Nursing care is offered outside hospitals, such as in the person’s home. Daily, district nurses make a difference in the lives of the people they visit and serve.
Apprentice district nurses are responsible for many responsibilities and must visit several locations frequently. The work comprises regularly interacting with patients in the community to assess and treat their healthcare needs so they don’t have to go to the hospital and can remain in the comfort of their homes.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- give drugs and injections and treat wounds
- check breathing and take temperatures and blood pressures
- help doctors with physical examinations and set up drips
- monitor the quality of care a patient receives
- give emotional support and advice to patients and their families
- teach basic caring skills where needed.
- As a district nurse, you’ll be paid on the Agenda for Change (AFC) pay system, typically starting at £33,706 (band 6).
- Experienced district nurses with five or more years of experience can earn up to £40,588.
Your standard working week will be around 37.5 hours on shift pattern which can include nights, early starts, evenings, weekends and bank holidays.
You could work in the community or at a health centre.
Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and you’ll travel often.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice district nurse include:
- Level 7 District Nurse – Entry requirements for this level include a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualifications or relevant experience. This qualification will take 24 months to complete.
On a district nurse apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- sensitivity and understanding
- excellent verbal communication skills
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to work well with others
- knowledge of biology
- active listening skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device.
Career path and progression
You will have many work options following your qualification as a district nurse. For example, you may lead a team and become a community matron or teach/lecture or do clinical research. You might also be a mentor or preceptor to other nurses.