Community nurses or district nurses are absolutely integral to the function of the healthcare system in the UK. This article will look at:
- What is a community nurse?
- Community nurse job roles
- Community nurse salary
- Benefits of community nursing
What is a community nurse?
Community nurses are trained and experienced healthcare professionals who go out into the community to provide essential care and assistance to the most vulnerable in our society, such as the elderly and disabled.
As more and more patients are treated outside of a traditional healthcare setting, the demand for community nurses in the UK is growing rapidly and this type of nursing is all the more important to provide and maintain a high standard of care to everyone who needs it. They play a vital role across many different parts of the community, including:
- GP nurses
- health visitors
- community mental health nurses
- community children’s nurses
- learning disability nurses
- homeless health nurses
- occupational health nurses
- public health nurses
- executive nurses
- nurse educators
- care home nurses
Day-to-day job responsibilities for community nurses.
Becoming a community nurse enables you to truly give back to your community on the front line of healthcare, you will work in a variety of settings ranging from health centres and clinics to residential accommodation and patients' own homes. Often working without the support and resources of a hospital environment, you will need to be able to adapt well and quickly to new environments: this job is perfect for someone who wants to challenge themselves and develop their skillset, whilst giving back to the community.
The role of a community nurse involves a lot of contact with patients that would otherwise not be able to access traditional healthcare, and so demands an excellent level of communication skills and understanding in what can be a frightening and challenging time for the patient and their family. You will be advising the best course of treatment and action and will often be administering and coordinating both alongside the patient and often their loved ones.
Benefits of community nursing.
Nursing within the community also has the added and essential benefit of freeing up beds in hospitals for patients that desperately need to be cared for in that environment. It is also a particularly rewarding job as you will be helping those being cared for at home to maintain their independence and freedom, whilst being able to access exemplary medical care. You will also be:
- Engaging with a variety of different patients to build your skillset
- Making a difference to a varied and diverse healthcare landscape amongst local communities
- Making a direct and positive difference to your patients
- Joining a team of outstanding community nurses in your local area
Alongside your medical role in your patients’ lives, you will also uniquely serve as a teacher and educator to the patient. This is because you will be able to inform them of future ways in which they can supplement and administer their own care, or instruct their family on how best to care for them. This will ensure that the patient is receiving the best possible treatment in any scenario.
Community nurse salary.
The typical base salary from an NHS community nurse ranges from £23,213-£30,178, and this will vary depending on specialism and experience.
If you are already trained and looking to become a community nurse, you may be able to fund a specialist practitioner course through your current employer or primary care trust, enabling the advancement to the role of community nurse alongside any current employment.
Being a nurse is one of the most rewarding professions out there – as nurses you truly make a positive difference to people’s lives. However, we also know that being a nurse can be stressful. That’s why we’ve spoken to real-life nurses, such as nurse and Love Island star Rachel Fenton, to get her advice on how to manage stress and mental wellbeing while on shift: