How Do I Become a District Nurse?

A. Rohlandt

If you want to become a district nurse, you should have at least four years of secondary education, a bachelor's degree in nursing, and at least three years of clinical experience. Some employers offer training programs if you lack experience or if you have just graduated. District nurses need to be up to date on the newest products and technology, have good people skills, and a driver's license.

A district nurse taking a person's medical history.
A district nurse taking a person's medical history.

In order to become a district nurse, four years of secondary education is required, but five years is preferred. Some of the subjects that are recommended if you plan to work in this field are chemistry, biology, and math. These subjects are relevant to the medical field and can help prepare you for tertiary education.

District nurses need to be up to date on the newest products and technology and have good people skills.
District nurses need to be up to date on the newest products and technology and have good people skills.

You should have a Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) degree if you want to become a district nurse. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years to complete, but there are alternatives if you are already a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN). In situations such as these you can apply for an LPN to BSN degree, which can be completed in about four semesters.

Most employers prefer applicants who have at least three year's of clinical experience. Experience in areas such as geriatric care and surgery or in clinics and hospitals should all be very helpful. If you have recently graduated and still need experience, you may apply for in-job training.

If you choose an employer that offers on-the-job training, you will gain most of the skills you need while working. These programs are sometimes referred to as specialist practitioner programs, and can usually be completed within one academic year. All district nurses have an orientation period of two to 12 weeks in which they receive additional training after having been hired.

Should you have an interest in the newest technology and products, this could be an advantage. Most district nurses have to keep themselves up to date with new technology and techniques to better serve their patients. You should also be innovative and have the ability to think on your feet if you want to become a district nurse. Most district nurses work away from clinical environments, and may need to improvise in certain situations.

Good people skills are important if you plan to become a district nurse. These nurses work with people on a daily basis, and must have a friendly and compassionate bedside manner. The patients can range from people who have had recent surgery to the elderly who need in-home care. If you have a genuine desire to help people, district nursing could be a good choice for you.

District nurses often visit patients' homes and are required to travel to see their patients on a regular basis. You should have a driver's license since employers may require this as part of the job. Getting to know the area you practice in is also recommended, as it will cut down on travel time.

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