A Day in the Life of an adult nurse

Adult nurse job description

An adult nurse provides high quality nursing care to adult patients, promoting and supporting their wellbeing, comfort, and recovery. Responsibilities include assessing patients, administering medications, and monitoring the patient’s conditions, recognising changes and responding promptly, wound care, maintain accurate patient records.

What would a typical day look like for an adult nurse?

It will start with a handover of patient’s needs and treatment plans, followed by assisting patients with their personal care, carrying out various skills, and engaging effectively with patients, relatives, and members of the Interprofessional team. You will administer medication, admit and discharge patients, and undertake a range of skilled tasks. Days in other settings, such as GP practices, and community teams will be very different, tailored to the provision of nursing care in people’s homes and in community healthcare locations.

Where could I work?

The list is endless but includes acute and community hospitals; nursing homes; GP Practices; community nursing (including community public health); armed services; prison; clinical academic careers (for example at a university); and research. 

Our CareersCentral team can provide advice on working outside of the UK.

What would my starting salary be?

Most NHS jobs are covered by the Agenda for Change pay scales and you would start at Band 5. Pay and conditions vary by employer and competitive rates are offered throughout the private and voluntary sectors. With further experience, skills and qualifications, you could apply for senior Band 9 posts. 

What hours would I be working?

NHS services operate a standard 37.5 hour working week which may be a selection of days, evenings, weekends, early, late and night shifts and bank holidays. Flexible working hours will depend upon the post you hold – some services operate shift hours across a 24-hour period while others offer clinic hours.

What is the career progression like for an adult nurse?

This can be diverse and rewarding, with opportunities for professional development, consulting, specialisation and leadership roles.

Are there more specialised roles in adult nursing?

Yes, in adult nursing there are various specialised roles such as critical care nursing, oncology nursing, older persons medicine and respiratory nursing amongst many others. These specialised roles allow nurses to develop in-depth expertise, providing more targeted and effective care for patients within their specific areas of practice.   

Working with Employees

Nurses are integral members in the healthcare system, collaborating with various professionals to ensure comprehensive patient centred care. 

Do I need a degree for Adult nursing?

Yes, in the UK you need a degree to become a registered adult nurse. These degrees provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to practice as a registered nurse in adult healthcare settings. Additionally, you must register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to practice legally as an adult nurse in the UK. 

Nursing degree apprenticeship

The Nursing Degree apprenticeship in the UK is an employment-based learning programme that allows individuals to become registered nurses through work-based learning, clinical placements and theoretical learning. Apprentices complete the academic aspects of the nursing programme through a university and gain clinical practice in health care settings applying their knowledge and skills under the supervision of experienced nurses. Apprentices will receive a salary and be employed for 37.5 hours a week by a health or care employer partner. Successful completion of the apprenticeship leads to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) allowing individuals to practice as registered nurses. 

To explore this career in more depth visit NHS Health Careers

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