What is a nursery nurse?

A nursery nurse, also known as a neonatal nurse, is a registered nurse (RN) who provides medical care for infants who have just been born, infants, and small children up to the age of seven. From a variety of settings, nurses serve children in many aspects of their daily lives, through social, emotional, educational and practical interaction, nurturing and guidance.

How to become a nursery nurse?

Nursery nurses have qualifications in childcare or early years. This could be, for example,

  • NCFE 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

To get onto a childcare course you need GCSEs, including English and maths, or equivalent qualifications.

You can get experience by volunteering at a local nursery group or after school club. This may lead into paid work, where you could do training on the job.

Nursery nurse duties

Nursery nurse duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Create advanced list items
  • Options to choose list design
  • Communicate with parents to update them on their child’s care, educate them on home care, and answer questions or direct them to medical staff who can answer their questions
  • Help pupils to access the full curriculum, at the same time promoting independent learning both inside and outside as well as self-reliance and interdependence
  • Find ways to stimulate children particularly those with special and sensory needs
  • Encourage children’s development
  • Create a child friendly environment
  • Changing nappies or helping with potty/toilet training
  • Perform administrative duties, such as supervising staff, coordinating activity programs for children, setting up the nursery’s daily routine, and attending meetings

Nursery nurse skills

To be an effective nursery nurse, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Excellent infant handling skills as well as empathy and compassion for children
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication skills
  • Caring and kind
  • Approachable
  • Aware of child protection and safeguarding
  • Excellent observational skills
  • Ability to work in a team and individually
  • Passion to work within the Childcare and Education industry and with young children

How to find a nursery nurse job

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the nursery nurse jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for nursery nurse jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

Nursery Nurse Job Titles

When you search for nursery nurse jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for nursery nurse jobs include;

  • Community nursery nurse
  • Nursery assistant
  • Early years educator
  • Early years teaching assistant
  • Pre-school assistant
  • Playgroup assistant
  • Childcare worker
  • Play worker
  • Nursery practitioner

What does a nursery nurse do?

The job of a nursery nurse varies depending on the job role and the company you’re working for. Check the duties and responsibilities of nursery nurse job advertisements to find jobs that best suit your skills and experience. 

The day-to-day tasks of a nursery nurse include;

  • Assisting children to develop their numeracy and literacy skills
  • Providing a story-time, where you read to children daily
  • Taking children on local outings
  • Watching children through the day, ensuring their safety, cleanliness and manners
  • Ensuring all children are fed and, drink throughout the day regularly
  • Assisting with any toilet training
  • Planning lessons that engage the children in a different, fun and educational activity, whilst working to the Early Years Foundation Stage standards on child learning