Nursing and midwifery careers

No two days are the same in nursing – it’s one of the most dynamic and rewarding roles within the NHS. And with ongoing training and the support of your team, you’ll be able to make it exactly what you want it to be. 

All nurses, nursing associates and midwives are registered professionals, registered with the NMC and must adhere to a code of conduct.


Nursing gives you the opportunity to make a difference to people's lives on a daily basis. There are four key areas of nursing you can choose to specialise in, with each leading on to a wide range of rewarding roles with plenty of scope for progression.

Nurses work as part of a multidisciplinary team, providing direct patient care.

Roles in nursing | Health Careers    Information for overseas nurses | Health Careers

Types of nursing

You can work across any of the four fields of nursing:

Adult nurse

Adult nursing is a rewarding career where you have a real chance to make a difference to people's lives. As part of your training, you can expect to learn new skills and procedures that help patients. 

Adult nurse | Health Careers

Children's nurse

Child nursing involves everything from nursing a sick newborn to an adolescent road accident victim. You'll need to consider the care and support needed by the wider family, including parents and carers.

Children's nurse | Health Careers

Mental health nurse

Your role is to promote and support a person’s recovery, helping them live independent and fulfilling lives. 

Mental health nurse | Health Careers

Learning disability nurse

Learning disability nurses work to provide specialist healthcare and support to people with a learning disability, as well as their families and staff teams, to help them live a fulfilling life. 

Learning disability nurse | Health Careers

Nursing Associates

Nursing Associates are senior clinical support staff. They work with other healthcare support workers and registered nurses to deliver care for patients and the public.

Nursing associates work across all four fields of nursing: adult, children’s, mental health, and learning disability.

Nursing associate | Health Careers

Nursing roles you can do after qualifying

With a world of opportunity to progress throughout your career, becoming a nurse is only the beginning.

District nurse

You'll provide complex care for patients and support for family members in people's homes and in residential care homes.

District nurse | Health careers

General practice nurse

You'll work in GP surgeries and involved in most aspects of patient care such as taking blood samples and wound management.

General practice nurse | Health careers

Health visitor

You'll work with families to give pre-school-age children the best possible start in life.

Health visitor | Health careers

Neonatal nurse

You'll care for newborn babies who are born premature or sick and may have problems such as respiratory difficulties or nutritional needs.

Neonatal nurse | Health careers

Prison nurse

You'll provide similar care to GP nurses along with supporting people with mental health and substance misuse problems.

Prison nurse | Health careers

School nurse

You'll promote healthy lifestyles and prevent illness with school age students.

School nurse | Health careers

Theatre nurse

You'll work with patients of all ages in each phase of their operation.

Theatre nurse | Health careers

Returning to practice?

Head over to our dedicated page to learn more.

Nurses Returning to Practice


Midwifes provide care and support to women and their families while pregnant, throughout labour and during the period after a baby's birth.

Midwives often describe their job as 'privileged'. Helping to bring new life into the world is a great responsibilty and one that needs care and compassion. 

Roles in midwifery | Health Careers    Information for overseas midwives | Health Careers

Returning to practice?

Head over to our dedicated page to learn more.

Midwives Returning to Practice

Advanced Nurse Practitioners

Advanced practice is a level of practice, rather than a type of practice.

Advanced Nurse Practitioners are educated at Masters Level in clinical practice and have been assessed as competent in practice using their expert clinical knowledge and skills.

They have the freedom and authority to act, making autonomous decisions in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Advanced practice standards | Royal College of Nursing (