How to become a nurse

Do you have what it takes to become a great nurse? Do you enjoy working with people and fostering positive relationships that can support others through health and illness?

If nursing is your dream job, the first thing you'll need to do to get qualified is complete an undergraduate nursing degree. You can choose from four specialisms: adult, child, mental health and learning disabilities. Try our Routes into Nursing tool to find out which one is right for you.

To help you get started, we've pulled together some top tips.

Top tips

Nursing is a competitive course, so to give yourself the edge over other applicants, you need to really show your passion for nursing. 

  • Get up to date with current healthcare issues by researching and reading nursing websites, blogs and nursing journals, such as Royal College of Nursing or Nursing Standard.
  • Get first hand advice - Speak to practising nurses working in different health and social care settings. This will allow you to gain a sense of what the role of the nurse entails. Our nursing open event in Carlisle is an ideal opportunity to do just that!
  • Volunteer in a caring environment, such as St. Johns Ambulance or within an NHS environment. Alternatively work in a care home or hospital as a health care assistant. All experience will give you something to write about in your application form.
  • Contact the university to find out more about the process to begin your journey onto your chosen career path

What’s the application process at the University of Cumbria?

  • Choose your nursing course
  • Apply online at
  • If your application is successful, we'll invite you to an interview
  • After a successful interview, we'll send you an offer

It's as simple as that. There’s lots of support available to help you work your way through the process of becoming a nurse. Get in touch if you have any questions.

Who should I ask for advice?

The first port of call is to talk to our enquiry centre. They can discuss all elements of the process, including entry requirements, the UCAS application process and answer any questions you may have.

Plus they will advise you on open days, applicant visit days and interview days – but keep a look out on our website for updates on events.


Phone: 0333 363 6853

What are the main challenges in the process?

Undertaking a Nursing programme will inevitably challenge you in many ways both personally and professionally. However, with this comes the reward of knowing that you have made a difference to people’s lives.

Do all nurses have to have a degree?

  • All nurses have to complete an undergraduate nursing degree programme, validated with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
  • You may not have the traditional qualifications required for the course but we also take into account previous experience, so get in touch with us!

How long will I have to train for?

An undergraduate nursing programme is three years in length. This is comprised of theoretical study and practice-based placements.

Where do I apply?

All applications must be made through UCAS.

Apply on UCAS

How much does it cost?

Nursing tuition fees are the same as all degree courses, but we offer you some financial support towards your travel and provide funding for your uniform.


Our Students

Sign up for the latest news about nursing

Edit Page