• 06 May 2020
  • 7 min read

What your nursing personal statement should say about you

  • Claire Carmichael
    Adult Nurse - General Practice Nurse
"Start writing now and go get yourself that dream job – You’ve got this!"

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

Introduction

Make your statement unique to the job you’re applying for

Demonstrate that you represent the Trust’s values

So, what do the 6 Cs actually mean?

Make yourself stand out from the crowd

Show that you are committed to nursing

Talk about your experience

In summary

Introduction

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.

But hopefully, I can give you some good quality information to help you write the perfect statement to bag you that interview and hopefully, the job!

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.

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You will need to follow their essential and desirable criteria and give examples of how you have achieved these.

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.

Furthermore, Trusts will want to provide the best care possible to patients and they want to see how you meet this through your statement and then in your interview.

So, what do the 6 Cs actually mean?

Care

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.

Compassion

This is how care is given which is based on empathy, dignity and respect.

Commitment

This refers to the commitment to paitients and their individual care and overall experience.

Courage

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.

Competence

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.

Communication

Is the key to a successful relationship with your patients and colleagues.

You have to be able to adapt your communication to meet others needs so that they understand what’s intended.

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.

I put myself back into that place and how lovely it made me feel at the time, which brings back those feelings and I will start writing.

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:

Multi-professional working

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!

Evidence-based practice

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?

This also shows that you are a safe practicing nurse that will always follow the most update guidelines.

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.

You don’t need to write a book about it, just put this into a short straight to the point sentence to save word count but to also get your point across.

In summary

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!

Find your next nursing job here.

About the author

  • Claire Carmichael
    Adult Nurse - General Practice Nurse

I am a qualified Adult Nurse, working as a General Practice Nurse. I believe that nursing gets a lot of bad press, so I create blogs and vlogs to help anyone considering their nursing career and to create positivity surrounding our profession as I'm so passionate about nursing.

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  • Claire Carmichael
    Adult Nurse - General Practice Nurse

About the author

  • Claire Carmichael
    Adult Nurse - General Practice Nurse

I am a qualified Adult Nurse, working as a General Practice Nurse. I believe that nursing gets a lot of bad press, so I create blogs and vlogs to help anyone considering their nursing career and to create positivity surrounding our profession as I'm so passionate about nursing.