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Nurse Job Description

Any healthcare organisation that provides care for patients will want to hire the best staff. Employers that recruit the wrong individuals might put the health of patients at risk or harm a hard-built reputation. Nurses are usually on the frontline, so you will want a nurse job description that attracts the best possible candidates.

To craft an effective nurse job description, there are many things to consider, including responsibilities, soft skills, practical ability, qualifications, and mindset. Typically, employers will use one of our job description templates to improve the quality and quantity of nurses applying while reducing applications from individuals who are not quite right for the job.

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What Does A Nurse Do?

A nurse creates and delivers patient care plans to help people with physical conditions, diseases, disabilities, mental health issues, or injuries following an accident. They provide nursing care as part of a team of medical staff consisting of doctors, therapists, and social workers. They might provide treatment and medication in hospitals, NHS Trusts, GP practices, residential homes, schools, prisons, health centres, companies or people’s homes.

Nurse Role

There are many kinds of nurses addressing different issues, such as critical care, adult nursing, or midwifery. Your nurse job description will reflect the type of nurse role you need to hire and the nursing duties they will fulfil.

The different types of a nurse role include:

  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Registered Nurse
  • Critical Care Nurse / Intensive Care Nurse
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Midwife

Nurse Responsibilities And Duties

Your nurse job description will include the responsibilities, duties, and tasks of the particular role. Nurses play a crucial role, and their primary duties and responsibilities might include:

  • Assessing the patient’s required nursing care
  • Creating patient care plans
  • Preparing patients for operations, tests, and examinations
  • Assisting doctors and physicians during surgery
  • Administering medications and vaccines
  • Monitoring intravenous infusions
  • Monitoring vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, pulse, respiration rate, oxygen saturation, etc.) and the condition of patients
  • Spotting side effects and reactions
  • Ordering clinical tests
  • Taking blood samples or other patient samples for laboratory testing
  • Assessing and providing emotional support, advice, and treatment progress (psychological and physical) to patients and family members
  • Sharing information on health and lifestyle changes and motivating patients and families to embrace these
  • Providing post-operative care
  • Ensuring infection prevention strategies and policies are implemented
  • Creating, updating, and maintaining medical and patient records
  • Ensuring medications are stored correctly and securely
  • Organising activities and workload
  • Ensuring quality care that abides by therapeutic standards
  • Supervising and training junior or student nurses
  • Supervising orderlies

Nurse Skills

An effective nurse requires many excellent attributes, including soft skills and people skills. Your nurse job description will undoubtedly want to highlight these and you should look for evidence of these in CVs and test for them during job interviews.

The top nurse skills include:

  • Observation skills
  • Caring, compassion, kindness, and empathy
  • Ability to deal with stress and high-pressure and emotional situations
  • Resilience and physical stamina
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Persuasive and authoritative
  • Motivation
  • Friendly and approachable
  • Ability to use your own initiative
  • Attention to detail
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Collaboration, team working, and interpersonal skills
  • A commitment to continuing professional development
  • Leadership skills
  • Basic computer skills

Nurse Qualifications And Education

The primary route for nurses to enter the profession is by gaining a nursing degree. There are four kinds of nursing degrees in the UK, specialising in adult nursing, mental health nursing, children’s nursing, and learning disability nursing. Nursing candidates may have completed one of these or a dual-field degree that combines two specialities.

A nursing degree combines academic learning with practical experience. Nursing degrees are approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC). A nursing degree takes three years in England and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, a nursing bachelor’s degree is a four-year programme. To enrol in a nursing degree, candidates must have at least two A levels and five GCSEs. These do not need to form part of your application requirements unless you believe there are benefits to A Levels and GCSE qualifications in a particular subject.

You may find that postgraduates with a first degree in life sciences, psychology, social work, or another health-related subject have a two-year degree, joining the standard three years degree in the second year.

Nurse Training

A few NHS organisations now offer nursing degree apprenticeships. Nursing degree apprenticeships are four-year programmes that combine academic learning with on-the-job training. These apprenticeships are similar to a university degree but are employer-led, allowing apprentices to achieve a degree-level education on a part-time basis.

Other nursing candidates may have completed a two-year nursing associate apprenticeship, where work-based learning, supervised by a Registered Nurse, accompanies one day a week of academic learning.

Required Nursing Experience

Once nurses have completed their nursing degree, they must register with the Nursing & Midwifery Council. The licensing requirements must be maintained, with annual registration, renewal, and revalidation after three years. In order to revalidate their license, nurses must have completed 450 hours of registered practice and 35 hours of continuing professional development over the three years.

Most medical establishments’ job descriptions request at least three years of supervised clinical or nursing experience. Nurses can gain experience through volunteering in healthcare or medical facilities.

Nurse Job Description FAQs


A concise and clear job description will make it stand out and attract nurses that can make a real difference to patients. The key to writing a job description is to mention the compelling responsibilities, duties, different kinds of tasks, qualifications, and skills. Include the salary band and benefits in your job post to attract nurses and build a strong team.


Nurses work with doctors, therapists, and social workers. In large healthcare establishments and hospitals, they report to the chief nursing officer. The chief nursing officer is responsible for supervising nurses and all patient care.


To assess the suitability of a candidate’s CV, employers should see how closely the degree specialism and experience match the job description. Do the skills the candidate has mentioned in their CV and cover letter align with those of the job or jobs? Does the CV indicate that the applicant has valuable transferable skills from previous careers, such as social workers, nursing assistants, therapists, or volunteering in a care home?


Both nurse practitioners and registered nurses conduct patient observation and deliver care. However, nurse practitioners may diagnose patients, prescribe treatment, and order clinical tests. A registered nurse cannot and works to the instructions of a physician, who determines the diagnosis, patient care, and follow-up assessments.


Nurses and paramedics are responsible for assessing patients and determining their required treatments. However, paramedics deliver life-saving medical treatment in emergencies, at the patient’s location or en route to a hospital or healthcare facility. In contrast, nurses are responsible for administering medication and care to patients once they have arrived at a healthcare facility, hospital, or care home.

Nurse Job Description Examples And Samples

Our advice is to create your job description using one of the samples and examples below.

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