District nurse
Health & Care

District nurses are qualified nurses, who work in the community. Do you want to use your nursing skills to work in the community to support people with a medical need and to keep them as well and independent as they can be?

Work Activities

A district nurse works in primary care, giving nursing care to patients in their own homes and residential homes. The nursing care given helps support patients to stay in their homes and residential homes and reduces hospital admissions. Patients may have terminal illnesses or have long term health conditions or disabilities that require monitoring. Many are elderly. You will get to know many patients well through making visits to them every day.

In the future, it seems likely that more district nurses will be employed and they will be trained to perform more tasks.

Duties may vary but district nurses may expect:

  • To visit patients in their home or nursing home to make an initial assessment
  • To offer advice and emotional support to the patient
  • To change dressings
  • To give injections
  • To administer medication
  • To set up drips
  • To assist doctors
  • To teach patients, relatives and carers on how to look after the patient
  • To offer advice and emotional support to relatives and carers
  • To keep records
  • To liaise with other professionals

District nurses work on rota, typically 37.5 hours a week over 7 days, including one week-end in four.

In the longer term, they may move into management, teaching or research.

Personal Qualities and Skills

Key skills required

  • You need to be patient-centred
  • You need good communication skills
  • You need to be proactive
  • You need to be able to work well on your own as well as working as part of a team
  • You need to be well-organised with good time management skills
  • You need to be committed to keeping your skills up to date.

Pay And Opportunities

Typical employers

District nurses work in the primary care sector, often working in a health centre.


Qualifications and training provided

If you wish to train as a district nurse, you must be a qualified nurse, on the register of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

In addition to the your nursing qualification as a registered Adult, Child, Mental Health or Mental Disabilities nurse, you need a postgraduate qualification as a Specialist Practitioner - District Nursing with integrated V100 Nurse Prescribing. This could be a degree, postgraduate diploma or MSc.

Sponsorships may be available for community nurses.

You need to show that you are of good character and have a certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service which indicates that there is no reason found why you should not work with children or vulnerable adults.

You will need a clean car driving licence.

It may be helpful to speak or write Welsh if you wish to work in Wales.

Applicants for posts in the NHS should be aware of the values of the NHS eg commitment to quality care, compassion, improving lives, respect and dignity, working together for patients and everyone counts.

Applicants for posts in the NHS in England should be aware of the revamped NHS constitution.

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