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Nursing support (health care support worker)

As a health care support worker you’ll be at the very heart of everything we do – it’s a vital role that supports service users to live their lives to the fullest.

What will I do as a health care support worker?

As a health care support worker you will support health and social care professionals by providing individualised care for our service users and activities for them both individually and in group sessions.

You’ll have access to training opportunities and learn basic nursing skills. You’ll also be encouraged to work towards gaining qualifications such as the Care Certificate or be part of our apprenticeship programme. You may also wish to study to become a qualified nurse.

Whatever route you decide to take there are always exciting and challenging opportunities for health care support workers, and you'll be fully supported.

Seeing a service user walk out of our unit after a long stay is a great feeling - especially knowing I have helped them on their journey to manageable care back at home.

Tony, health care support worker
What career opportunities are there in nursing?
Entry level in to nursing

Health care support worker (apprenticeship)

Health care support worker (band 2)

Health care support worker (band 3)

Associate practitioner (band 4)

Key skills for a health care support worker

Flexible to work shift patterns





What if I decide to do nurse training?

Use the course finder to choose the right university for you. Each university sets its own entry requirements so please check each one.

What skills, experience and qualifications do I need to become a health care support worker?

There are no set entry requirements to become a health care support worker, but good literacy and numeracy skills are expected, and in some cases GCSEs (or equivalent) in English and maths are required too.

For some of our health care support worker roles, some experience of care work may be beneficial – this could be from paid or voluntary work, experience you gained in previous roles or personal caring responsibilities.

You’ll also need to be caring, kind and willing to really get stuck into the role, being patient to understand the needs of our service users – it’s a hands-on environment where teamwork, communication and organisational skills are vital.

Our promise to you

Our recruitment is person-centred. We're committed to keeping you informed at all stages and supporting you along the way.

You'll receive a first rate induction and access to a range of development programmes.

You’ll have access to our generous pension scheme, health service discounts and 27 days of annual leave plus bank holidays, which increases the longer you’re in service.

If you need a DBS check, we will pay for it, as well as your annual subscription fee for the DBS update service.

As a health care support worker you will find that no two days are the same. We have health care support workers in:

Adult mental health

Forensic services including youth offending institutions

Learning disabilities


The role can be demanding, both physically and emotionally, but it is also rewarding. You'll help service users in re-engaging with their hobbies and interests, or encouraging them to learn a new skill like cooking or painting or simply taking time to listen and care. If you enjoy interactions with other people and get a boost from making a positive difference to someone’s life, then this could be a great career choice for you.

It's such a fulfilling role, knowing each shift I can make a difference to someone's life.

What does a typical day in the life of a health care support worker look like?

Chris's story

Hello, my name is Chris, and I’m a senior health care support worker. I’ve worked in forensic services for almost 14 years.

Before taking on my role in forensic services, I was working in dementia services. I fancied a change, and a friend told me about forensic services explaining that I would be working on a ward. I initially didn’t know what forensic services were, but after learning that it involved caring for people I knew that it was something I wanted to do.

On a typical day I complete a variety of tasks, including facilitating section 17 leave (taking service users to the local shops), supporting service users with everyday activities that support them throughout their care pathway and recovery, supporting the nurse around medication times (letting service users know it is time to take their medication), and completing required documentation, amongst many other things.

What I enjoy most is facilitating section 17 leave. When some service users first start to take leave outside of the hospital, they can find this stressful and overwhelming. It’s my job to support them through this by providing them emotional support, guidance, and encouragement; it’s nice to see service users progress.

I started in my role as an apprentice health care support worker and have enjoyed learning new skills whilst working. Everyone has been so supportive.

James, health care support worker

Further information
How can I find out if you have any vacancies for health care support workers?
I can't see any current health care support worker vacancies?