Community Nursery Nurse

The Job and What's Involved

Community nursery nurses provide services aimed at improving the health and well-being of families with children up to the age of eight.

As a community nursery nurse, you would first work closely with a health visitor to assess a family's care needs. You would then work with the family, following an agreed care or play plan.

Your clients could include:

- Families with sick children
- Families with mental health, addiction or disability issues
- Children in need of protection

You would offer support both in clinics, community centres or GP surgeries, and in clients' homes.

Your tasks could include:

  • Making home visits and monitoring any concerns.
  • Assessing children's development and referring to other professionals when necessary.
  • Demonstrating the importance of play by setting up play activities in clients' homes, or group sessions in the community.
  • Helping to set up groups to discuss issues like behaviour management, weaning and toilet training.
  • Providing information and advice to families on issues like immunisation, diet and stopping smoking.
  • Advising on home safety, accident prevention and safe play.
  • Providing advice and support on breastfeeding.
  • Passing on to health visitors or community matrons any concerns like signs of abuse or neglect.

You would keep records of your work, and attend staff meetings, case conferences and reviews.

As a full-time community nursery nurse, you would usually work 37.5 hours a week. Part-time posts are often available.

You would work in a variety of community settings, such as the client's own home, clinics, community centres or GP's surgeries.

Although the work is rewarding, you would need to be prepared to deal with challenging situations (such as verbal aggression or parents who are uncooperative) and with issues which could be distressing (for example domestic violence or bereavement).

Community nursery nurses can earn from around £17,500 to around £21,500 a year.

Additional payments may be made to those working in or around London.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

You will find most job opportunities within health visiting teams run by your local NHS Primary Care Trust. Many vacancies are advertised through the NHS Jobs website, as well as in the national and local press.

Education and Training

To become a community nursery nurse you will need:

  • 4 A nursery nursing qualification.
  • Around two years' experience with pre-school children after your qualification.
  • A driving licence and access to a vehicle.

You will also need Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance.

You may also need experience in a variety of settings and with families who need support.

Suitable nursery nursing qualifications include:

BTEC National Diploma in Children's Care, Learning and Development.

CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education.

NVQ Level 3 in Children's Care, Learning and Development (you would usually need to arrange a work placement).

Entry requirements can vary, so you should check with course providers.

See the Nursery Nurse job guide for further details of qualifying and working as a nursery nurse.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

Once you start work, you will receive training from your employer covering issues such as:

- Child protection
- Basic life support
- Confidentiality and data protection
- Health and safety
- Risk management

You will be expected to keep your skills and knowledge up to date throughout your career. You could do this by taking further training in subjects such as:

  • Health promotion.
  • Infant nutrition (for example, breast feeding and weaning).
  • Parenting and child behaviour management.
  • Child and adult abuse (such as domestic violence, or drug/alcohol abuse).

You may also be able to work towards NVQ Level 4 in Children's Care, Learning and Development.

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Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

A community nursery nurse needs:

  • A good understanding of child development.
  • Commitment to making your service accessible to all members of the community.
  • An imaginative and creative approach to planning and running play activities.
  • Patience, empathy and the ability to communicate in a sensitive manner.
  • The confidence to work independently.
  • The ability to work cooperatively with a variety of client groups and external agencies.
  • Good listening skills and powers of observation.
  • An understanding of data protection, confidentiality, child protection and disability issues.
  • The ability to manage and prioritise your workload.
  • Basic IT skills and the ability to keep clear and accurate records.

Your Long Term Prospects

With experience and qualifications, such as an NVQ Level 4 in Children's Care, Learning and Development, you could move outside the NHS into nursery or play centre management.

You could also go on to set up your own nursery. See the Ofsted and National Day Nursery Association websites for details.

As a community nursery nurse, you will also have a basis for further training for a career in social work, family support work, health promotion and hospital play.

Get Further Information

Skills for Health, Goldsmiths House,
Broad Plain, Bristol BS2 0JP
Tel: 0117 922 1155
Website: www.skillsforhealth.org.uk

NHS Careers,
PO Box 376 Bristol BS99 3EY
Tel: 0345 60 60 655
Website: www.nhscareers.nhs.uk

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