How to become a Nurse or Midwife


Nursing degree

Most people qualify by studying a degree in nursing. Nursing degrees aren’t all about having your nose in a book. There is lots of practical hands on experience with patients in hospital and community settings. Approved full-time nursing degree courses last for three (or four years if taking a dual-field degree), or longer if taken on a part-time basis. Accelerated courses for graduates take two years. Courses involve spending half your time studying at university and half gaining practical, supervised experience in a range of healthcare settings.

The first thing to decide is which field of nursing you want to study in.
The four fields of nursing are:

Adult nursing
Children’s nursing
Learning disability nursing
Mental health nursing

Skills Key

Condition Management icon Condition Management
Flexibility icon Flexibility
Problem Solving icon Problem Solving
Time Management icon Time Management
Team Work icon Team Work
Communication icon Communication
Compassion Icon Compassion

Why did you choose to become a nurse?


Each Capital Nurse has their own story to becoming a nurse and reasons why

I was self-motivated and determined and Whittington Health has given me the opportunity to do a public health course full-time for a year. I’m a Band 7 nurse now and work in a close team of people who look after 57 Islington schools.
Whittington NHS logo
Becky Muhima
Specialist Community Public Health Nurse
Whittington Health NHS Trust
My name is Saumya Sunil, a B.Sc nurse from India. I moved to the United Kingdom in March 2017 as an overseas nurse. I did my Overseas Nursing programme in Aug 2017, while working as a pre-registered nurse. Since 2017, my professional journey saw many challenges and through it all I developed my skills and knowledge with excellent support from the LNWH team. With the Trust promoting professional development opportunities, I was able to achieve my passion of being a tissue viability nurse. From starting as a band 4 IEN, today, four years down the road, I am proud to be part of the Tissue Viability Specialist team at a band 6 grade at LNWH NHS trust. I feel at home and part of a big team trying to make a difference in the quality of lives of people who are in need.
Saumya Sunil
B.Sc nurse
My overall experience has been fantastic so far with CLCH. I reached London on 28 February 2020 and the International Nurse Recruitment Project Lead is always there to help me whenever I need her assistance. The recruitment processes were explained to me in advance and every query was answered immediately, so that little time was wasted during my Visa process... Study materials provided were designed in a simple and easy manner so it was easy for me to understand the content effectively. The practice equipment at the educational centre also helped me to practice skills efficiently
Central London Community NHS logo
Varughese Sam
Rehabilitation Nurse
Central London Community Healthcare
CLCH allowed us more than enough time to prepare and practice. They provided us with printed resources, equipment and supplies and offered lectures / demonstrations. The return demonstrations, as nerve wracking as they were, were critically and patiently assessed by competent nurses who gave us honest and constructive feedback which ultimately gave us the confidence and necessary skill to take on the OSCE’s
Central London Community NHS logo
Ellie Aguilar
Community Matron
Central London Community Healthcare
The international recruitment of CLCH is flawless and very substantial. We did not encounter any problems starting from the very first phase of the recruitment process until the time that we had finally arrived and started working in the UK
Central London Community NHS logo
Jomar Salingua
Rehabilitation Nurse
Central London Community Healthcare
The Team that ran the international recruitment programme at Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust was always supportive and encouraging. There were times that I felt like giving up, but the team was there and never allowed me to lose hope and reminded me to just persevere
Central London Community NHS logo
Maria Davina Tan
District Nurse Student
Central London Community Healthcare

Other ways to become a nurse

Manila, Philippines

Registered nurse degree apprenticeships (RNDA)

A registered nurse degree apprenticeship (RNDA) offers a flexible route to becoming a nurse that doesn’t require full-time study at university.

You will need to secure a position as an RNDA and your employer will release you to study at university part time. You will train in a range of practice placements, for example hospitals, GP practices, people’s homes and mental health facilities.

You’ll typically need level 3 and maths and English qualification/s to start an RNDA. If you have a level 5 qualification as a nursing associate or assistant practitioner, your apprenticeship might be called a ‘top up’ RNDA or ‘conversion’ to registered nurse course.

India landscape

Nursing associate

The role of nursing associate sits alongside existing nursing care support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses in both health and social care.

It opens up a career in nursing to people from all backgrounds and offers the opportunity to progress to training to become a registered nurse.

Nursing associates work across all four fields of nursing: adult, children’s, mental health, and learning disability. Your skills and responsibilities will vary, depending on the care setting you work in. You’ll undertake academic learning one day a week and work-based learning the rest of the week.

A nursing associate is not a registered nurse, but with further training, it can be possible to ‘top up’ your training to become one.

Explore the links below for more information about becoming a nurse or midwife:

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

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