Produced by Katie
BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
So you think that nursing is the job for you but you don’t really know what it fully involves or how the course is structured or if it’s the right course for you? Let me go through some things that not everyone knows when they start the course and get into nursing.
You will first find that the course is a very diverse cohort including different cultures, religions, ethnicities, and ages. I am a mature student with a little one and there are many others who are older with children. You will also find that not everyone has done health and social care prior to starting the course and some will have hands-on experience working in healthcare but don’t panic because you will all be taught the same and from scratch as if you are all blank canvases.
The course itself is structured term to term with theory blocks and placement blocks so it’s not usual for you to have to complete assignments and placement at the same time. It is a 45-week course so the holidays are 2 weeks at Christmas and Easter and 3 weeks in summer. This is usually the kicker as most other courses have longer holidays but due to the NMC requiring students to complete 2,300 hours of both placement and theory, the course is longer.
Placements are full-time hours so you will be required to work 37.5 hours a week which is usually worked by doing 3x 12.5-hour shifts for 3 weeks and then 1 week in 4 you will do a 12.5-hour shift. During these shifts, you will usually get a hour break which is not included in your hours. This includes working nights and weekends which again is a requirement by the NMC. If you are ill you still have to complete those hours and to progress to the next year you must have completed 85% of your allocated hours in that year.
Whilst on placement you will be expected to be able to do the basic skills that a Healthcare Assistant does including, washing, dressing, and supporting someone to use the toilet. This one sometimes shocks people as they assume a nurse does not do these tasks but as a nurse, you will need to confidently complete these tasks when needed. You are supernumerary so should always be supervised but this does not mean you won’t need to help out doing other roles such as a Healthcare Assistant role sometimes.
The theory work is a mix of seminars, lectures, and skills workshops. They will usually post pre and post-work to complete on Brightspace (VLE) prior to each session and it’s essential you keep up with this to ensure when you go in you will understand what is being taught.
It isn’t all hard work though as you will find you make friends and build strong bonds with your classmates and lecturers. It’s important to take time out for yourself and your health and family. You will give your all but at the end of it, the rewards you get from touching the lives of others every day is completely unmeasurable.