Nurse specialising in Children Careers

How to become Nurse specialising in Children

What does a Nurse specialising in Children do?

Nurses specialising in the child branch may also be known as paediatric nurses. They are trained to understand and look after children and young people under the age of 18, who require acute or long-term care.

Children's nurses can work within hospitals or the community. Their duties will usually include assessing the needs of children who may be ill, injured or disabled; evaluating the level of nursing care required (taking into account the child’s circumstances); and creating and delivering a care plan.

They give practical nursing care which can include checking temperatures, blood pressure and respiration rates, assisting doctors with physical examinations, giving drugs and injections, cleaning and dressing wounds and administering blood transfusions and drips. This work can involve using hi-tech medical equipment.

Where possible they work closely with the child's family, supporting them through the range of emotions experienced when a child is ill, and teaching them how to provide care and treatment.

Qualified nurses may go on to specialise in areas such as burns and plastics, child protection, cancer care, neonatal nursing and intensive care. Further training can lead to work as, for example, a health visitor, or school nurse.

What's the working environment like working as a Nurse specialising in Children?

Nurses in the NHS work 37.5 hours a week, which can include evening, weekend and night shifts. Many hospitals offer flexible hours of work. Some nurses work extra hours, either as overtime or for nursing agencies that supply staff to the private sector.

Children's nurses work in special children’s hospitals or hospices, on children’s wards in general hospitals or, after further training, in paediatric intensive care.

Many children’s nurses work in the community, based at a GP practice or health centre.

What does it take to become a Nurse specialising in Children?

To be a registered nurse, you should:

  • have a genuine interest in helping children with their problems
  • be observant, able to notice changes or symptoms of an illness
  • be persuasive and comforting
  • have the authority to deal with children or parents under stressful circumstances
  • be able to teach medical procedures to people with no medical background
  • have excellent communication and listening skills
  • be aware of the different ways people relate to their children.

Nurse specialising in Children Career Opportunities

The NHS is the largest employer of nurses. Employment prospects are excellent since there is a current shortage of nurses. Promotion prospects in the NHS are good and there is a clearly defined career structure. There are some opportunities for children's nurses in the private sector.

Promotion for registered nurses is usually to sister or charge nurse, responsible for managing a hospital ward, clinic or department, or a team of nurses in the community. Some nurses choose to move into more general NHS management.

Children’s nurses may train in another branch of nursing - adult, learning disability or mental health. Some nurses choose to move into health visiting or school nursing. Others become clinical specialists, often combining this with research and teaching.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Nurse specialising in Children that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

NHS Learning and Development Service
Tel: 08000 150 850

NHS Careers
PO Box 376
BS99 3EY
Tel: 0845 606 0655

Nursing and Midwifery Admissions Service (NMAS)
New Barn Lane
GL52 3LZ
Tel: 0870 112 2206 for general enquiries
Tel: 0870 112 2200 for application packs

Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS)
New Barn Lane
GL52 3LZ
Tel: 0870 1122 211

23 Portland Place
Tel: 020 7637 7181
Registration contacts
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
CF10 1DX
Tel: 029 2026 1400

Northern Ireland
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
Shore Road
Co Antrim
BT37 0Q
Tel: 08700 400 700

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