Jack Newey-Bradley, who worked at the West Midlands Police site in Perry Barr, was found with a total of 64 images and three videos in October last year.
The 30-year-old had set up profiles on two websites and had “developed an interest” in child sex abuse, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
He had struck up a conversation with an undercover officer – with the child protection unit – online in February last year, prosecutor Ms Lynette McClement said.
Newey-Bradley engaged in various conversations with the officer, including on Skype, which led to a search warrant being issued in October last year.
Police arrested him and found a total of 21 Category A images – the most severe – and three moving images, or videos, which fell under the same category, the court heard.
They also discovered 23 still images of Category B and 20 Category C images – all dating between August 27, 2012 and January 27, 2017.
One of the explicit Category A videos had been received in 2012 through Messenger, with the content being stored on his devices when he was caught, a judge heard.
Further examination revealed one video – in Category A – was distributed on July 15, 2013, with the youngest child in all the content found being around five years old, Ms McClement added.
She said: “It’s clear that there were frequent continued conversations with a number of different users on various websites which involved discussion of the abuse of children. It’s clear that Mr Newey-Bradley has engaged in conversations of a fantasy nature.”
The 30-year-old, who was employed by Mountain Healthcare, is “disgusted” by his behaviour and is “deeply ashamed” of his actions, Mr Simon Gurney said, defending.
And the nurse is “determined” to confront the issues – having already referred himself to The Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a child protection charity.
He had studied to become a qualified nurse and completed further qualifications to become a midwife, before later working at the West Midlands Police custody block in Perry Barr.
Newey-Bradley has been dismissed from his job and is set to be struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, a court heard.
Mr Gurney, defending, added: “He is devastated. He has let himself and all those around him down.”
Judge Amjad Nawaz, sentencing, added: “It’s difficult to reconcile why someone would become engaged in the behaviour that brings you here.”
Newey-Bradley, of Clifton Street in Stourbridge, was sentenced to 16 months overall in prison suspended for two years, having pleaded guilty at a hearing in July.
He was sentenced to 16 months in prison for the distribution of the Category A video, along with a further eight months for making the Category A images and four months each for making Category B and Category C images, to run concurrently.
The 30-year-old was subject to rehabilitation for 30 days, unpaid work for 100 hours and ordered to pay £340 to cover the costs of the action taking against him.
He was handed a sexual harm prevention order which will last 10 years – with his devices set to be confiscated and destroyed.