Produced by Beth Cordon
BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
I arrived at Bournemouth University in September 2014 bright eyed and bushy tailed, but with no real idea of what I was really letting myself in for! I knew I wanted to be a nurse, but it wasn’t until I got to university that I realised I didn’t really know what the next three years had in store for me! Here’s a few things that you may not know, but that I wish I had been aware of before I started:
Everyone is in the same position as you: It may feel like you’ll never be able to fit in and make friends, but the other 20 or so students in your class are feeling exactly the same as you are. You will find your feet pretty quickly and those in your class will be like family for you for the remainder of the three years (and hopefully after graduation!).
It will feel like you spend a lot more time at university than those on other courses: every course is structured differently, but nursing students do tend to be the last ones left at university at Christmas and summer. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, because you get all the extra learning time and more opportunities to be on placement, but this is something to be aware of when planning your summer holiday!
You start practical lab learning straight away: I found this great, getting to spend a day a week in the labs that are set out like wards and learning basic skills in preparation for starting placement. I don’t think I would have been anywhere near as confident going out into placement if I hadn’t had these skills sessions before. They are one of the best days of the week and definitely help! Just make sure you don’t miss any of the sessions, because they count as placement hours.
Second year blues is a real thing: The important thing to realise about this is that in the long run you will feel good, but almost everyone on the course will experience second year blues. It is a big step between first and second year, but long term it is well worth sticking it out because at the end of the third year when you graduate, a little second year blip is going to feel like nothing – or at least I hope when I graduate!
Finally, make the most of the support system on offer: I wasn’t aware of all the different support that would be available for me as a student. Support with any issues with the theory side of the course, such as essays, and support while on placement is always available. If you are struggling, use the support! I feel in first year I wasn’t aware of what there was in terms of support, but if and when you need it, there will be someone who is able to help you!
Adult nursing is a great course and I couldn’t have made a better choice with what I am studying at university, it has been the best year of my life so far and I expect it will continue on to be the best three years of my life. Adult nursing is an amazing and rewarding course that will lead into a career for life. There will be good and bad times over the three years, but having even a small insight into the course will help when you start. Everyone has different ideas and knows different things about what adult nursing will have in store for them, but the five points I have made I feel were the main areas I did not know about until I started university.
By Beth Cordon