A career as a nursery nurse is a very popular choice, but it is one which requires in-depth certification, in order to develop the skills and knowledge to do the job, and also to be able to legitimately be in the running for the best openings out there.
You are going to be responsible for caring for child, and looking after their health and wellbeing. Parents need to know that the nursery nurse working with their child is not only honest, reliable, and mature, but highly skilled and knowledgeable too. You also need to be able to connect with children easily, in order to not only gain their trust, but in order to help them open up you to and be comfortable.
So, if you’re looking for a new job and you’re considering a career change, how do you become a nursery nurse?
A nursery nurse is a person, male or female, who works with children from birth to around 7 years of age. The nurse is responsible for helping them learn, develop, and to tend to their needs whilst in their care. There are many places where a nursery nurse can work, including in private and government-run nurseries, family/drop in centres, schools, and in hospitals on children’s wards. Nannies are also very closely linked to the nursery nurse role, so you can also work with a family, either on a live in or live out basis.
The daily role of a nursery nurse includes:
Working as a nursery nurse has many benefits, and it can also be a job to do on a part time basis, if you have children of your own, or if you have a second job which you don’t want to give up. The salary varies from place to place, and is often higher if you work for a family or a private nursery, compared to schools and government-run nurseries. Vacation time is also given regardless, and this can be during school half terms if you are working within a school, or it can be on a rota basis if you are working with other nursery nurses in a nursery or a hospital, etc. This is something to look into.
Regardless of which setting you choose, you will need to study for a diploma or alternative, and you will be required to have a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check for every role you take on.
In order to acquire certification as a nursery nurse, you will need to go to college and undertake a diploma or equivalent qualification. There are a few different ones, and it depends on the country you’re living in as to what name this qualification will go by. Overall however, you will see NVQ, GNVQ and BTEC qualifications quite widely. The NNEB Diploma in Nursery Nursing is the main qualification of choice, and this can be studied either part time or full time. The full time route will take you two years, and part time will take you up to four years.
There are some entry requirements for this course, and this will vary from college to college, and may even depend on your individual circumstances and the skills you already have/experience you can display. Overall, school leavers will need to have achieved three or four GCSEs, of grades A-C, or the equivalent. Previous experience of working with children, having your own children, or having helped raise your brothers and sisters perhaps, will also help.
Many people choose to work as a nursery nurse because of the fun element, and the fact that helping children grow, develop, and learn is something really worthwhile. There are many different opportunities and places where nursery nurses can work, and this is also something which can grow into a further career, e.g. perhaps going on to study as a teacher, or going on to work as a live in nanny in another country.
In terms of a new job or a total new career change, working with children is a very popular choice, and the salary and vacation time is also very attractive. Of course, there is a downside to every career, and when you have to wave goodbye to the children you have worked with for the year, it can be difficult; but then comes a fresh new intake to connect with, help to learn, develop, and fulfil their potential.
Put simply, working as a nursery nurse is a very personally fulfilling job overall, and that is why certification courses for this type of role are often over-subscribed.
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