What qualifications are required to become a nurse?

19 Sep 14:00 by Richard


For some, becoming a nurse has been a lifelong dream. For others, a career change or sudden desire to do something in the healthcare industry forces people to look at the qualifications they have and
whether they meet the requirements. The current two main routes to becoming a nurse are outlined below.

Nursing degree course

This is the most traditional route to choose and involves a lot of theoretical study centred at a university as well as practical placements in healthcare providers.

Entry requirements:

  • GCSEs – English, Maths, Science (preferably Biology) and other supporting subjects.
  • A Levels – At least two (usually three depending on the institution) including at least one science such as Biology or one social science such as Psychology.
  • Or alternatively, Level 3 equivalent qualifications.

Some universities offer a foundation year to those students who have not achieved these qualifications.

If you already have a relevant degree in Science or Social Science, some universities offer a 2-year nursing degree to support your qualifications.

Nursing degree apprenticeships

This 4-year qualification is still fairly new but is being offered to students at a small number of NHS organisations. It is flexible and means that you will spend half of your time in NHS employment and half at a university.

Entry requirements

  • See above – they are the same as a full degree course.

Nursing associate

This role is currently being piloted in England. The aim of this course is to provide more opportunities for people from all backgrounds to find work in the nursing profession. It will allow people to work within a range of care settings, providing more flexibility as they move from one area to another, caring for patients with varied needs.

For more advice on becoming a nurse, go to https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk