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This is a guest blog by John, our current BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing student.

Why nursing? Having spent 4 years as a support worker in a mental health unit in Southampton, I decided it was time to progress my career. Originally I was worried about my application, especially because I didn’t have grades in relevant subjects to mental health, but the university were very supportive throughout and really made me feel welcome. At the interview, I discussed my experience and my approach and they offered me a place on the spot! I discussed with the interview team about where my locality would be; due to living away from Bournemouth and commuting to lessons, I asked for my locality to be near where I already lived and BU made that happen.

It was explained early on in the course that the first term would be spent “front-loading” information before we went out on placement in January. The reason behind is to prepare ourselves prior starting the placement, so when we arrive on placement we have all the tools at our disposal to actively take part in our new roles as student nurses.  I was so excited to start my course and my new journey.

On my first day I was concerned that being a mature student, I would be the oldest person on the course, but my classes have such a varied age range and I immediately felt at ease. There are students who have just left college, there are some like me who have decided to go later in life, there are some that have had families and now want to improve their carer for that reason. With such a mix of knowledge and experience, it really makes the classroom a great place to learn, discuss and make friends.

Initially, I was nervous about leaving my job and going to university but BU has made it so easy and has helped me access bursaries and funds that help with my finances. I quit my job 4 months ago to start this course and not once have I looked back. This is the first step towards my new career. I would recommend it to anyone thinking of making the jump, you won’t regret it.

 

**New for 2020: All nursing students on courses from September 2020 may be eligible for non-repayable government funding of at least £5,000 a year and mental health nursing students may also be eligible for an additional £1000 as it has been confirmed as a shortage specialism. Further details on who can access the support will be available in early 2020. Find out more information about the funding in the gov.uk website.**

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