Nursery Nurse
Addenbrookes Hospital

Nursery Nurse
Addenbrookes Hospital

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Jeanette C

00:00:03 My name’s Jeanette C and I’m a Nursery Nurse and I work for Neo Natal Services in the Rosen Maternity Hospital. And we take babies from all over East Anglia, who are 24, 25 weeks gestation and above. At 24 – 25 weeks some of the babies can be as small as 500 grams. Approximately that length, and that big. Tiny, tiny. By the time they come to the Special Care Baby Unit they’re well on their road to recovery, and we’re looking towards getting them home.

00:00:40 I started off at the old Mill Road Maternity Hospital in Cambridge. Worked there for two and a half years on the post natal wards, and then was offered a job in Special Care. And I knew if I didn’t take it then, I probably wouldn’t be offered it again. So I took it, and was terrified. And I’ve just learnt over the years how to do the job to the best of my ability, and I think everything is a good experience, everything is enjoyable. If it wasn’t I wouldn’t move on to another – or take whatever was being offered to me at the time.

00:01:13 This little chap belongs to a little boy that we have on the Unit at the moment, and he’s been with us now for about three months. He’s been through an awful lot, and he’s on Special Care, and hopefully we’ll get him home within the next two or three weeks.

00:01:31 You have mixed emotions when they go home. You’re glad that they’re going home, and it’s sad that you kind of do lose contact with the parents after that to a degree . They do come back to clinics, and they do come back to see you, probably for the first year they’ll pop in and out to show you the progress, and then it just kind of tails off after that. So it is mixed emotions really. It’s nice to get them home, it’s where they should be.

00:01:57 I never wanted to work with babies when I – after I’d done my training. I always wanted to work with children, and that’s what I planned to do, and I worked in a nursery – day nursery attached to a Phillips company – many years ago. And I went to the old Mill Road Maternity Hospital, and I went for an interview there. Heard a couple of weeks later that I’d got the job, and so went straight into babies, and have been there ever since.

00:02:26 I don’t know quite what’s driven me. When I was at school – senior school – I always knew I wanted to work with children. And I had a few days in a disabled school which is what – that’s what I really thought I was going to do. And then I had a few days just at an ordinary nursery. And then I did my two years’ training, was offered a job in – in the nursery, and when that folded I had to move on from there really.

00:02:55 I was never a particularly academic person at school. Exams scared me to bits. So I think anything I was going to do would be practical. This sounds a bit odd, but I think I’ve developed my academic skills over the years really. You learn so much working with all these different types of people.

00:03:15 I’m not sure whether – how far I shall move on now. I do feel if I had my time over again, I would maybe have gone on to do my nurse training. That is a regret I do have, and I feel I’m too old now to do that.

00:03:31 I see my job as my life to a degree. I think you need to live for the day, you never know what’s round the corner, and what might happen. And you see so many families go through so much, I think you just – you do need to live for the day a bit more.

00:03:50 ENDS


Jeanette loves her work caring for babies in the special care unit. She accepted the post there even though it terrifed her and she is rightly proud of everything she has learnt and achieved. Exams used to scare her to bits but confidence in her academic abilities has grown over the years. She values a 'Live for the day' approach to life.

More information about Nursery nurses and assistants

average salary

The UK average salary is ÂŁ28,758

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

2%  male 
98%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future Employment

Future employment?

? Nursery nurses and assistants care for children from birth up to seven years of age in day or residential nurseries, children’s homes, maternity units and similar establishments.
Entry is most common with GCSEs/S grades followed by the award of a certificate from the Council for Awards in Children’s Care and Education. An NVQ/SVQ in Child Care and Education or equivalent qualification at level 3 is required to work as a nursery nurse. CRB clearance is mandatory.
  • Baths, dresses, prepares feed for and feeds babies, changes babies clothing whenever necessary;
  • Supervises young children at mealtimes;
  • Plans and organises games and other activities and supervises children’s play;
  • Reads stories, organises counting games to help develop language and number skills;
  • Writes reports on children’s development and maintains awareness of health and safety issues;
  • Communicates with parents and colleagues on children’s development and well-being.
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