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Is social care nursing the job for you?

Published on: 27 Feb 2024

An experienced social care nurse explains the skills required to work in social care nursing.

Social care

Adult social care is a vitally important nursing sector, delivering care and support to millions of people each year.

Lead nurse Lianne Ford [square]Here, an experienced social care nurse, Lianne Ford who is lead nurse at Exemplar Health Care, explains the skills required to work in this setting and the career opportunities available to nurses within social care.

Social care nursing involves building trust with and supporting people over a long period of time, empowering them to maximise their independence and encouraging them to pursue their goals and aspirations. 

Social care nurses need to be compassionate, great communicators, able to adapt to different working environments and have strong interpersonal skills. Building trust and rapport with service users and their families is paramount, so patience, empathy and good active listening skills are also a must in social care nursing.

These are skills that NHS nurses have in abundance and that are transferable to social care.

Social care nurses work in a range of settings, from care homes for people with complex needs to someone’s own home, and a diverse range of specialisms, including learning disabilities, mental health, palliative care, and caring for people with conditions such as dementia and Huntington’s disease.

The broad range of nursing roles available in social care nursing include registered nurses, unit managers, lead nurses, clinical nurse managesr and department heads.  The social care setting also offers nurses career advancement opportunities in regulatory, governance and health and safety roles, condition-specific specialist roles and care home leadership.

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Lianne Ford is lead nurse at Exemplar Health Care 

This is an abridged version of the article Moving from NHS to social care nursing: what are the benefits? which was first published in Nursing Standard. Read the full article to learn more about the skills and experience needed to be a social care nurse, the roles available, including for newly registered nurses, and some top tips on what to consider before moving from the NHS to social care 

Read more careers articles on Nursing Standard