- 06 May 2020
- 7 min read
What your nursing personal statement should say about you
General Practice Nurse, Claire Carmichael, examines what employers look for on your nursing personal statement and guides us through the 6 Cs of nursing.
Topics covered in this article
This is a question I asked myself when I wrote my nursing personal statement: ‘What do they want from me? What do they really want to hear?’.
You can write as much or little as possible on a personal statement (within the given word count), but what you write has to count - I’d say it was more about quality over quantity with this one.
Make your statement unique to the job you’re applying for
Firstly, every statement should be unique to the role you’re applying for; so, remember to change it for every time you apply for a new job.
Secondly, always look at the Trust’s values, person specification and any other information they have uploaded for you; this is going to tell you what they are expecting from you to guide you to write your statement.
Demonstrate that you represent the Trust’s values
Now, what do most Trusts look for?
From my experience they want you to be the 6 Cs of Nursing; Care, Compassion, Commitment, Courage, Competence, Communication.
So, you have to demonstrate this within your statement along with some nice key themes such as; being empathetic, maintain dignity, being patient centred and showing trust - Trust values are normally built on these.
So, what do the 6 Cs actually mean?
Is at the heart of nursing and the care you provide should help to improve an individual’s health and wellbeing.
They might also want to see that you genuinely care about other people and helping out.
This is how care is given which is based on empathy, dignity and respect.
This refers to the commitment to paitients and their individual care and overall experience.
This helps you to do the right thing at the right time.
It also enables you to speak up when needed.
It can also mean you took initiative and created new ways of working to benefit the patient.
This means you have to have the understanding of a patient’s health and social needs but also the right knowledge to deliver safe, effective treatment and follow the current evidence-based practice to do so.
Is the key to a successful relationship with your patients and colleagues.
Make yourself stand out from the crowd
However, everyone will be writing the same skills and experience (more than likely), so you also want to add something to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
Your statement should show you as a person and not just a generic piece of writing of what you can and can’t do.
Moreover, you need to shine, show that personality and passion through your writing.
Some personal statements I have been asked to read, have genuinely given me goose bumps, because you can feel that passion through the page, it’s lovely.
Nonetheless, I know it can be quite hard to get your head in the right place to do this.
Something I do, is, close my eyes and visualise the place, time, experience that I want to talk about.
Show that you are committed to nursing
Your statement should also show how committed you are to nursing and your long term goals should incorporate this.
Trusts want to see you are in it for the long run, not just a quick job fix at the time.
Some other things that would be worth mentioning are:
How you can effectively work within the multi-disciplinary team and build good relationships with other professionals.
Give examples of how you have done this and why it has benefited your team.
Administering medication safely
How you avoid drug errors?
What thing’s do you do?
This will show you are practising safely and will continue to do so when working for the Trust you’re applying for.
Accurate record keeping
However you have kept records whether it is paper and pen or on a computer you have to show how you did this and how you maintained confidentiality.
You need to show that you can write legible and accurately, which is why you need to get someone to proofread your personal statement just in case too!
How you keep up to date with the most recent guidelines, policies and practices.
What evidence-based practice have you used or looked up to provide the best care for your patients?
Talk about your experience
When talking about your nursing experience, it’s really good to also talk about what you learnt from each situation.
What you learnt, how it has helped you understand the situation and what challenges came with it but how you overcome this.
Nursing is a tough job, and employers want to see how you handle each situation, the good times and the bad times.
The main thing they want to see is that you are a professional person that is safe to practice.
Your personal statement is all about you and showing off how amazing you are to make them want you as their nurse.
Which I know for many people, it can feel quite awkward to talk about yourself and how well you have done.
I was that person too; I rang for feedback after being declined for numerous roles and I was always told ‘if you just sold yourself that little bit more…’
And it was heart breaking to hear.
So, I changed my thinking and starting re-writing all of my personal statements and my CV.
But remember, this is your time to shine!
Put all those feelings aside and start to write all the good things you have done and what an amazing nurse you are.
What are you waiting for?
Start writing now and go get yourself that dream job – You’ve got this!