Have you decided that this year is the year you finally take that leap towards a new career? Are you considering a career in nursing? Whether you are a young learner wondering what step to take next or an adult learner eager to transition into a new, rewarding role, this blog post will explore all the ins and outs of a nursing career and help you understand your next step.

What is a Nursing Career?

Is a nursing career for you?

Nurses play a vital role in healthcare settings including GP practices and hospitals. Throughout a nurse’s daily role, they will be contributing to the well-being of patients and their medical care.

Nursing plays an important role in providing essential care, which means there is a level of pressure to be educated in various subjects but can ultimately lead to a very rewarding career.

It’s important to keep in mind that like many other industries, nursing can cover different fields including:

  • Adult nursing
  • Children’s nursing
  • Mental health nursing
  • Learning disability nursing & more

What Qualifications Do I Need to Be a Nurse?

If you are wondering what qualifications you need to become a nurse, typically a nursing degree is required in medical practices. What are the entry requirements for a nursing Degree?

According to Health Careers NHS

“Entry requirements for nursing degree courses vary because each university sets its own entry criteria, but you are likely to need at least two (usually three) A-levels or equivalent qualifications at level 3, such as a T level or BTECs, plus supporting GCSEs including English, maths and a science (usually biology or human biology). Contact universities directly to find out whether qualifications equivalent to A-levels or GCSEs are acceptable.”

Can You Become a Nurse Without a Degree?

To become a fully qualified nurse, a degree is expected, however, if obtaining a nursing degree doesn’t feel like the right step for you right now, other steps can be taken where a Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing can be obtained. This qualification can equip you with a great level of entry knowledge and skills to help you progress to further education in the nursing field.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse?

The duration it takes to become a nurse can vary depending on your chosen route. If you decide to dive straight into a nursing degree, this takes an average of a 3–4-year commitment. Keep in mind, degrees within the nursing field will provide you with practical experience within related settings to help prepare you for your nursing career after qualifying.

Students looking to explore a Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing before a degree will be committing to an additional 2-4 years.

Do Nurses Need to Know Biology?

It is crucial for nurses to have a basic understanding of biology as it is essential to working in the field of medical conditions, treatment plans and medications. Medical care is quite complex and in order to provide the best and accurate patient care, biology knowledge is advantageous.

Where Can You Study Nursing?

Thankfully, there are several courses and study methods that will help you gain the qualifications you need to help you achieve your nursing goals.

Biology subjects can be studied at an A level which can be gained in traditional education settings such as schools and colleges but can also be achieved remotely through distance learning providers. Take a look at NEC’s popular A level Biology here.

If you would like to explore other distance learning options where you can study with flexibility and work towards a nursing diploma or degree, The Open University provides a number of suitable options.


Embarking on a nursing career can be a life-changing, but exciting decision! Whether you are a young learner or an adult seeking a career change, the path to becoming a nurse is accommodating and allows individuals to pursue their passion in various ways.

If you would like to know more about the pathway to a nursing career, take a look at our Nursing Career Track or get in touch with a member of our team here at NEC. 


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