How to write a Personal Statement for a Nursing Course Application
A nursing personal statement is one document that every single person applying for a nursing course needs to write. Follow our guide below for a simple way to write it.
2nd September 2010
Writing your personal statement will take time, effort and several revisions before you can submit it, so don’t leave it right up until the deadline to start work on it.
A personal statement should be just that - personal. Any employer, or university in particular, could check your statement using specialist plagiarism software that detects whether or not you’ve directly lifted text from someone else. If they discover you have copied someone else’s work you could be rejected by that university or employer for this or any future place.
So, the message is - make it personal to you. Writing a high quality nursing personal statement can be difficult, but we’ve broken it down into manageable sections below.
Start with who you are
Your personal statement is your chance to talk directly to the course admissions officer about who you are, what motivates you and why you should be chosen for a place in the branch of nursing you’ve applied for.
You should demonstrate your knowledge of nursing and the healthcare industry in accordance with your level of education and experience. For example, if you’ve never worked in healthcare before then you should show that you’ve researched the role of a nurse and some of the tasks involved with it. You should show that you know what the day to day routine can be like and how you would be suited to it.
If you have worked in healthcare, you can definitely give details of your experiences to back up your reasons for applying. Be specific about how your work has affected your decision to apply and why you feel suited to progressing your career in nursing. Give practical examples of your interactions with nurses, and how they may have influenced your decision to apply.
Relevant experience and skills
Everyone has skills and experience that can be applied in a nursing environment, even if they weren’t acquired in a healthcare setting. The key to this section is make the most of the skills you do have.
Here are some examples of skills and qualities that can be applied in nursing:
Communication - it is a vital skill that every nurse must possess. The ability to convey information in a concise and clear manner with both colleagues, patients and their family.
Organisation - another essential skill is to maintain an organised routine in a very busy environment, and often under pressure. Think of another situation where you worked under pressure in a logical fashion.
Commitment - to ensuring the highest quality of care is given in every situation.
Advocacy - this is the active support of those in your care. It’s a specific point in the NMC code and you should address how you will be an advocate for your patients when you become a nurse in your personal statement.
Relevant nursing experience can also come from family situations. If you’ve cared for someone in any way at all, then you can definitely use this to back up your statement. Try to avoid rambling if you’re going to do this, be concise about the tasks you undertook and how it has helped you develop as a person and as a potential student nurse.
Your ambitions and career goals in nursing
The competition for nursing course places in every branch at every university is fierce, and consequently they want to ensure the places go to candidates who genuinely want to become a nurse and are motivated to pursue their career in nursing.
Even if you don’t have a specific nursing role you would like to attain in your career, you should go into some detail about what sort of environment you could see yourself working in. For example if you’re applying for children’s nursing then your ambition should be focussed around children and the age group you could see yourself working with. It may be that you want to focus on neonates in SCBU or childhood diabetes, but either way you should detail some of the professional development you might need in order to achieve your goals.
Things to watch out for
Check any documentation from the university to see if there is a word limit set for a personal statement. You don’t want to risk your application not being considered because your personal statement is too long.
Make sure your application is sent before the deadline, the earlier the better really. This means you need to start work on your personal statement as soon as you decide to apply. It’s by far the most time consuming part of the application process, and it will undoubtedly require revisions prior to submission.
Don’t feel you have to write in a ‘forced’ way. It’s easy to feel insecure if you don’t feel you can write well, but it’s worse if you feel you have to write in an unfamiliar way just to sound more academic. It’s important it comes from you and your experiences, and if you can get the reader interested in you as a person from the very beginning you’ll be in with a better chance of getting an interview.