Every role within the healthcare industry is important as each professional is providing a much-needed service to the country. Nursing is part of the cornerstone of the UK’s healthcare system, and the role itself spans into various areas, such as adult nursing, mental health nursing, learning disability nursing, and more. If you are looking to become a Nurse, then you need to find the right Nurse course. UK learners who are interested in caring for children in need, then you may be wondering how to become a Paediatric Nurse.
Children’s nursing, also known as paediatric nursing, is an incredibly rewarding and challenging role as you will be responsible for providing care and support to children and their families. If you are calm in a crisis, have a compassionate nature, and are good at communicating with young people, then a career as a Child Nurse could be for you.
To achieve this goal, you will need to undertake children’s nursing courses, including a child nursing degree. UK residents will learn more about this academic area of study and career path as they continue reading. We have outlined the roles and responsibilities of a Child Nurse and the child nursing courses you should consider. I being a Nurse a good career? Well, keep reading to find out!
What is a Paediatric Nurse?
At every stage of our lives, we require some form of healthcare. A Paediatric Nurse is a professional who specialises in providing care for children of all ages. While the roles and responsibilities of a Child Nurse differ, the primary focus is to care for children who are living with various illnesses and conditions. If you are wondering how to become a Paediatric Nurse, then this is the first thing that you should be aware of.
Through children’s nursing courses, it will become clear that a Paediatric Nurse does more than care for a child patient, they also offer support to families. If a child has been diagnosed with an illness or is recovering from an injury, the Nurse is responsible for updating the family on their child’s progress. In dedicated courses to become a Nurse, you will learn about the roles and responsibilities, but you cannot be taught how to care for others, and this is a big attribute you need when you become a Nurse.
As well as developing skills taught during your Nurse course, UK learners should know that having strong communication skills is essential, particularly as you may be helping children who cannot communicate due to their age or condition. This means that you will have to pay close attention to facial expressions and movements to gauge how the child might be feeling.
Learning how to interpret behaviours will be covered when studying a child nursing degree. UK residents should be aware, though, that having a natural disposition for this will be beneficial as personality traits cannot be taught.
Paediatric Nurses can provide care in plenty of settings, including:
- General Practices (GPs)
- Child Health Clinics
- Nursing Agencies
- Private Healthcare Organisations
- Patients’ Homes
Is Child Nursing a Good Career?
Many considering this profession will ask, 'is being a Nurse a good career?'. Well, providing a high level of care is rewarding in any instance, but one could argue that it is even more rewarding when that care is for children. By studying accredited child nursing courses, you can progress towards a professional position.
There is no doubt that job satisfaction is high when it comes to child nursing, but it is important to note that the role is challenging when you become a Nurse. No two days are the same, and you may find yourself having to deal with children and families in distress. If you feel that you can cope in these situations and can contribute to the role, then this may be the best career path for you.
If you are considering enrolling on children’s nursing courses, then you should be aware of the responsibilities that you will have when you eventually qualify. A Child Nurse will have a range of tasks, including:
- Prepare patients for operations and procedures
- Assess and observe the condition of patients
- Keep accurate records of pulse, respiration, and temperature
- Administer drugs and injections
- Assist with evaluations and tests
- Support and advise patients and their family
Through children’s nursing courses and Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and other recognised Nurse courses, UK learners can work their way up to a senior level. If so, you will be able to teach student nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. In addition, you may have to organise staff and the workload to make sure that shift cover is provided.
What are the Entry Requirements for Child Nursing?
There are various courses to become a Nurse, and there are multiple qualifications that you will need before becoming a qualified Child Nurse. Below, we have outlined the academic journey you need to take to achieve your goal and answer your question of how to become a Paediatric Nurse.
Generally, you will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above before you enrol on a course for Nurse training. Usually, these GCSEs need to be in Maths, English Language or Literature or a Science subject. If you do not have GCSEs, you can obtain them with the help of learndirect. We provide a wide range of nationally recognised GCSE courses.
Alternatively, you can gain equivalent qualifications in the form of Functional Skills, which predominantly focus on Maths and English.
As well as GCSEs or equivalent, you will need to work towards at least two A Levels, including a subject like human biology or psychology. We provide a portfolio of regulated online A Level courses to help you progress towards a child nursing degree. UK residents should know that Access to Higher Education Diplomas are also an option on your route to become a Nurse.
Access to Higher Education Diplomas
An Access to Higher Education Diploma is widely recognised as the equivalent to 3 A Levels. Most universities accept them as part of their entry requirements instead of A Levels, but you will need to check with your chosen university before applying.
By studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Nursing) online, you will gain an essential foundation of knowledge of nursing as well as techniques that will prepare you for a degree course for Nurse training.
All Nurses need to be registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) to work in the UK, and to become eligible, you need to complete a pre-registration nursing programme at an NMC approved educational institution (AEI). A child nursing degree, UK residents, is one out of four branches of degrees that are offered in approved establishments.
The remaining three are adult nursing, learning disability nursing, and mental health nursing. While studying your child nursing degree, UK learners will spend a portion of their courses to become a Nurse based in a clinical practice, such as:
- Patients’ Homes
- Independent Organisations
If you get a degree in a health-related subject, but not specifically child nursing courses, then you could still get accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL). Generally, individuals hoping to study to become a Nurse in this way will have degrees in life and medical sciences, psychology, or social work.
How Long is a Children’s Nursing Course?
If you go down the university route and study a child nursing degree, UK learners should know that it will generally take around three years to complete the Nurse course. UK learners, if you already work in a healthcare setting and opt to study a degree apprenticeship in nursing, then it will take around four years to complete.
What Jobs Can You Get with Child Nursing Degree?
With an accredited child nursing degree, UK residents can register with the NMC and apply for child nursing roles in various healthcare settings. Keep in mind that to maintain your registration, you will have to adhere to certain criteria. This is because the registration must be renewed every three years.
As part of your requirements, you will have to complete 35 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), including 20 hours of participatory learning. With learndirect, you can study a range of nursing courses that will contribute to your CPD requirements.
With regards to future career prospects, you can use the knowledge you gained from your children’s nursing courses to progress into other areas of healthcare. If you elevate to a senior position and gain relevant experience, you could end up specialising in the following areas:
- Paediatric oncology
- Neonatal intensive care
- Child protection
- Burns and plastics
Get Your Career Off the Ground!
If a job as a Paediatric Nurse feels like the right career path for you, then what are you waiting for? Study your way towards a rewarding role with the help of learndirect. If you are interested in studying children’s nursing courses or other nurse courses, UK learners should know that we will point you in the right direction. For expert guidance, speak to one of our Course Executives on 01202 006 464 or contact us online. Alternatively, click below to find out more information about our courses to become a Nurse.