Qualifications Needed to Be a Neonatal Nurse in the United Kingdom

Updated July 19, 2017

Babies in a neonatal unit have been born prematurely or sick, and require specialised care in their first few hours and days. It is imperative that knowledgeable, caring staff attend to them during this time period. If you think this is the calling for you, you will need to complete the proper channels to be qualified as a neonatal nurse in the U.K.


Nursing qualification starts at university, in either a diploma course or a degree course. The course is half theory and half practical experience.


As part of the university course, you will be placed in hospital and community settings in your local area.

Time Commitment

A full-time diploma course will take three years to complete. A degree course will take between three and four years to complete.


You will choose your neonatal speciality after one year of a Common Foundation Programme, an introduction to the basic principles of nursing.

Residence Qualifications

You must be a U.K. resident for at least three years before you are permitted to apply for either a diploma or a degree nursing course.

bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

About the Author

Caro Smith has written professionally since 1986. She has been published on various websites, specializing in domestic and international travel. She holds a Master of Arts in English education and writes nonfiction history.