It’s a highly challenging role that requires dedication, passion, empathy and skill. However, the professional and emotional rewards are excellent, with your input key to the development of the health and wellbeing of children, families and whole communities.
Health visitors provide specialist advice and support to parents, which are key to promoting a child’s development and future wellbeing. They are often the first people with a chance to identify and provide an expert response to health issues during the early stages of a child’s life.
The government has committed to a huge increase in the numbers of health visitors. So if you’d like to help children and families achieve better health outcomes, now is the time.
In order to train as a health visitor, you must first qualify and register as a nurse or midwife. You will then need to take an approved programme in specialist community public health nursing/health visiting (SCPHN/HV).
The requirements for entry to SCPHN/HV programmes are very flexible and no minimum period of post-registration experience is required. Nurses or midwives can enter the programme at any stage as long as you can demonstrate that you are able to study at the required educational level. Any registered nurse or midwife is eligible to apply, no matter which branch of nursing (adult, child, learning disability and mental health).
Programmes are at degree level and are normally a minimum of one year full-time or the part-time equivalent.
A full course normally comprises 45 weeks study to be completed within a 156 week period; part-time study should be completed within 208 weeks.
Where an applicant has relevant experience and/or learning, the higher education institution (HEI) which provides the health visiting course may give accreditation of prior learning (APL). This can be applied up to a maximum of one-third of a SCPHN/HV programme.
Several HEIs offer '2+1' programmes, where a graduate with a health-related degree can obtain APL and complete their pre-registration nurse training in two (rather than three) years, then follow this with the 1 year full-time SCPHN/HV programme.
If you’re passionate about making a difference and want to take the next step, register now for more information on the NHS Careers website by clicking on the "Apply now" link below.