Skills for Care

The registered nurse role is a safety critical role rooted in nursing professional practice. Explore the resources and support designed specifically for registered nurses.

Nurses working in social care often have high levels of autonomy, decision making and responsibility so that they can offer high quality support and individual choice to people with a range of complex needs. 

Recognising the responsibilities and contribution of registered nurses within social care is essential, with the workforce totalling 39,740 and growing this year for the first time since these figures have been recorded.


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Raising the profile and reputation of nurses in the sector, by promoting understanding about the contribution that these nurses can make to national health and social care agendas.

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This infographic brings the role of a registered nurse to life to gain an understanding and appreciation of nursing in social care.


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These standards include a set of benchmarks that can be used to assess the skills and knowledge that a registered nurse will need to demonstrate in a care home setting.


Fields of practice

Registered nurses in the UK study a specific field of practice as part of their nursing degree programme and each field has a specific registration with the NMC. These fields are:

  • adult nursing
  • children’s nursing
  • learning disabilities nursing
  • mental health nursing.

The field of practice the nurse studies in gives them a specific focus and expertise that supports better experience and outcomes of care. Skills for Care are working with stakeholders and the sector to identify the specific requirements to support field specific practice. In 2022 we held a learning disability nursing roundtable to explore the social care experience. At this event the social care learning disability nurses said:

Learning disability nurses in social care lead in places that care for a person with a learning disability including in people’s homes, the community and in the criminal justice system. They manage multiple complex conditions in partnership with people, their families and carers and advocate for accessible holistic person-centred care. They work in roles that may not carry a registered nurse title often providing knowledge and skills of how to support people with a learning disability to lead fulfilling and healthy lives.

Learning disability nurse


Are you interested in learning disability nursing roles? Visit our nursing careers in social care resource to find out more.



Enhanced, advanced and consultant level practice

Skills for Care are working with key stakeholders to scope and identify different levels of nursing practice with direct relevance to social care and the wider health and care system.

In 2022 the NMC announced new standards of proficiency for the community nursing specialist practice qualifications (SPQ) and universities are working on programmes some of which will have a particular relevance to social care.

Skills for Care continue to support the development of enhanced and advanced practice and keen to hear from nurses in the sector who are in roles working at this level.

For more information please email



Nurse leadership development programme 

Specifically designed for registered nurses working in leadership roles across adult social care. It’s a five day programme (non-consecutive days) with interactive workshops, action learning, developing your own leadership impact project and 360 feedback sessions to enhance your development.

It increases leadership capabilities and creates opportunities for leaders to experience shared learning opportunities and develop greater understanding of leadership models and theories to support the development of new ideas and enhance leadership practices. 

Programme aims:

  • to enhance leadership capabilities among nurse leaders
  • to increase confidence in their role
  • to give a deeper understanding of leadership models and theories
  • to be able to apply learning to real-world scenarios
  • to enhance language and communication skills to articulate contributions within the social care system
  • to feel empowered to reflect on personal and team practices
  • to be able to lead transformational change within the social care sector to equip participants with tools to use in their own communities.

The feedback sessions and the learning tools that we’ve had – not only have they been good for me personally, but I will use all that I’ve learnt on the course and implement it with my carers, with my support workers.

Sabina Kelly, Operations Director
Right at Home Central London


This programme has to have a minimum number of participants for it to run. However, if you’re interested but don’t have the minimum number of registered nurses in your organisation, please get in touch with us as there may be opportunities for us to explore how we could deliver this programme for you. It might be that we can pair your organisation up with others to enable cross-organisational learning. 

Email about the nurse leadership development programme.

Duration 5 min 6 seconds



Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care Awards

The Chief Nurse Adult Social Care Awards have been set up to recognise the outstanding contributions of the many talented and amazing people working in adult social care.

To nominate a colleague or a team, read the nomination criteria and complete the application form.