Community Nursing

A community nurse 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 patient’s 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. Watch our video below to find out more!


What is a Community nurse?

As a community nurse you will have a varied career where no two days will be the same. Below is a summary of what the role of a community nurse in the UK may involve.

Skills Key

Condition Management icon Condition Management
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Working Alone icon Working Alone
Flexibility icon Flexibility
Problem Solving icon Problem Solving
Networking icon Networking
Time Management icon Time Management
Team Work icon Team Work
Communication icon Communication
District Nursing map icon

District Nursing

District nursing care is mainly provided in patients’ homes and sometimes clinics or in general practitioner surgeries. District nursing services are generally for people aged 18 years and over. The size of the teams varies according to demographic area, caseload size and patient dependency. As a team member you will have an allocated list of patients to visit daily, the workload often changes during your shift according to the need to respond to urgent new referrals or the changing acuity of current patients and so you will need to be flexible and adaptable to these changes.

The district nursing team does not work in isolation but contributes to the wider multidisciplinary team that supports patients with care needs living in the community

Home Visiting icon

Health Visiting

Health Visiting teams specialise in working with families with a child aged 0 to five to identify health needs as early as possible and improve health and wellbeing by promoting health, preventing ill health and reducing inequalities.

Health Visitors are specialist nurses who have a further specialist qualification in Public Health and start at Band 6. Overseas nurses assigned to Health Visiting start as Band 5 Community Health Nurse in Health Visiting until they are ready to take an additional specialist qualification in Public Health to become Health Visitors

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Bedded Rehabilitation

Bedded rehabilitation units are community-based wards that aim to help patients maximise their independence following illness or injury, and get them back on the road to recovery after a short period of care and therapy.

Patients will have therapy input in the rehabilitation units to help them become as independent as possible. Basic nursing care is provided on the units and we aim to support patients to manage their own health conditions and look after themselves.

Before most patients are discharged, they receive a home assessment and the therapy team work with social services to ensure a safe package of care on discharge.

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School Nursing

School Nursing teams work with families and young people from when they start school at 4 up to 19 years of age and are usually linked to a school or group of schools, providing a link between school, home and the community. Their aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

School nurses are not based in schools but work in partnership with linked schools and other professionals to ensure children’s health needs are met. This may include signposting or referring to other services.

Like Health Visitors, school nurses are specialist nurses who have a further specialist qualification in Public Health.

Key Clinical Skills

As a community nurse you will need a number of key skills to fulfil your role.

Intravenous Therapy
Nutritional Support
Nursing assessment and care planning
Wound and leg ulcer assessment
Palliative Care
Physiological observations and diagnostic tests
Medicines Management
Bladder and bowel management

- Intravenous Therapy
- Nursing assessment and care planning
- Palliative Care
- Medicines Management
- Bladder and bowel management
- Physiological observations and diagnostic tests
- Wound and leg ulcer assessment
- Nutritional Support

Community Nursing Candidate Skills and Experience Checklist

This checklist will help determine your previous community nursing experience in your own country. The purpose of the checklist is to give you and your potential employer an indication of where you would be comfortable working and how they can support you in your future skills development.


Take Our Community Nursing Quiz

Take our short quiz to find out if you have the right skills to pursue a career in becoming a Community Nurse.


Take Our Quiz
"I'm interested in becoming a Community Nurse in London but not sure I have the right experience."
Answer the following questions to find out if you have the right skills to pursue a career in becoming a Community Nurse.
I have experience / interest in doing home visits to patients.
I have experience in managing patients with long-term medical conditions (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, neurological disease etc)
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I feel comfortable in working alone in different environments and making clinical decisions independently.
I can adapt to the physical demands of the job (travelling from one patient's home to another, climbing flights of stairs, bending / sitting for long periods of time when performing a procedure etc).
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I am competent in performing physical examination, including taking and recording vital signs.
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I am competent in obtaining pathology samples (blood, urine, stool etc)
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I am competent in administering medications via different routes (oral, subcutaneous, intramuscular, intravenous, topical etc)
Leg icon
I am competent in the assessment and management of pressure sores and leg ulcers.
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I am competent in providing nutritional assessment and management to patients (e.g. PEG feeding and PEG site care)
Emergency icon
I am competent in providing bladder and bowel care, including urethral and suprapubic catheterisation for male and female patients.
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I am competent in recognising and responding to medical emergencies (sepsis, anaphylaxis reaction, hypoglycaemia etc)
Your Score
[0 - 4]

Your score indicates that you may need to do further research and study before becoming a Community Nurse, click on the links below to find out more…

Your Score
[5 - 7]

Your score indicates that you have many of the skills a Community Nurse will need, but test yourself further by downloading our checklist…

Your Score
[8 - 11]

Your score indicates that you are ready to pursue a career as a Community Nurse, contact one of our specialist recruitment agencies to discuss how you can apply.

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View Our Webinar Videos

To learn more about Community Nursing please view our recent webinar


Case Studies

The following case studies have been provided by two community nurses, who were recruited from the Philippines and India. The purpose of the case studies is to give you a comparison of the differences in working as a community nurse in the UK to your own country.

Manila, Philippines

Case Study: Philippines

Community nursing is set up differently in the Philippines from how it is here in UK. Community nursing care in the Philippines is mainly focused on the primary health prevention care, including but not limited to family
planning, mother and child immunisations, school children
immunisations, pre and post-partum check-ups, tuberculosis
screening, detection and treatment, nutrition program and education, and coordination to the borough officials and other services for the health program planning and services.

India landscape

Case Study: India

Comparing Community health services in India and the UK is a difficult task both countries have their own way of tackling health care related problems and providing best health care at a patient’s home. Health care in India is divided into 3 levels Primary, Secondary and Tertiary which is a combination of Public and private sectors providing care to the citizens were as in the UK the NHS is providing the maximum care to the public.

Useful Links

There are hundreds of reasons that professionals from all over the world set up home in London.

If you have completed a nursing or midwifery qualification and want to relocate, find out how to apply here.

Are you a registered nurse and based outside the UK but looking to relocate?

Nursing in the Community – The Queen’s Nursing Institute

Driving in Great Britain on a non-GB Licence

Consortium Community Nursing Trusts

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