District nurses, also known as community nurses, provide nursing care for people of all ages in a variety of non-hospital settings including patients' homes, GP surgeries or residential nursing homes. They aim to respond quickly and intensively to patients' needs to enable them to avoid hospital admission, or be discharged early.
District nurses are responsible for assessing, planning and managing the care of patients. Duties include: administering drugs, checking temperatures, blood pressure and respiration rates, assisting doctors with physical examinations, giving injections, cleaning and dressing wounds, and administering blood transfusions and drips.
Their work may also involve running clinics for people with diabetes, performing minor surgery, and carrying out a range of resuscitation procedures. District nurses manage a caseload of patients, and may progress into management, leading a team of more junior staff or teach nursing students.
They work with other health professionals supporting the family and carers of the patient. They offer emotional support to the patient and their family and, where appropriate, teach them basic care giving skills.
The district nursing service is generally provided between 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Out of hours work is provided either on an on-call basis or via dedicated out of hours staff.
District nurses are normally based at a health centre, as part of a community health care team. As the work involves a good deal of travelling, a driving licence is essential.
The work can be very physically and emotionally demanding.
To be a district nurse, you should:
District nurses are employed by NHS Trusts and generally they are attached to one or more GP surgery. There is a steady demand for new district nurses. There are also opportunities to work in research, education or for a statutory nursing body, developing training or giving careers advice.
There are promotion opportunities available in clinical specialisms, health service management or teaching.
There are opportunities to work abroad, especially in developing countries.
If you would like to know anything about Registered Nurse: District that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Nursing and Midwifery Admissions Service (NMAS)
New Barn Lane
Tel: 0870 112 2206 for general enquiries
Tel: 0870 112 2200 for application packs
Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS)
New Barn Lane
Tel: 0870 1122 211
23 Portland Place
Tel: 020 7637 7181
Overseas: 020 7333 6600
General: 020 7333 9333
NHS Education for Scotland
Careers Information Service
66 Rose Street
Tel: 0131 225 4365
Health Professions Wales
2nd Floor, Golate House
101 St Mary Street
Tel: 029 2026 1400
Queens University of Belfast
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Medical Biology Centre
97 Lisburn Road
Tel: 028 9097 2233
University of Ulster at Jordanstown
School of Nursing
Tel: 08700 400 700