Adult nursing is a rewarding and challenging career that enables you to make a positive difference to people’s lives.

Adult nurses care for patients affected by a variety of acute and long-term illnesses in a broad range of environments, including hospital and community settings.

Essential to the adult nurses’ remit is public health and education so adult nurses also support people in recovery and promote health and wellbeing.  Whatever route you decide to take within adult nursing your role will require the ability to relate to and educate people from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Through developing a positive therapeutic relationship with your patients you will be able to act as advocate for them and play a pivotal role within your multi-disciplinary team. 

Building on the NHS core values and the Chief Nursing Officer’s six Cs (communication, care, compassion, courage, commitment and competence) you will be able to provide holistic, patient-centred care throughout your career, no matter where it takes you.

When you graduate from our BSc Adult Nursing or MSc Adult Nursing programmes at UEA, you will have developed the knowledge, skills and attitudes you need to become a caring and competent practitioner. You will have graduated from one of the best schools of health in the UK, and be ready to embark upon an exciting career. 

Following your graduation, you will need to register with our professional body, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Once qualified, you will be able to work as an adult health nurse in the UK and overseas. You can retrain as a midwife should you decide you want a change in career later on.


Adult nurses are concerned about people’s health and wellbeing. Central to the role is communication – adult nurses need to be able to communicate therapeutically with patients and professionally with a variety of individuals including patients, those near to them, and the multidisciplinary team.

A day in an adult nurse’s life will depend on the specialism, but a typical long day (12.5 hours) within an acute medical ward is likely to start with a handover, followed by a morning of administering medication and assisting with personal care. Throughout the day, nurses may admit and discharge patients, dress wounds and assist patients by undertaking a range of skilled tasks.  Days in other contexts such as nursing in the community or a GP surgery would of course be very different, but all would offer a dynamic, busy shift, focused on the patient and their loved ones.

Read an NHS Case Study - Paul Malone


What would my starting salary be?

Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change pay scales and as a recently graduated Adult Nurse you will start at Band 5. Pay and conditions will vary depending upon your employer and competitive rates are offered throughout the private and voluntary sectors. 
With further experience, skills and qualifications, adult nurses could apply for senior Band 9 posts.  You should always check with the employer to confirm the pay rate for any post for which you are applying.

What hours would I be working?

NHS services operate a standard 37.5 hour working week which may include evenings, weekends, early 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.

Where could I work?

Acute hospitals, community hospitals, nursing homes, GP practices, the community, as a district nurse, health visitor, in armed services, in a prison, clinical academic careers (e.g. a university), research…the list is endless.

'Registered Nurse:Adult' is the UK qualification which is generally transferable to other countries. Not all countries have equivalents to UK qualifications in mental health, learning disability, children's nursing, health visiting and the enrolled nurse.  It there is no equivalent to your nursing qualification in the country you would like to go to then you will be able to work there as a qualified nurse.

Further information on working overseas


Employability Directory