Neonatal Nurse and GCSE requirements

The most common route to becoming a Neonatal Nurse is through a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. If you fail to meet the entry requirements or have circumstances that make it difficult to study for a degree, there are other options.

The four common qualifications one can opt for to become a neonatal nurse are:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
  • Undergraduate trainee nurse.
  • Nursing assistant training.
  • Postgraduate courses in Nursing.

The Neonatal Nursing GCSE requirements go through the following:

University Course

In the UK there are many options for University Courses in Nursing, where the applicant must first consider which area of nursing interests them. For the area of Neonatal Nursing you should find courses in infant nursing. One should check with the chosen university to see if their qualifications meet their entry standard.

For this course, a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade 4/C or above is usually required, usually in English language or literature and in one of the science subjects. In addition, you must have 2 A-level grades or the equivalent at level 3. Other universities may require you to have 3 A-level grades or the equivalent.

If you have an undergraduate degree, you may wish to consider studying for a postgraduate degree, through an accelerated program. Universities are responsible for setting their own entry requirements, which should be checked with individual universities before applying.

Alternatives to the A-level requirements

Here alternative qualifications to the A level requirement:

  • Access courses, e.g. Access to Nursing.
  • Holding Pearson BTEC Level III Diploma qualifications. In some cases a meritorious level or distinction must have been achieved.
  • Scottish Higher or advanced higher education.
  • OCR Cambridge Technicians.
  • International Baccalaureate.

Sometimes it is possible to combine academic qualifications with professional qualifications. For example, having an A level and a BTEC qualification. Nursing qualifications obtained in the UK are transferable to other countries.

Obtaining a degree in nursing requires a longer period of time to complete the coursework.

What is GCSE?

GCSE in the UK is the General Certificate of Secondary Education. This certificate is highly valued in both schools, Higher Education Institutions and employers.

This qualification correlates directly to the study of the theory of a subject, together with some research work, while in some subjects it may also involve practical work.

A General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is the measure of qualification by which most students in the UK are generally governed at the end of compulsory education. It normally takes two years and final exams are usually taken when you are 16.

U.S. GCSE Equivalent

In the USA, there is no direct equivalent of GCSEs. Instead, high school students are assessed for progress in different ways. Students follow a broad curriculum, similar to the GCSE curriculum up to grade 12. Assessments are mainly through continuous assessment.

This includes coursework and final exams per year, basing their progress on performance in these exams, but these are generally not standardized. There are some states that have high school graduation exams.

In addition, states often have standardized tests, but they are not normally used for progression. There are intermediate tests in high school that students can take, including general and SAT subject tests, AP exams, and ACT exams.

These are tests that are used for college admissions and scholarships (SAT and ACT tests). They are also sometimes used for early college credit (AP exams).

Graduate Apprenticeship in Nursing

Degree apprenticeships in Nursing offer the opportunity to obtain the necessary qualifications to be able to work as a Nurse and earn a real income at the same time. The employer pays for the qualification to be obtained, by way of a bonus.

In terms of GSCE requirements, at least 2 A level qualifications or BTEC awards, equivalent qualifications at Scottish Highers or International Baccalaureate, in a science or health field are required. A minimum of GCSE in English and mathematics or other equivalent level 2 qualifications, with a grade of C or above, is required.

Nursing Assistant Training

A Nursing associate works alongside nurses, monitoring and supporting patients, and explaining complex information in simple terms. To become a nursing associate you must have GCSEs in English and math or any other equivalent level 2 qualification, plus a grade of C or above.

In addition to this, the applicant will also need to demonstrate that they have the personal skills required to become a Nurse and even more so if they wish to become a Neonatal Nurse.

Graduate Nursing

Doing a postgraduate degree is another way to get into Neonatal Nursing. This is an ideal path for those who have a different undergraduate degree, but then decide to go into Nursing. There are many specialization options available, from adult nursing, mental health, neonatal nursing or midwifery.

For GCSE requirements, at least a 2:1 grade in a life or health science subject and GSCE in math and English or equivalent level 2 qualifications are required, plus a grade of C or above.


To be a Neonatal Nurse requires extensive training, advanced skills and being very capable of working in very stressful situations and environments.  That is why, in order to become a nursing professional and to be able to access Neonatal Nursing studies, you need to have high GSCE qualifications.

Marlene J. Shockley

My name is Marlene J. Shockley, and I am a Registered Nurse (RN). I have always been interested in helping people and Nursing seemed like the perfect career for me. After completing my Nursing Degree, I worked in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and home health care. I have also had the opportunity to work as a Travelling Nurse, which has allowed me to see different parts of the country and meet new people. No matter where I am working, I enjoy getting to know my patients and their families and helping them through whatever medical challenges they may be facing.