Watch Career Videos

Choose a Career

Search All

Search Alphabetically

A B C | D E F | G H I | J K L | M N O | P Q R | S T U | V W X Y Z |

Search by Type of Patient Contact

Minimal | Direct Physical | Direct Verbal |

Search by Work Place

Ambulance Service | Care Homes | Care in the Home | Community Hospital | Dental Practise | GP Surgery | Hospital | Mental Health Services | Nursing Homes | Opticians | Pharmacy | Private Treatment Centres | Sports and Youth Clubs | Voluntary Sector |

Search by Entry Level

Entry Level | Level 1 | Level 2 | Level 3 | Level 4 | Level 5 | Level 6 | Level 7 | Level 8 |

Search by Working Styles

Click here and choose the statements which best reflect your working styles

Search by Job Type

Guide to Working in Health and Social Care Sectors

Adult Nursing


Select the different sections below to gain further information on studying Adult Nursing at university.

More information is also available on the NHS Careers website and Nursing Careers

Why Choose Adult Nursing?

In doing Adult Nursing you have the opportunity to:

  • Impact on others lives Adult Nurse with Elderly Patient
  • Make a difference to people lives
  • Meet interesting people
  • Promote Health
  • Work in different environments

As an Adult Nurse you will find:

  • No two days are the same
  • It is a rewarding role with a good career structure
  • A flexible career
  • You will need a sense of humour
  • Work can be hard but it can be fun

What Does the Job Involve?

A Job of Variety

It is about helping patients, with activities of living, assessing their needs, planning and implementing the care they need to assist them to become as independent as possible.  However, not all people are able to recover, so the nurse's role becomes one of continuing care, allowing the patient to die with dignity.

  1. Meeting the hygiene needs such as washing, mouth care,skin care and toileting
  2. Nurses are involved in the essential, practical, social and psychological aspects of patient care
  3. Baseline observations such as temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respirations, body mass index and urine and faeces testing
  4. Meeting the nutritional needs of patients by giving drinks and food
  5. To be an educator of others including; patients, carers, staff, students and yourself
  6. To be able to communicate wellverbally, non-verbally, in writing and whilst maintaining accurate records
  7. Problem solving inclusive of non-patient management involving, the use of resources, staff and also budgets
  8. To be a decision maker in order to plan, coordinate and facilitate patient care

Nurses work with the multi-disciplinary team and liaise regularly with other agencies.  There is an average 37.5 hour working week, including early, late and night shifts.

Is It Right For You?

Adult Nursing Qualities Required
Qualities Essentials Qualifications

Good Listener/Communicator

Enjoy working with others

Able to adapt to change

Motivated and enthusiastic

Good organisational skills

Can work under pressure

Sense of humour

Complete a health questionnaire

Complete a Criminal Records Bureau form

Be fluent in speaking and writing English


5 GCSE's (inc maths and English)

Adequate UCAS points from a variety of different qualifications

Or Equivalent.

Potential Career Development for Nurses

Where can you go in the NHS

There are lots of opportunities for personal and career development in the NHS. As an employer, they are committed to ensuring that their staff have the up-to-date skills and knowledge to do the job. The managers actively encourage all staff members to take advantage of free training opportunities and will give staff time off to increase skills in areas of service need or for personal development.

All the NHS organisations in the SW have signed up to the Skills Pledge which aims to increase staff language, literacy and numeracy skills over the next few years. So even if English is not your first language, you will be able to study, whilst at work, to improve it.

It does not matter what level you come into the NHS or what profession you work in, the opportunities are open to everyone.

The NHS Careers website lots of information about moving on in the NHS and career progression.

What Course To Take?

To be able to practise as a nurse, you will need to study and gain a professional qualification. Nursing programmes are currently available as either a Diploma in Higher Education or a Degree BSc (Hons). Nationally though, as of 2013, all pre registration nursing programmes will be delivered as degree programmes only and this is the required level of qualification of professional registration. At the end of your course of study, if successful, you would have met the requirements to apply to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as an Adult Nurse. Most students study full time for 3 years to complete their programme but the time can be longer if a part time route is chosen.

Your studies includes the theory of learning adult nursing (50% of course) and supervised nursing practice (50% of course) in a range of health and community based settings.


You will study the knowledge and skills needed to register as an Adult nurse. The study topics will include health, wellbeing and illness, psychology, sociology, anatomy and physiology, social policy and ethics. You will learn about working with people who have a range of acute or continuing health problems.

Adult nurses require skills in communication, learning how to build trusting relationships, the ability to listen without judging someone, assessing a person's physical, psychological and social needs., working one to one with the patient, their family and other carer's. Students will learn about inter-professional working, being the patient's advocate and involving the patient and his/her family in making decisions about health care provision. You will learn these skills and theory from university days and the placements you have.


When on placement you will work with a mentor and assessor who will enable you to gain experience by offering learning opportunities whereby you can gain confidence of working with people with differing needs. In your third year you will have the opportunity of doing an elective placement, you choose where you go whether it is in this country or abroad. Students have enjoyed this experience as they gain knowledge of alternative service provisions.

The placements can vary in length, location and shift patterns to ensure that all students get a good variety of practise environments before they qualify.

Where to Study?

Many cities and large towns in the UK run Adult Nursing degree and/or Diploma programmes. In the South West, programmes are offered at the:

  1. University of the West of England in Bristol
  2. University of Plymouth
  3. Bournemouth University

Most universities who provide nursing training, will have well equipped practical rooms to allow the students to easily and regularly practise techniques that they will be required to perform when out on placement. The Interprofessional Simulation Suite provides excellent opportunities for the demonstration and practice of professional competencies.

Students will have access to excellent teaching facilities, information technology and multimedia laboratories. There are often dedicated health care libraries for the students to access with a huge selection of books, journals and audio-visual materials including access to specialist health and social care databases.

How To Apply

All applicants must be healthy and of good character and references will be obtained which ask about your character. If the applicant is still at school or college then the references normally come from your tutor. If you are applying after leaving school then a former employer or someone who knows you in a professional capacity would be required. Because you are working with vulnerable children and adults, criminal records check will automatically be carried out once you start the course.

Applications for all undergraduate degree programmes, for any university, should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and they are all on line now. There is lots of help available around the completion of your university application form. Check out:

If you are at school or college, your tutor will help you with this process and register you onto the system. If you are not at school, college or university, you apply on the website.

Entry Requirements

1. University of the West of England in Bristol

2. University of Plymouth, Plymouth

3. Bournemouth University

Or for information about universities in the rest of the UK, go to:

4. General UK University Contacts 


Further information about Adult Nursing careers is available on the NHS Careers website


Back to Careers & Jobs