Written by Beth Cordon
BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
Preparing yourself for a nursing degree is both exciting and nerve-wracking! It has been three years since I started applying and I still remember how it made me feel. In recent years nursing has become more and more competitive to get into, and it’s important to have an idea of things you can do to get yourself ready to apply and hopefully get that all-important university place!
The main thing you need is recent study. Whether you’re applying straight from school after A-Levels or a college course, or you’ve taken some time out and done an access to higher education course, you need to have completed studies within the last five years. I came into university through the A-level route, but in my class there was a great variety of routes people had taken to become a student nurse.
The second most important thing that will be GREAT for writing about in personal statements is evidence of care. Before I applied for nursing, I hadn’t done any physical care work, I’d never worked in a care/nursing home or in the hospital, but I had volunteered on a ward in my local hospital making tea for patients and sitting and chatting with them. This was enough to show I care for people, that I would give up my time to be there with them when they are most vulnerable in hospital.
Bournemouth University offer interviews to those who they feel may be suitable for the course, which is something that you will need to prepare for if you want to be successful. Not everyone who is offered an interview will go on to be offered a place at university, but the more you prepare, the more you’ll have to say at interview. When I was offered an interview, I made sure I read up on the NHS 6 C’s by Jane Cummings, produced in 2012. These are the 6 standards expected of nurses, which are care, compassion, competence, commitment, courage and communication. Understanding what these are and being able to discuss how you can portray these will reflect well in interview. There are lots of other reading materials for you to take a look at and spark your own areas of interest .
If you’re successful at interview and are offered a place to study at Bournemouth, CONGRATULATIONS! I would suggest you start looking into the modules you’ll be studying, and start to think about what you want to get out of your time at university. It might be that your biggest ambition is to finish with a first class honours, or you might want to think about joining societies and meeting people through those. Also, you’ll receive information on your placement localities once you are offered a place, so you could look into the hospital you’ll be based in to get an idea of what it is like.
So remember, while nursing is competitive to get in to, if you show you’re a caring, compassionate person with a real dedication to care for those who need it the most, it’s definitely worth you following your dream and applying to university!