• 04 May 2021
  • 8 min read

Studying Nursing? 6 Nurses Give Advice

  • Mat Martin
    Content Manager
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Matt Farrah
    • Richard Gill
  • 0
  • 192
Play video: "I have no doubt that all the people watching this are going to be fabulous Nurses in the future. We just need to get you there."

We’ve cut together some of the best advice for Student Nurses, given by our Nursing contributors. Whether you’re just starting your journey or going into your final year, this video is for you.

Topics covered in this article

How To Choose The Right University For You

Degree Interview Tips

Types Of Exams & Assessments

How To Fully Prepare For Your First Nursing Placement

First Year Advice

Revision Top Tips

Picking Your Dissertation Topic

How To Get The Most Of Your Student Experience

How To Choose The Right University For You

Claire Carmichael - General Practice Nurse

Watch the full video here.

Have a Google of the university. Have a look at the sort of, things about pass rates as well and employability rates. Usually they post these online. But most of all, you have to like the university. You have to like the people you're gonna be spending the next three years with, you're gonna have to feel comfortable, you're gonna have to make sure it's accessible, good support network, all of that before anything else.

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So just make sure this university is right for you. Don't go by what your parents are telling you. Don't go by what your friends are saying, this is better than this. Do your own work, do your own investigations. And whichever one is right for you, just go for that.

Degree Interview Tips

Louisa - Midwife

Watch the full video here.

Let's be honest, if you've gotten an interview, you probably know what they want and it's in your personal statement. So know your personal statement and just like know what they want on their websites, so go on their website and see what they're looking for within the student. And yeah, ask loads of questions. Make sure you have questions, that's always a good tip for any interview, is have questions, but also have answers to the questions. With midwifery a lot of universities do multi mini interviews, so MMIS, and they ask you a bunch of scenario questions. So make sure you are able to explain yourself and show like your working out basically, but speak it. So they will ask you scenario questions on array of things. Some might not even be relevant to the degree. Make sure you just say like, why you do that, or how you feel, or why you would feel that way, or whatever it is. And that is always good. 'Cause they want to see like, do you have any unconscious biases that you don't know about? Does this person reason well? Like, are they good? Like, do they have a conscious? Like, is their conscious telling them that she knows she should do this instead? Like, they want to see all those things about you.

Types Of Exams & Assessments

Zara Zaman - ICU Nurse

Watch the full video here.

Irrespective of if you are an adult Nurse, a Children's Nurse, a Learning Disability Nurse, or a Mental Health Nurse, at some point in your three-year course you will be undertaking these kind of exam. Number one, general nursing exam. Number two, anatomy and physiology exams. Number three, OSCEs. These stand for objective structural clinical examinations and are practical assessments on how you perform clinical skills.

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Number four, the all important drug calculation exams. And lastly, your placements. Now that's quite a lot of assessment methods and quite a lot of different examinations, but this is what we need to do in order to become Nurses in the UK. And trust me, once you've done all those exams, all those placements, it will be worth it in the end.

How To Fully Prepare For Your First Nursing Placement

Chloe - Mental Health Nurse

Watch the full video here.

As soon as you find out what your placement's going to be, which should be a minimum of I think it's two weeks in advance, but hopefully you will find out sooner than that. As soon as you find out, contact your placement. Don't email them, phone them. Because sometimes emails get missed. People are, you know, off sick, on leave. I know it can be scary making a phone call sometimes but I believe in you guys, you can do this. Give them a ring, introduce yourself, say that you're a new Student Nurse starting soon, and preferably, try and arrange to go and visit before you start your placement. I visited all my placements before I actually started there. And I found that really helped to make me that little bit more confident on that first day. This way you get to test out the route to get there, find out where the ward is, work out which bus, or train, or road you need to take to get there, where you can park. It should also mean that you know a couple of people's names and faces before you arrive on your first day. It's gonna show that you're keen, which is immediately going to give your new placement a good first impression of you. It also means you've got a chance to ask questions, which again is gonna boost your confidence.

First Year Advice

Alexandria Grace - Student Nurse

Watch the full video here.

Don't forget to ask questions and don't be shy to ask questions. Honestly, it's something that I'm still working on myself. Sometimes you may feel like you don't want to interrupt the Nurses by asking them questions about what they're doing or what they're trying to show you. You might feel like you might sound stupid if you're asking something that you might be scared they think is a bit simple or that is something that you should know already. But honestly, no question is a stupid question. It's better for you to ask something and find out the answer than to not know and that could be something that's actually really important to know. So, don't be afraid because no one's gonna judge you for it and it's for your learning. So, ask questions.

Revision Top Tips

Claire Carmichael - General Practice Nurse

Watch the full video here.

Do not over-revise. I've done this last year, during my second year. I found myself over-revising. I was on it every single day, so obsessed with revision, and it got to a point, I think it was about two weeks before my exam, I got to a point I physically couldn't revise anymore. It was stressing me out so much. I physically couldn't look at it. I was like, "Do you know what? I can't do this anymore."

So I literally for the last two weeks before the exam, I did not revise. And so that's really important. You need to sort of manage it in small sections. You can't just overload yourself with all of the information all at once because that's not going to help your anxiety levels at all. Didn't help mine. So just make sure that you revise sensibly, if that makes sense.

Picking Your Dissertation Topic

Zara Zaman - ICU Nurse

Watch the full video here.

Picking your dissertation subjects. I have two key points to bear in mind when picking your topic. Number one, pick a topic that you are passionate about. This is what I did. For example, if you are interested in emergency care and know that one day you wish to become an A&E Nurse, then it would be a great idea to pick your dissertation topic based on emergency care. That way you are gonna be putting in work into a topic that you love and are really passionate about. And you can even write about it in your future job application. So, just bear that in mind. My second key point when trying to decide on a topic for your dissertation is, pick a topic where you know you're going to find lots of literature and research on. For example, topics like sepsis or caring for a patient with acute kidney injury.

How To Get The Most Of Your Student Experience

Claire Quinn - Adult Nurse

Watch the full video here.

I think the main thing when you are a Student Nurse, which is actually really beneficial, is to have a goal. And whether that be a goal towards placement, or essays, or exams, or just for your future as a Nurse, I think having something to strive towards actually really helps 'cause it is pretty difficult sometimes being a Student Nurse. And sometimes it's so easy to get bogged down with the essay you have or if you're having a hard time at placement, but having that kind of final goal is something to look towards and kind of a light at the end of the tunnel in a sense that it just makes you realize that everything is not bad, and things will get better, and eventually there will be something that you can achieve and reach. So I think having a goal is a really, really good one. And, like I said, whether that'd be really, really small, like, "Oh, I want to manage an airway in placement." Or whether that be, "One day I want to be an Oncology Nurse Practitioner," or something like that. It can be small or big, but I think having a goal is a really good one.

- I have no doubt that all the people watching this are going to be fabulous Nurses in the future. We just need to get you there.

- That at the end of the day, this is your life, your decision, your amazing journey into nursing, and you want it to be perfect.

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Do you have any questions about becoming a Nurse?

Ask us your questions below

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About the author

  • Mat Martin
    Content Manager

I have a background in visual media and film content. I'm now developing other content delivery skills, and am enjoying talking to people in health and social care who want to contribute and feel passionate about what they do. I’m constantly struck by the quality and feeling in the articles we receive from them, and I aim to ensure the readers are too.

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  • Mat Martin
    Content Manager

About the author

  • Mat Martin
    Content Manager

I have a background in visual media and film content. I'm now developing other content delivery skills, and am enjoying talking to people in health and social care who want to contribute and feel passionate about what they do. I’m constantly struck by the quality and feeling in the articles we receive from them, and I aim to ensure the readers are too.

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