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  • 16 June 2021
  • 11 min read

How To Become A Paediatric Nurse

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    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
    • Laura Bosworth
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Play video: "I've been a qualified Nurse, paediatric trained, for 13 years now so I'd like to think I've kind of got a few gems up my sleeve and a bit of knowledge to share with you guys."

Paediatric Nurse, Angie Jay, describes her career journey in Paediatrics, the qualifications and experience required, as well as some advice on beginning your own Nursing journey.

Topics covered in this article


Experience & Qualifications

My First Post As A Children's Nurse


What I Love About Paediatric Nursing

What Skills Do You Need In Paediatric Nursing?

Interview Tips

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Hi everybody, my name is Angie, and today I'm going to be talking to you guys about all things Paediatric / Children’s Nursing, whichever way you'd like to say it really, it means the same thing.

I've been a qualified Nurse, paediatric trained, for 13 years now.

So I'd like to think I've kind of got a few gems up my sleeve and a bit of knowledge to share with you guys that are wanting to come into Paediatric Nursing.

If I'm honest, I didn't want to be a Nurse initially.

Nursing was never my first career choice and that's me being quite honest.

I initially always wanted to be a child psychologist.

I just find the brain so fascinating.

I find understanding why people do things the way they do quite interesting, so that was always my first choice.

And I kind of fell into Nursing by accident because when it came to my A levels, I kind of missed out on one or two of the grades to get into university to study psychology.

So I thought with the grades that I've got, I can still go into Nursing.

And to be honest, once I found out that there was like a children's branch of Nursing, that was it, I was sold.

My experience and my advice to you that if you do want to get into sort of Paediatric Children’s Nursing, I would recommend building your foundations of experience up.

Experience & Qualifications

Expose yourself to areas where you're going to be around families, children, young people, babies, you know, things like youth work services.

If you're doing Healthcare Assistant work, if you've had experience looking after younger siblings, babysitting, if you're au pairing, that kind of thing where you're exposed to working with families, vulnerable people.

You want to be able to build up your experience so when it comes to the interview, you can talk about your transferable skills and knowledge and things that you've learnt along the way.

So that would be kind of the first tip that I would share with you.

In terms of qualifications, you're going to need your GCSE's obviously.

So you're going to need your core subjects, English, maths and science and you're going to need some A levels as well.

So when I did my training, going back a long time now, 2005, I had the diploma option at the time.

So I was essentially paid a bursary to study.

Whereas now I understand that the bursary option is no longer an option and you can only study the degree route.

So with that, you're going to need to have your additional A levels.

For me, I still did my A levels.

I did psychology, sociology, French and sports science.

Very random I know, but I still think it's really important to study subjects that you enjoy and that are fun, but also bear in mind that you have to study subjects that are relatable to Nursing.

So the psychology and sociology aspect, even though I studied those because I had the mindset I wanted to go into child psychology, it's still very important and very relatable to Nursing because it's still to do with the society, families, how people work, that kind of thing.

You know, look into what you're studying, make sure that it's relatable kind of thing.

And if you don't have GCSE's if you don't have A levels for whatever reason, because you know, things happen in people's life and that's totally fine.

There are still routes, don't give up.

There's still ways that you can get into Nursing.

And one of the things that I would look for is to research and access to Nursing course and access to Nursing course can be done, I think it's in like a year or two, depending on your lifestyle situation, if you've got children to look after you can do it part-time just two years.

And that course will cover things like your GCSEs, your A levels. It would give you like a foundation understanding of health and social care and Nursing.

And that will be enough to credit you with the points to then afterwards, apply to university to study Nursing.

So if that's you in that situation and you haven't got any, you know, sort of your basic qualifications, then I recommend researching your nearest access to Nursing course.

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My First Post As A Children's Nurse

We're going back now, so I graduated in 2008.

Then my first post was a grade D post and the great D was an equivalent to like what's now a newly qualified band five.

So I actually did an 18 month rotational post.

So I did six months in three areas of paediatrics that I was interested in.

And those three areas that I chose were children's theatres, children's outpatients, almost forgot then.

And I did the inpatient ward for six months on an adolescent ward, and they were amazing experiences.

You know, you get to see so many things every day, from eating disorders, pregnancy, gang related violence on the inpatient ward, and I found it fascinating

In terms of like a typical day for a Children and Paediatric Nurses.

I don't think you could say that we have typical days, no day is the same.

And I also feel like it depends on your area and your specialty that you're working in.

So for example, I have had experience working in children's A&E, I did that for a few years.

About four years I did that and every day is different because you don't know what's coming in through the door but at the same time, that's what makes things really exciting and fun, the versatility.

Likewise now, I'm currently working for a School Nursing service and I'm managing my own caseload.

So I see children, I fit them in according to my diary kind of thing.

So no day is typically the same.

And I think that's what makes it interesting and fun.


I guess in regards, we're talking about pay, paediatrics is seen as a specialty, so you'll generally get paid that little bit more but also again, it depends on the area of paediatrics that you're working in.

So for example, A&E Nurses will get paid slightly more.

Likewise, if you're working for children's safeguarding, you'll get paid slightly more as well but also, if you decide to specialise in a certain area, you're always going to be paid more as well.

So anything for a Newly Qualified Nurse, you can expect to earn from about £25,000 and it goes up every year.

Likewise, if you're an experienced Children's Paediatric Nurse Job, you can earn anything from about 29 to £30,000 upwards.

Like I said, all those things beforehand depends on specialties, depending on area.

And also one thing to bear in mind is if you live in sort of like inner London, you'll get what's called like a London rating, and that could be topped up with about £4000, maybe just slightly over and that was bring your gross pay up considerably as well.

So that's something to bear in mind if you work in inner London as well, you get that extra London rating.

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What I Love About Paediatric Nursing

What I love about Paediatric Nursing is the vast settings that we can work in.

And we're not just, you know, stuck to bedside nursing, hospitals, children and paediatric nurse, we can go anywhere.

We can work in hospitals, we can work in schools and that can be both primary, secondary, even private independent schools are often looking for their own private Nurses to work in their school.

So you can work in youth clubs.

You can work in youth offending services if we're interested in sort the criminal side of health, criminal justice side of health and public health.

We can work in health clubs, GP practices, like it's about being creative with your experience and your job and you can practically work anywhere.

And also if you want to work abroad, you know, Children's Nurses from the UK are hugely sought after and you know, working abroad will be a fantastic opportunity if you can afford to do that in your life.

What keeps me excited in ped nursing is the variety like I've shared, you know, it's working with children and young people across all ages up until the age of 16 or 19.

And it kind of depends on your trust.

So a lot of trusts will say that once you hit 16, you go to adult services.

Whereas for example, my trust, we go up to 19.

So that's what I love.

I love that young people have so much to share and talk about, and you know, young people are the people in society, unfortunately, who feel like they're not being listened to, like they don't have a voice.

So as a Paediatric Nurse, I feel like it's my duty to be their advocate and be their voice.

And that's what I lost so much about it.

What Skills Do You Need In Paediatric Nursing?

I think to be a good Nurse, you have to be understanding.

You have to be that voice for those that are disadvantaged.

You know, Children’s Nursing doesn't appeal to everyone and that's fine.

You have to be a certain type of special person to be a ped Nurse I think.

You have to be adaptable, you have to learn to think in your feet, you have to also be fun and be silly.

Sometimes get down on their level.

And if you're trying to break down sort of walls and barriers that some of these children come to us with, got to learn to be a little bit silly out there guys.

But equally, Children’s Nursing can be emotionally draining.

So I learn to deal with like your emotions and switching off outside of work is really important.

It's a must, so for me personally, I like nature.

I regularly go for walks along the river near where I live.

Some people like to go to the gym.

Some people like to paint.

It's really important to offload and socialize and also seek out your Trust's wellbeing counselling services as well, if you have particularly difficult shifts as well.

It's so important that we don't keep that within us and then take it home to our lives as well.

Interview Tips

I think if you're applying for a paediatric job and you have an interview coming up, my tips and advice should be to research the trust and the department that you're going to.

What are their core values?

And a good leader and a good manager will not mind you asking for an informal visit.

So it kind of gives you an idea that when you go and have a look around, you see the area that you potentially could be working in, you see the team, you see what they look like, you see what their working patterns are like.

So I would advise an informal visit as well.

Look up things that are current.

You're going to be potentially asked about current situations that are affection children and young people.

So things like childhood obesity, that kind of thing, have something that, you know, you can talk about that's current and you want to be looking at your local policies and your national policies and legislations that affect children and young people.

So things like, you know, every child matters, and particular safeguarding documents, you know, Children's Act, that kind of thing is really important to be up to speed about.

So that's the end of my all things Paediatric Nursing.

I hope you enjoyed that.

Thank you for watching and I will see you soon, bye.

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About the author

I'm a Paediatric Nurse with 13 year's experience in a range of settings from Ward life, A&E, Sexual Health, School Health and Safeguarding Children. Currently my role is in the community as a Children's Safeguarding Nurse within a School Nursing Service working with vulnerable Children and Young people aged 5-19 years.

    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
    • Laura Bosworth
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  • 8412

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