• 09 October 2018
  • 5 min read

Applying to university for a student nursing degree course

  • Eniola Akinsanya
    Student Nurse - Mental Health

Eniola recalls her two interview experiences: applying to university and applying for a healthcare assistant job

Eniola recalls her experience of the university interview to get on a nursing course

Abbreviated transcript

UCAS

In the UK we have UCAS which is an online software that allows students to make their choices as to which university they want to go to.

When I applied for nursing, the first step that I had to go through was the numeracy and literacy tests.

The numeracy test is just to test your skills when it comes to mathematics whilst the literacy test was just there to test your oral knowledge in terms of English and also your written words.

Obviously we all know that you're going to be in the hospital, you're going to have to deal with drugs and your calculation has to be perfect, and when it comes to the oral side you're going to be involved in writing their patient notes and you're going to be involved in speaking to patients and also having to know the right terminology to use.

Interview for a degree course

The next stage for me was the interview stage because I passed my numeracy and literacy test.

In the interview stage I went through three sections.

Interview - group task

The first section was a group task; this group task allows you to interact with other applicants who are also trying to get into the nursing degree so in this group task you get to have discussions.

Whilst we were having these discussions were being observed by the staff - I feel like they just wanted to see the type of personalities that we had in terms of those who were aggressive or those were assertive and I think they wanted to just see how well we would work in a group.

Interview - with a service user

After this section I got to go to the next stage which was an interview with a service user.

This interview was with an elderly patient and I was asked different questions. One of the questions I can remember answering was ‘how do you ensure that our patient is dignified during care?’

The only way I could answer this question was by relating it to or I've done so far.

I had to interpret by using my previous experiences, for instance if I was going to give a patient personal care the first matter in sure is that their privacy is being respected, so for instance shutting the curtains and the blinds, making sure that they've got clothes to cover themselves when they're not necessarily getting the physical care, asking them questions, asking for permission and gaining consent.

That way I can ensure that my patient feels dignified because they are also getting involved in the care process.

Interview - questions from lecturers

The final run of the interview - now this section of interview I got to speak to the university lecturers and this bit wasn't easy so I've got asked different questions but they were all relevant questions I had to do with lesson so if you're ever going to go to an interview make sure that you prepare for the questions that are relevant to your practice.

So I've got asked questions such as ‘what is the NMC code of conduct’, ‘what are the six C's of Nursing’ I was asked about my opinions on the current issues on the current affairs of Nursing.

I think I also got asked a scenario-based question and also my opinion on a scandal that happened. I answered all the questions when I didn't understand what was being said I asked them again.

I had to take my time to answer the questions. I had to remain calm. I had to remain positive.

Applying to and being interviewed for a health care job

But getting a job in a health care was different for me. It wasn't through an online process - it was actually through a referral by someone I knew.

The reason why I decided to proceed with this referral was because I knew that with whatever company or with whatever agency I work for I want to make sure that their staff are happy to be there.

That would mean that I would enjoy my experience working for them as well.

I reached out to this company by giving them a call asking questions that I needed to know and they ended up sending me all the information to apply for the job via email.

I filled in the form, did all I needed to do and I sent everything back for an interview.

The interview

Now with the interview they give you all the information that you need to know such as bringing in your certificates, bring in your passport, if you have a driving license, any experience that you have any certificates for that bring it along with you.

I was asked if I understood the Job Description properly and I was also asked scenario based questions and if I didn't know the answers they actually told me the answers.

There's one thing that we learned with like interviews - when it comes to care it's okay not to know stuff, however it's not okay to be ignorant. I had to get my DBS done.

When it comes to working in any care industry in the UK you have some EVs done and that's basically just to check you or any criminal convictions that might affect your working opportunities.