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  • 28 January 2019
  • 8 min read

How to get into nursing school

  • Lottie Pearson
    Student Nurse

There's more than just one way to get into nursing school, so anyone can do it! To find out which way is appropriate for you then just keep reading!

Play video: Lottie shares her advice on how to get into nursing school!

Hi everyone and welcome back to another video!

Today I'm going to be doing a video with Nurses.co.uk, I'm gonna be doing another video part of my nursing student series and today's video is gonna be on how to get into nursing school.

I'm gonna be discussing lots of methods on how you can do your UCAS application, what work experience you need, what grades you need - all the stuff that you need to know basically to get into nursing school.

Nursing is such a good job to go into especially if you want to make an impact and I think it's one of the best degrees to do if you want to go into anything related to health care.

Nursing will get you so so many different job opportunities, it will open up so many windows for you.

Literally over 96% of student nurses will get nursing jobs in the first six months of qualifying depending on the university so that just makes it one of the most employable degrees that you could go and do.

If you love caring for people and making an impact and all that stuff then it's literally perfect.

Get a taster of what healthcare is like

One way if you're not sure if you want to go into nursing is to definitely go and get a job as some sort of like healthcare assistant, a carer or like a physio assistant.

That way you can kind of get an idea of where you want to work, like in hospitals or in the district, go into people's homes and all that stuff and that'll give you a good idea of what you could do.

Qualifications

So starting from the basics is the qualifications that you'll need from school. They will always require to get on to the degree it's five GCSE grades C to A* and you will always need to pass English, maths and science so you'll need at least a C in that.

There's always options if you don’t get those grades; you should go back to college and redo these subjects and get that grade.

If you went straight from school to college qualifications that people usually get at college are usually level 3 in health and social care which would probably be need to be accompanied by work experience.

If not job experience after college to ensure you actually get onto the course or you could do a levels which must include a science subject - psychology is included in the science subjects but sociology isn't and Health and Social Care was but I don't think it is anymore.

I think they've stopped doing health and social care as an A-Level now.

You'll need over 280 UCAS points so that's anywhere from say 2 Cs and a B to 2 Bs and a C and a lot of good universities will probably require three B's.

Play video: Lottie answers your questions about student nursing!

To stand out, you need work experience

Work experience is literally essential.

When I was at college they actually said to me that you need work experience basically if you're gonna go and do this degree because it's very competitive and the spaces are very limited.

So I went and did work experience with Mencap which is for children with disabilities because I don't actually live near a hospital that I could get any volunteer work so I just had to do like clubs and everything, and then I also volunteered at the nearest school for children with disabilities and like I worked at Mencap volunteering every other weekend for about two years and that really increased my application.

I also had a lot of part-time jobs before I went to uni, like waitressing, I worked at Subway, I did a paper round, I did NCS which is where we kind of worked in teams and everything and we got told that was good for your application so that really helped.

Charity work is really good!

If there's nothing in the area that you can think of, if you haven't been to school and maybe a few years or you're in just realising I would definitely put on your current job or just any past jobs like on your CV even if it's not care related, everything is can be transferred to nursing.

Any communication skills, any caring skills, any team working skills or problem-solving, all of that can be transferred to pretty much any job.

Just make it sound as relatable to nursing as possible in your UCAS application.

Writing a good UCAS application

For the UCAS application I would suggest doing it in the order of maybe introducing yourself, giving a bit of a brief information about you discussing your work experiences, your hobbies and interests, discussing your job and then stating what would make you a good nurse, you know why you want to be a nurse.

Really make yourself stand out, don't say cliche stuff like ‘I just want to help people’ - I'm pretty sure a lot of people write something along those lines!

Be creative, write something unique and I think maybe just write about the skills that you have that would be really good in nursing and why they would want you, like make them think that you are that perfect student but don't lie or anything.

Just work with what you've got, make it as best as possible and explain why each skill is relevant to nursing as well.

For instance, team working skills would be great on a ward because you're constantly liaising with other professionals, working alongside colleagues, referring patients to places etc etc and also there's plenty of websites such as Nurses.co.uk which states how to be a nurse, what to write on your CV, what to write on your application for uni - loads of information on that and plenty of other websites as well that you can access.

For more of an in depth guide on how to write a personal statement for a nursing course application, then check out the blog that Chloe has written here on Nurses.co.uk!

Play video: Here are Lottie's exam and assignment tips!

Access to higher education courses

So if you're not coming directly from school or college I would highly recommend in fact you need a access to higher education course and these differ from every college but most colleges do higher education courses and this will just be the one that's related to health care or something, they're all called slightly different things and require different requirements.

You will get a chance to do English, maths and science if you didn't pass them but you will also learn probably like the same rate as you would at university so you'll be given assignments, exams, you'll be taught all of the stuff that you will be at University so it's a great course preparing you for the actual degree.

It's probably about a year to 18 months depending on which college you go to to do this course.

There's also lots of other courses that if you can't get into the higher education course for example if you literally have no GCSEs or you were home-schooled or something you can go and do a GCSE course at college that you don't require anything for and you can literally just like go and do it for a year, get loads of GCSEs, redo them if you're not happy with them and then go and do the course for a year.

So that's just two years at college and then go and do the three years at uni and so that's another way of getting into nursing school.

The brand new nursing apprenticeship

The last way that you could get into nursing is the new nursing apprenticeship.

Again it's not to do with nursing school but it's a great way to get into nursing at University.

A lot of people start by doing healthcare assistant work and then asking their employer if they can be funded to go and do the nursing associate apprenticeship and they'll fund them.

You can get work and you'll be you'll be being paid for working alongside going to uni and I think that's for two years and then you can apply for the actual kind of degree which is only two years from then on so it's four years in total.

So you get paid for two years - I'm pretty sure you get paid for the two years I'm not really sure but yes, that's an amazing way to be a nurse and that's also how you can get into nursing at university is if you do the nursing associate role for two years before.

I think that's all of the ways you can get into nursing school or be a nurse in general.

If there's any that you guys think that I've missed out then comment in the comments for other people to see and I'll pin it.

I'll see you in my next video, bye!

Got all that? Good! Now, take a look at how to prepare for life as a student nurse so you know what to expect!

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