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Occupation Details

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Children's Nurse

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, you may need to complete three - four years of college and work for several years in the career area to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

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Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€27k > 43
Registered Sick Children's Nurse
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€27 - 43
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Despite a decline in employment, the demand for certain types of nursing skills has remained strong and has resulted in shortages. Work patterns and certain geographical locations are also impacting on recruitment and retention of nurses.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Occupational Category

Nurses & Midwives

Also included in this category:

Practice nurses; psychiatric nurses; staff nurses; nurse (clinical specialists); nurse-tutors; midwives; matrons (medical services).

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 21%
Aged over 55: 17%
Male / Female: 7 / 93%
Non-Nationals: 11%
With Third Level: 97%
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At a Glance... header image

Children's nurses care for babies, children and adolescents. They apply their specialist knowledge to the particular needs and problems of children and their families.

Videos & Interviews header image

The Work header image

Children's nurses care for babies, children and adolescents who have a long- or short-term illness, a disability or an injury. They may be based in a specialist children's hospital, a children's ward in a general hospital or in the community.  
Wherever they are based, children's nurses are part of a multi-disciplinary team, which includes other nurses, health care assistants, doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and many others. They are responsible for planning and implementing the complete nursing care of their patients.  
The children's nurse assesses the requirements of the child and family and draws up a care plan, which outlines the child's needs and treatment schedule. Nurses observe the effectiveness of treatment and modify the care plan accordingly. Day-to-day care may involve:

  • Administering prescribed drugs either orally or by injection
  • Removing stitches, cleaning wounds and changing dressings
  • Taking and recording blood pressure and temperature.
  • Observing and recording the conditions of the patients.

Because the child is dependent on their family, children's nurses involve the child's family in the care and keep them informed of what is happening to their child. This may mean training the parents to administer treatment themselves so they can cope when the child goes home.  
Nurses not only deal with the child's physical condition but also reduce the anxiety and confusion a child may feel when faced with unusual surroundings. For instance, they make children's wards as homely as possible. They also communicate with the child through play and maintain the child's emotional, physical and intellectual development.  
Nurses working in the community carry out similar duties. They may be responsible for the continuing care of a child after leaving hospital. They will visit them at home to check on their progress and support their parents. Some community nurses, after further training, specialise in a particular field such as diabetes or cancer care.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

In children's nursing, you must be very observant and able to anticipate children's needs, as children are not always able to express what they want or describe where they feel pain.  
Communication skills are vital, particularly the ability to reassure, encourage and explain clearly. An interest in science is essential. A good pleasant bedside manner and compassion are very important in this area.  
Most nursing posts require a certain level of physical fitness and emotional resistance.

Entry Routesheader image

To work as a qualified nursing professional, you must first successfully complete a programme of nursing education, and then apply to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI), the statutory body for regulation of the nursing profession in Ireland. 

There are two routes to becoming a Children's Nurse:

  • BSc in Children's and General Nursing (integrated) - Pre- Registration  or
  • Childrens' Nursing - Post Registration

1. Pre-Registration Degree Programmes Leading to Registration with NMBI

There are 5 pre-registration level nursing training programmes available, all of which are at Level 8 Honours Bachelor Degree, including the integrated Children's and General Nursing programme:

  • BSc in General Nursing (RGN) (4 Years Duration)
  • BSc in Children's and General Nursing (integrated) (4.5 years Duration)
  • BSc in Psychiatric Nursing (RPN) (4 Years Duration)
  • BSc in Intellectual Disability Nursing (RNID) (4 Years Duration)
  • BSc in Midwifery (4 Years Duration)

The programmes are offered through 13 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in association with the main Healthcare Agencies (Hospitals/Clinical Sites). Application is made through the CAO.

Getting into Nursing Training

To get into a nursing training programme applicants must:

(a) have obtained  a minimum grade of C3 in two higher level papers and a minimum grade of D3 in four ordinary or higher level papers in the Leaving Certificate, in the following subjects:

  • Irish or English
  • Mathematics
  • A Laboratory Science subject (Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Physics & Chemistry or Agricultural Science)
  • Three other subjects


(b) have achieved the equivalent minimum educational attainments to the Leaving Certificate, as judged by the Higher Education Authority(HEA)


(c) meet the minimum educational requirements specified by the third level institution (HEI) concerned, for entry to the course, provided the requirements are not of a lower standard than those set out in (a) above.

(Note: Foundation Level Mathematics or Foundation Level Irish are not acceptable). 

Alternative Entry Routes:

Certain Specific QQI Level 5 Certificate Programmes provide links to Nursing Degree Programmes. These currently are:

  • Nursing Studies (5M4349 / DCHSN)
  • Healthcare Support (5M4339 / DHSXXX)
  • Community and Health Services (5M4468 / DCHSX)

In all cases, applicants must have achieved distinctions in five components including;

  • Anatomy and Physiology (5N0749 / D20001)
  • Introduction to Nursing (5N4325 / D200012)
  • Human Growth and Development (5N1279 / D20032) or Biology (5N2746 / C20006)

Always contact the Admissions Office of the individual HEIs or visit www.cao.ie or www.nursingcareers.ie to check for any changes.

See also: Getting into Nursing - Entry routes in Ireland and the UK

2. Children’s Nursing - Post Registration Route

A nurse who has successfully completed their training and is a registered RNID, RPN, or RGN with the NMBI, may apply to the post registration RCN programme to become a Children's Nurse.

The programme is twelve months full-time in duration. Successful completion of the programme entitles the applicant to apply for registration with NMBI (RCN) and the award of a Higher Diploma from a HEI.

The three HEIs and the three linked Dublin healthcare agencies offering the postregistration RCN programme are:

  • DCU and Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street
  • TCD and Adelaide and Meath Hospital incorporating The National Children’s Hospital, Tallaght 
  • UCD and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin

For full detail see 'Nursing and Midwifery - A Career for You'


Last Updated: April, 2016

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Children's Nurse - from: N.C.S. [UK]

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Contactsheader image


Organisation: Nursing Careers Centre
Address: An Bord Altranais, 18/20 Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin
Tel: (01) 639 8500
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Health Service Executive (HSE)
Address: Dr Steevens' Hospital, Steevens Lane, Dublin, 8
Tel: 01 635 2000
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (INMO)
Address: The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7
Tel: (01) 664 0600
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: An Bord Altranais/Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI)
Address: 18-20 Carysfort Avenue Blackrock Co Dublin
Tel: (01) 639 8500 LoCall 1890 200 116
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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