Ophthalmic nurse

See how to become a ophthalmic nurse with our career guide

What is an Ophthalmic Nurse?

An ophthalmic nurse provides holistic nursing care to people with eye conditions and also to people with a visual impairment.

What does an Ophthalmic Nurse do?

The ophthalmic nurse has many roles caring for people of all age groups in hospitals and the community. For example, ophthalmic nurses advise patients about their eye health, eye drops and how to manage their wellbeing. Patients and their family are cared for before, during and following procedures, operations and outpatient clinic visits. Ophthalmic nurses have particular expertise in caring for people with a visual impairment.

What do you get from this role?

It is a privilege to look after someone who may be feeling vulnerable because of treatment for their eye condition or due to temporary or permanent visual impairment.

There are opportunities to undertake further university education in ophthalmic nursing which facilitates progression into careers such as advanced ophthalmic nurse practitioner, and into management, research, education roles.

What do you need to apply?

Entry requirements for nursing degree courses vary because each university sets its own entry criteria, but you are likely to need at usually three A-levels, Highers, or equivalent qualifications at Level 3, plus supporting GCSEs including English, maths, and a science (usually biology or human biology).

Courses often specify preferred or essential A level, Higher, or equivalent subjects, such as one science (for example biology) or social science (for example psychology). Some universities offer courses with a foundation year for those without the necessary entry qualifications.

What skills do you need?

Communication skills, empathy, understanding and ability to think about the person as an individual.

What does your working day look like?

Ophthalmic nursing is so varied no two days are the same. The working day depends on the ophthalmic clinical area, so it could be working shifts in wards or in clinics or operating theatres. Read about a day in the life of an Ophthalmic Nurse who cares for patients with eye cancer.

STEM

Campaign aim: highlight the STEM ambassador programme to eye care practitioners (ECPs) and encourage them to sign up and visit schools. Careers in Eyecare has developed a range of supportive materials to facilitate ECPs to work in schools, including: How to become a STEM ambassador Case study: Nick’s experience of his first STEM sessionsSTEM Careers in … Continue reading STEM

WCSM

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) sounds ancient but has a modern purpose. Its mission is to support better vision for all. The Company was founded in 1629 and is living proof that eye health is so much more than a presence on the High Street. The name could be misleading as WCSM members … Continue reading WCSM

Career guides

Brighten Your Future With Careers In Eyecare Did you know? Careers in eyecare offer a lot of potential to young people. Open your eyes to the possibilities… Careers for everyone There are many interesting careers in eyecare and eye wear, with entry at all levels. Whatever your background and interests, you can take your next … Continue reading Career guides

Woodspeen

Campaign aim: to develop Woodspeen Training’s profile within the optical professions and attract young people to optical apprenticeships. With over 30 years’ experience, Woodspeen Training is a well-established provider of Level 2 – Level 5 Apprenticeship and skills programmes. In the past year it has also begun to offer optical assistant apprenticeships. Kay Bagshaw FBDO … Continue reading Woodspeen

Articles to help you develop your career

All A levelsCareers in eyecareLooking for workStudentsStudyTraineeshipsContact lens opticianDispensing opticianFor employersOphthalmologistOptical assistantOptometristWorkDesignOptical practice managerWork experienceEducationStudy onlineApprenticeshipsDay in the lifeExamsGCSEsEye clinic liaison officerEngineeringAwards, bursaries and scholarshipsLow vision opticianSTEMOrthoptistOptical sales rep Categories A levels, Careers in eyecare, Looking for work, Students, Study, Traineeships Posted on 28 June 2022 25 May 2022 What to ask when you go … Continue reading Ophthalmic nurse

Stepper

Campaign aim: to support the optical industry and highlight Stepper as an ethical and committed frames company. Peter Reeve, Managing Director Stepper (UK) limited says, “Delivering comfort and fit that delights spectacle wearers requires good product and the best dispensing skills, so encouraging professionalism in eyecare early in a career delivers the best possible outcomes … Continue reading Stepper