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The Role of a Nursery Nurse

Nursery nurse with pregnant mum behind

Childbirth is an everyday occurrence in life. However, not every mother and would-be mother knows how to handle the experience. Becoming a mother is a daunting and scary task, which is why women need help from professionals with experience and expertise. That’s why the job of a nursery nurse exists – to help out in their time of need and give advice. But, if you were to become such a person, what advice would you have to give? And how would you gain the experience you need to be successful in the role? These are all pertinent questions, and the relevant answers are all underneath.

Becoming A Nursery Nurse

Before you learn about the job role and the responsibilities, you need to become a nursery nurse. To do that, you need the right qualifications. In some jobs, you can learn as you go because there is more room for growth, but nursery nurses aren’t the same. Sure, there is room for growth, but you have to be on the ball from day one.

That’s why, in the UK, prospective candidates need a degree in nursing from a reputable university. NVQs and BTECs in children’s care and learning development are also acceptable. Work experience is another good skill to have on your CV. Although qualifications are necessary, there is nothing like real life experience. Employers love candidates with experience because they understand what it takes to become a fully fledged nurse and require less training.

A qualification doesn’t mean that is all you need, though. Qualifications are a good start, but they are only a start because your personality has to mix with the position. Nursery nurses tend to be good with children as the role requires working with mothers and kids. Plus, you should have excellent communicative skills as you will have to answer a lot of questions. As in any fast paced environment, organisation and multi-tasking are essential, along with an eye for detail due to the administrative side of the job.

Role & Responsibilities

Once you have the qualifications, you can apply for a job. So, what will you be doing if you secure one? Well, let’s find out:

– General Advice – general advice about newborn babies is always a big deal to mothers. The specifics will come along later, but new mums want to know things such as when they should go to sleep or what a healthy sleep pattern is for example. With regards to this scenario, it is important to tell them that newborn babies don’t need a routine – parents should let them sleep when they are tired. Also, you might need to give the parents advice for sleeping. A little tip like telling them to sleep when the baby sleeps is super helpful. Mums, especially, suffer from sleep deprivation, so they should take any chance they get to go to bed.

– Breastfeeding – Breastfeeding is a natural phenomenon, but it still takes some getting used to for new mums. Mums and babies can have a variety of difficulties, and it’s important a nurse has the answers. Babies, for instance, might have difficulty latching on the nipple. In this case, it is important to be able to provide solutions like the skin to skin method. The STS is where the mother strips from the waist up and does the same with the baby. For some reason, kids that have difficulties with latching are more prone to suckle with this technique. A comfortable, semi-reclined position is also a good tip to encourage the baby to feed. Of course, you already know that, though.

– Vaccinations – the one thing that all mums worry about is their child’s health. And, children give them cause because they are susceptible to illnesses early on in their lives. As a nursery nurse, you need to be able to inform them what vaccinations they will need and at what age they need them to keep them safe. You will also have to be able to perform the vaccination, which isn’t easy with a small baby. As a nurse, you will need to know that children from birth to 15 months need shots such as Hep A and B, measles, mumps and rubella, and tetanus. From 18 months onwards, vaccinations include influenza and tuberculosis.

– Travel – travelling from home to the doctor’s surgery is a big deal when you have a child, the reason being there is a lot to cover. For instance, babies need car seats, but the seats also need to be safe and secure. It’s within a nursery nurse’s remit to tell parents how to secure a car seat and strap the baby in safely. It’s also important to know how to position the seat and baby, and where to put them in the car. Also, advice on how to drive or whether you should travel long distance with your baby isn’t uncommon.

– The Kids – aside from dealing with adults, it is important to talk to the children, too. Kids often need reassurance, especially when they see a nurse, so you have to keep them calm and try not to scare them. Also, you will need to be able to talk to them to coax information regarding their health. Only they know what they feel, but they have trouble communicating it which is why you need to read between the lines. Finally, nurses need to be just as effective treating mental health as it is an important part of children’s lives.

Career Path

As a nursery nurse, you can earn anywhere from £16,000 to £20,000 a year, with £18,000 the average. Progression within the industry is likely as you will posses a lot of transferable skills. That means a job as an adult nurse in a hospital of general practitioners is achievable.

The good thing about working as a nursery nurse is that you don’t need many extra qualifications because the roles are so similar. You could start as a nursery nurse assistant. If you like working with kids, you can also progress to a school nurse. The position is pretty much the same, but the kids are a lot older. Within the NHS, an adult nurse position and a school nurse pay up to £28,500 and £35,000 respectively.

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