How To Become a Nursery Nurse

How To Become a Nursery Nurse

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Being a nursery nurse is an attractive career to many people – with a starting salary of approximately £14,000 and going all the way up to £32,000 for management positions.

Being a nursery nurse is an attractive career to many people – with a starting salary of approximately £14,000 and going all the way up to £32,000 for management positions. As a nursery nurse you are accountable for the well-being of the children who are left in your care, as well as playing an important part in early years development.

The hours could be long, starting as early as 7am to account for parents dropping their children off before heading to work, with late finishes too. Nurseries generally accept children aged between 6 months old to 4 years old.

To become a nursery nurse, you will need to:

  • Have an understanding of what being a nursery nurse entails
  • Gain suitable experience and qualifications
  • Apply for jobs

What a nursery nurse does

No two days are the same as a nursery nurse which makes it an exciting career choice. Although the duties may change, at the core of it a nursery nurse will be:

  • Planning activities for the children including getting resources
  • Carrying out activity sessions.Reading to children at story time
  • Going on outings and trips
  • Allowing play time
  • Preparing healthy meals, snacks and drink; ensuring that all special dietary needs are met
  • Safeguarding children and reporting any issues to the manager
  • Administering First Aid
  • Feeding and changing babies

There are many more duties, depending on your employer and the children in your nursery.

The skills you need to become a good nursery nurse

Knowing how to become a nursery nurse includes knowing the skills that make a good nursery nurse. Nursery nurses need to be skilled to deal with the demands that looking after children can bring.

Good nursery nurses are:

  • Good with children – working with children is at the core of becoming a nursery nurse, so it is vital that you enjoy working with them!
  • Hard working – working with children requires a lot of energy, from running around after them to packing away all the toys after a session.
  • Able to multi-task – with so many children in your care you could find yourself having to prepare snacks, deal with First Aid and stop a fight all at the same time.
  • Able to communicate well – when parents and carers trust you to look after their children then you will need to be able to communicate well with them to let know what their child(ren) have achieved that day, as well as any issues.
  • Tolerant and patient – working with children will most certainly rest your patience and the ability to remain calm and level headed is a must.

Above all, you must have a love of working with children and this will show in your interactions with the children.

Getting started

Knowing how to become a nursery nurse is the first thing you will need to know before you can get started. Although formal qualifications are not always required to become a nursery nurse, having a good basic education (for example, Maths and English GCSEs) is a requirement from most employers. However, to put yourself at an advantage against other applicants, and to increase your understanding, there are a range of courses you can complete – from the comfort of your own home! More and more nurseries are looking to employ qualified staff to ensure that they deliver high levels of care to the children in their care.

Suitable courses

There are plenty of courses to choose from, including:

  • Nursery Nurse Level 3 Diploma
  • CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education
  • BTEC National Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development
  • NVQ Level 3 in Children’s Care, Learning and Development

The Nursery Nurse Level 3 Diploma offers you everything you need to know to become a qualified nursery nurse and takes just 200 hours, spread out over 12 months.

What you will learn

When training to become a nursery nurse, you can expect to cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • An introduction to nursery nursing
  • Childcare and child development from birth to age 16
  • How to meet a child’s individual needs
  • Learning through play
  • Inclusion of special needs
  • Health and safety
  • Learning through play
  • Safeguarding children
  • Legal responsibilities

Benefits of home learning

Studying from home is a fantastic way to learn – it has so many advantages. Whether you are juggling a busy family life, a job or any other commitments, you can complete your studies in your own time at a pace that suits you. What’s more, you won’t have the extra hassle of travelling to college on a regular basis, saving you time and money.

With home learning you still get excellent tutor support, usually for 12 months. If you need an extension then you can pay a small charge to get your tutor support time increased.

Now that you know how to become a nursery nurse, why not enrol in a course and get started on your new career.

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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