Nurse imageYou’ll perform clinical and healthcare tasks to people in a nursing home or in the community.

Nurses in adult social care usually work in the following areas.

  • Acute, general or elderly nursing that involves providing nursing care for adults and elderly people who are ill, injured or who have physical disabilities.

  • Learning disability nursing that involved working with people who have learning disabilities to help them become as independent as possible.

  • Community psychiatric nursing that helps people with mental health conditions such as personality disorders, neurosis, phobias, acute anxiety, alcohol dependency, depression and eating disorders.

Your role might include:

  • performing a range of clinical tasks such as taking blood samples or wound dressings
  • recording medical information
  • working in partnership with individuals, families and other professionals to plan care and support. 


Everyone working in social care needs English, number, digital and employability skills including team work and problem solving skills. What core skills do I need to work in social care outlines some of the skills you need and has short activities to help you think about transferable skills from your previous experiences.

There are also some specific skills needed to work in this role. These include:

  • good communication skills
  • problem solving skills
  • team working skills
  • good number skills. 

To practice as a nurse you’ll need a degree in nursing and be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to become a nurse.

Each University has different entry requirements for nursing degrees but you’re likely to need three A-Levels or equivalent level 3 qualifications, and five supporting GCSE’s including English, maths and science.

It might also be useful to have experience working in a social care or health role on your University application. You could gain this experience through a work placement, from your personal life, through volunteering or as part of a traineeship or apprenticeship.

When you start in your role your employer should put you through an induction. This might include training necessary for your role such as health and safety, moving and handling and first aid. You might also receive specific training such as autism awareness, communication skills or working with people with dementia.

There may be opportunities to progress into senior nursing roles and supervise others or move into different areas such as mental health, learning disability or children’s nursing.

You might also choose to go into other social care roles such as a rehabilitation worker, counsellor, therapist or commissioner. Read more on the Job roles in social care page.