Written by Beth Cordon
BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
Being a student nurse is no easy job, you’re in for a full on three years of studying and working, but it’ll all be worth it in the end! Being a student nurse takes dedication – that is for sure. While students on other courses might be going out partying every week, you’ll have to prioritise time management over partying. BUT, don’t get me wrong, it’s not all work and no play. There will be plenty of times along the way to have a good time!
The course is split 50/50, with half of the academic year being spent in placement and half being spent at university each year. In first year you’ll spend your first term in university studying and completing clinical skills, where you are in the simulation labs to develop your skills in a safe environment before going out into practice.
Each academic year you will dedicate time to study research theory and academic topics completed in six modules. These modules run throughout the three years, linking in with one another throughout. While six topics a year may seem like a lot, they are split up with some being multiple choice exams, some being written exams, some are observations of your skills, and most being coursework written essays. A majority of the assignments takes place during the theory blocks at university, but some coursework is due while you are on placement, so you’ll need to manage your time effectively, which is something I learned to do when it came to it!
As for placements, you’ll be given a locality before you start the course, which is where your placements will be based. The Nursing and Midwifery Council require students to complete placements in five areas; medical, elderly medical, surgical, community and critical care. Because of this, you’ll be allocated a range of different placements. I’ve had placements in all five areas, which has given me a great opportunity to develop a range of practical skills. When you’re on placement, you’ll be expected to work 37.5 hours a week over the duration of your placement, which is what your standard hours will be once qualified. Although it may seem like a lot, you learn so much on placement that the hours are likely to fly by.
Nursing can be challenging, there will be times when you wonder if you can do it all, trust me I’ve had plenty, but at the end of the day it’s so rewarding and you learn so much over the three years that all the hard work is 100% worth it!