• 07 November 2019
  • 6 min read

What I’ve learned in my first four weeks as a First Year Student Adult Nurse

  • Janet Mensah
    First Year Student Nurse

Just four weeks in to her first year studying a BSc in Adult Nursing Janet shares what she's learned so far and explains what you should expect if you're thinking of studying as a nurse.

My fellows students took a number of different routes to get here

My route towards becoming a student was direct, I completed my A levels last year and met my predicted grade set by the University.

However, upon my arrival at University, I realized many people had come to University through different routes like access courses, gap year and foundation years.

So, if you are considering nursing and don’t have the traditional qualification, rest assured - many student nurses came through various routes to nursing and you are not the only one!

I’ve realised I won’t be spoon-fed information

Having already been pre-warned by my family members and even a lecturer, I received the same message: information will not be spoon-fed to you, so it is your responsibility in ensuring you are actively revising and taking necessary steps to pass.

The reality of the situation is, there have been so many times which I have felt lost in lectures, although it only being four weeks in.

Truth be told, it's so easy to be lost in lectures, especially when you are in a crowd of 350 + people.

I think this is primarily due to the transition from college to University ; in college teachers knew each student on a personal level, meaning that if you didn’t grasp a concept, you wouldn’t have to raise your hand to say you were stuck, they already knew.

However, when you are in a room full of people it’s tricky and the demand for independent study is intense.

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I’m pre-reading ahead of lectures

This is where I found pre-reading to be helpful; three days before the lecture, the lecturer would put the presentation online, so we would have a glimpse of what we would be covering in the lecture and a pre-reading list.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter what background you have come from before becoming a student nurse, as lecturers try to make sure that everyone is on the same page through the pre-reading list.

My advice to any student nurse is to read around the subject, you would appreciate its benefits once in the lecture halls.

I also need to be consistent in time management, although we have only just started the course I already feel like this is something I do need to go over.

We have 'self-directed' studies

Nursing has always been perceived as such a demanding job and course; this is because there is truth in the matter.

The NMC states: "If you have not completed 2300 hours of practice this can delay your completion of the programme. This can influence the timing of your registration, since your details will arrive at the NMC separately from the rest of the cohort."

However, due to the structure of the academic year, there is only so much which the lecturer can cover so we (the students) have self-directed studies where we teach ourselves some information that would be covered in assignments/tests.

I'll be writing assignments over Christmas

Currently, I have been set four tasks, all diverse, from a group oral presentation to multiple choice questions.

Majority of the due dates are in January so that means my Christmas holiday is gone 😞.

Probably wouldn’t be if I start early, which I have already been doing.

I have already looking for evidence (journals, articles and books) to back up my answer for one 2000-word essay on a question to do with nursing communication.

If anyone has any good journals, articles or books they could recommend, please do!

At my University, I find it beneficial that my course module and assignment information are online through this app/website called Blackboard.

I’ve joined the Caving Society!

Linking in with time management, don’t feel obliged to solely focus on nursing and forget about things you could do in your spare time to unwind, like joining societies.

There are times, which you would feel lonely, its inevitable and joining societies is where you can get your mind off things for a while before going back to reality. I feel like going out of your comfort zone is one of the best things you can do and exploring all the opportunities available to you, for example I am currently a part of the Caving Society, The Christian Society and of course who could forget, The nursing society.

In all these societies which I have joined I feel a sense of belonging and peace that I would classify them as part of my University family.

They have been so encouraging and supportive of me and the course I am doing.

I have met different people doing other courses from all different years and even fellow nurses that I had no idea were in my lecture, which is great as majority of time you don’t barely know who is in the lecture hall.

I’m attending extra-curricular nursing events

Another way I have spent my free time is trying to grasp all the opportunities I can in University for nursing.

University is a big place which encompasses various academies all specialising in different things.

I strongly believe in the principle on ‘if you want something, go and get it’ so by going to speaker events by nurses from various specialties or short courses is worthwhile.

Last week, I attended an Inspiring Nursing Network Talk by Professor Jane Ball discussing her career in nursing research.

She was influential in my decision to write a blog as she discussed how necessary it is to “seize the day” especially being a student nurse and exploring all avenues of nursing.

All these events I am explaining to you happened at my University, so it’s not even about looking far from it rather utilising the support you from University and taking the free advantages.

If things like these do not exist, you could start it up in your University, after all the Inspiring Nursing Network was formed by student nurses from second and third year.

Last note

Thank you all who took time to read my first ever blog, I hope this was beneficial to you and hope you travel with me through my journey of being a Student Adult Nurse.

Related articles

How to train to be a nurse

• A day in the life of a student nurse

• My 5 best experiences as a student nurse

• Go to our Careers hub for all Student Nurse articles and advice

• Like this article? Subscribe to the Nurses.co.uk Weekly!

About the author

  • Janet Mensah
    First Year Student Nurse

I am a first year student studying a BSc in Adult Nursing at the University of Southampton. I decided to step into the world of nursing due two events in my life. One was being in hospital myself for a short period of time and seeing how lovely and kind the nurses were to me. The second event was watching my cousin go into nursing and listening to her stories about the patient care she was able to give - it really inspired me.

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  • Janet Mensah
    First Year Student Nurse

About the author

  • Janet Mensah
    First Year Student Nurse

I am a first year student studying a BSc in Adult Nursing at the University of Southampton. I decided to step into the world of nursing due two events in my life. One was being in hospital myself for a short period of time and seeing how lovely and kind the nurses were to me. The second event was watching my cousin go into nursing and listening to her stories about the patient care she was able to give - it really inspired me.