Children's Nursing

Children's Nursing is a branch of nursing which involves the care of  children and young people with a range of conditions often linked to acute or long-term health problems, from newborn to adolescence.

  • Children's nurses deal with a range of situations, including babies born with genetic complications, teenagers who have sustained injuries, childhood cancers and child protection issues.
  • Family care, support and education is a key element of the role as is the ability to respect the rights of the child and those of other family members. This involves working in partnership with the parents or carers.
  • Children's nursing takes place in hospitals, day care centres, special baby care units, child health clinics and increasingly in the child's home.
  • Children's nursing requires an understanding of how a child develops towards adulthood and how to use this knowledge to minimise the impact of illness or hospital admission on the child and family.
  • A qualified children's nurse must be competent to care for children at all stages of their development. Knowledge of child development can help communication as children's nurses need to be able to interpret behaviour and reactions to ill health.
  • A qualified and experienced children's nurse could specialise in many areas of care such as burns and plastics, child protection, cancer, neonatal nursing or intensive care.

A children's nurse needs to:

  • Understand how a healthy child develops towards adulthood and know how to minimise the impact of illness or hospital admission on the child and family.
  • Be aware of the spiritual, psychological and emotional needs of the child
  • Assess the needs of ill, injured or disabled children.
  • Assess plan and evaluate nursing care required, taking into account the child's circumstances and ensure that the care plan provides a continuous record of progress, response to treatment, rehabilitation and nursing care.
  • Work closely with parents, siblings or other family members who may be distressed
  • Provide information for parents and relatives
  • Teach parents, siblings or carers the skills they need to continue treatment with the child when they return home.
  • Work well with other members of a multidisciplinary team

The following link to NHS Careers may be helpful.