers excellent employment prospects and a path towards your ideal job.
Through methods including academic study, simulated learning and clinical placements, you will learn how to become a children's nurse.
What can I expect from a career as a children's nurse?
Learning what is expected of you as a children's nurse is a key step in your preparation for working life.
Children's nurses, also known as paediatric nurses, work with children of all ages and all conditions. You will play a key role in evaluating the nursing needs of child patients, considering the full scale of their medical, cultural and social background.
Effective communication with children and their parents or carers is exceptionally important. You will understand unusual behaviour when working with young children, in order to properly assess them. Remember they often struggle to explain how they are feeling and it will not always be clear.
You may work across settings such as hospitals, homes and in local communities. Your team will include doctors, healthcare assistants, play staff, psychologists and social workers.
As a children's nurse you will:
- Assess and monitor the conditions of child patients
- Prepare child patients for operations and procedures
- Administer drugs and injections
- Assist in medical tests and evaluations
- Respond rapidly to emergencies
- Explain treatment enabling adults to consent
- Write reports and update records.
Placements help you to develop skills needed by children's nurses. These include listening and communication, judgement, advising and counselling.
Specialist interpersonal skills are especially important when working with children. At certain times you will need to make explanations or reassure children, as well as advising their parents or carers.
Related courses at City
Whatever your level of interest in becoming a children's nurse, City's courses can help you take one step closer to a career as a children's nurse, develop specialisms that'll set you apart from the field or broaden your horizons with study in related subjects.
- BSc (Hons) Children's Nursing
- MSc Children's Nursing (pre-registration)
- MSc Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Who can I work for as a children's nurse?
Many children's nurses work in National Health Service (NHS) hospitals throughout the UK. Other workplaces may include general practices (GPs) working as child health specialists, day care centres, child health clinics, private healthcare organisations, charities or nursing agencies.
An increasing number of sick children are cared for by their families at home and supported by a community nursing team. With certain specialisms such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes or asthma, you can be completely based in the community.
Our nursing degrees at City are approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). This means you can register with the NMC after graduating and obtain an internationally accepted qualification allowing you to work across the world.
What about children's nursing work experience?
Here at City we let you experience nursing environments and specialisms including the internationally recognised acute children's emergency department service and the specialist paediatric gastroenterology unit, a unique unit in the UK.
But independently finding more opportunities to gain knowledge and skills gives further evidence of your commitment to children's nursing. It may also help to give you an edge when it comes to getting a job.
Experience of work in childcare or working with children will be positive. Voluntary work for your local NHS Trust or St John Ambulance can help to confirm your ambitions, as can work as a healthcare assistant.
Visiting community centres or children's hospitals and speaking with nurses, or attending appropriate events is another useful way of developing your ideas.
What are my prospects as a children's nurse?
Skills shortages in London and across the UK mean you are likely to be in high demand and have great career prospects as a children's nurse.
With the right amount of experience, you may progress to senior children's nursing roles, ward sister and senior ward manager.
There can be a gradually decreasing level of hands-on nursing responsibility as your career develops. Children's nursing careers can develop into more managerial or clinically specialised roles.
Popular specialisms include:
- paediatric oncology
- neonatal intensive care
- ambulatory care
- burns and plastics
- child protection
There may also be opportunities to direct your career towards teaching, research or a community-based role such as a health visitor or school nurse.