Types of Nursing

As a Registered Nurse (RN), there are several different areas of nursing you can choose to care for patients in. We’ve put together a short guide to each different specialty:


Adult Nursing

Adult nurses provide person-centred care for adults of all ages. They assess, plan, coordinate and manage care for their patients, while working closely with other health and social care professionals. Adult nurses can work in a range of places, including hospitals and in local community services like GP practices or district nursing. There are also opportunities to work in a wide range of specialist services, as well as residential and care homes.


Children’s Nursing 

Providing family-centred care, children’s (or paediatric) nurses build good relationships with the children and young people they care for, and with their families. They assess and manage care plans, working closely with the family to support and guide them. They will also work alongside other health and social care professionals. Children’s nurses work in many different environments including hospitals, local community services, mental health and education.

Learning Disability

Learning Disability Nursing 

Many learning disability nurses work in local community services, but there are also opportunities to work in hospitals, or residential, educational and specialist services. These nurses help people of all ages with learning disabilities to maintain their health and wellbeing, and to live their lives as fully and independently as possible. They offer help, support and guidance to families, carers and friends, and work closely with other health, social work and educational professionals.

Mental Health

Mental Health Nursing

Mental health nurses support patients with mental ill health both in the community, and in hospital settings. They aim to build good relationships with service users and their families throughout the therapy process, and work with patients in all age ranges. There are many opportunities to specialise in mental health nursing in London.


Community Nursing

This is a specialist adult nurse role, where nursing care is co-ordinated and delivered to housebound patients, avoiding unnecessary admission to hospital. Community nurses work autonomously to care for a patients holistic needs, respond to the needs of vulnerable adults, and ensure continuity of care following referral from acute care, rehabilitation units, GPs and other agencies.

A children’s nurse can also work in the community, providing nursing care primarily within a child’s home, school or nursery, to children and their families, alongside children’s community team leads. Driving is essential in most areas for this role, and working towards a UK drivers licence is encouraged.

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Further information

For more information on the different areas of nursing, please visit the NHS Health Careers website.

Nurses must at all times keep to the principles contained within the NMC Code.


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