To work as a nurse in the NHS, you must hold a nursing qualification that allows you to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). 

Each nursing qualification specialises in one of the four areas of nursing:

Although you qualify in a particular field, all nursing courses consist of common foundation programmes that are taught across all four branches of nursing before specialising. This gives you the necessary knowledge and skills to provide essential care to anyone who needs it as well as additional skills to provide more complex care.

You can study full or part time towards a nursing qualification. Nursing courses combine academic study with practice learning, with time split between the university, which runs the course, and practical placements in a variety of NHS healthcare settings. The kind of placements you do largely depends on which specialism you choose.

This section covers all you need to know about studying to become a nurse, including: