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District Nursing Subject Guide

Researching how to become a District Nurse? This guide will give you all the information you need to know about how you can train to become a District Nurse via postgraduate education. Read on to find out what kind of postgraduate qualifications in District Nursing you can get, what you will be likely to learn, how long the courses are and more. 


What is a District Nurse?  

While some nursing roles are situated in one location, District Nurses care for people out and about in the community. They will often visit people in their homes or at care homes to provide healthcare advice and support. Organisation and confidence are key to success in District Nursing, as every day will be different depending on the needs of the patients. Your duties could include: 

  • Physical and mental health assessments 
  • Coordinating care for patients with physical disabilities 
  • Responding to emergencies 
  • Teaching family members how to care for their relatives 
  • Medication administration 
  • Providing palliative care 

Why do a District Nursing degree?  

District Nurses are important for helping patients maintain their independence and continue with their lives, and are vital for keeping hospital admissions and re-admissions low, further benefiting the community. Taking a postgraduate degree in District Nursing will bolster your knowledge, confidence and leadership skills, allowing you to effectively manage a team providing care for the public. These courses are often taken by nurses looking to develop their career and move into leadership roles. 

What qualifications can you get?  

Postgraduate qualifications for District Nursing include master’s degrees and PGDip courses. Both courses will offer theory and practical teaching to build your familiarity of the role, though modules taught will vary between institutions. 

Master’s in District Nursing 

Taking a master’s course in District Nursing will give students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the professional role greatly, not only in terms of medical expertise but also in terms of leadership and management skills. 

PGDip in District Nursing 

Often taken by people already in a healthcare profession who are looking to pivot their career into District Nursing, PGDip courses will equip students with the competence to fully prepare them for the job. 

What jobs can you do with a District Nursing degree?  

Many graduates will go into District Nursing careers for the NHS, including leading the teams providing healthcare for the community. Other jobs will benefit from the skills learned in District Nursing degrees, for example: 

  • Health visitor 
  • General practice nurse 
  • Teaching and lecturing 
  • Academic research 
  • Advanced nurse practitioner 

What are the District Nursing degree requirements?  

The District Nursing entry requirements will vary from university to university. Many will ask for at least a 2.2 grade honours degree, though some will ask for a higher-level grade. You will be extended to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and often will need to have held a position in a medical role. 

What District Nursing courses are there?  

To give you an idea of what you course you could take, here is a list of UK District Nursing course examples: 

  • PGDip District Nursing 
  • PGDip Community Specialist Practice (District Nursing) 
  • PGDip Specialist Practitioner (District Nursing) 
  • MSc Primary and Community Care (District Nursing) (SPQ) 
  • MSc Specialist Practice District Nursing 

What do you learn in a District Nursing degree?  

Modules on District Nursing courses will vary between universities, but you can expect to learn about various aspects of nursing, from physical ailments to mental health, alongside organisational and leadership skills. Examples of District Nursing modules include: 

  • Fundamentals of Community Nursing 
  • A Critical Approach to Community Public Health 
  • Leadership and Innovation 
  • Public Health and Health Promotion 
  • Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribing 
  • Responding to Complex Health Needs in District Nursing Practice 

How will you be taught and assessed?  

Courses in District Nursing will be taught through a combination of classroom and practical learning methods, which can feature online courses, independent research, simulations, seminars and more. Assessments can come in the form of dissertations, tests, presentations, coursework and case studies. 

How long is a District Nursing degree?  

Master’s and PGDip courses in District Nursing can take a year to complete if studied full-time. Studying for these qualifications part-time can make it take up to twice as long. 

Similar subjects to District Nursing 

If you’re looking to study a course similar to District Nursing, consider one of these alternate options: 

  • Adult Nursing 
  • Health Visitor 
  • Counselling 
  • Emergency First Aid 
  • Paramedic Practice 

Next: Search for District Nursing courses


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