I've just started my second placement and I'm coming to the end of my first year as a student nurse. I thought this would be a good time to talk about being a student nurse, for any one thinking about applying or starting in September.
So my intake was the first year to try the 'new' degree at my university. The degree is audited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council who basically give our lecturers criteria that students need to reach before they an be registered. My course is a three year course, with 6 placements over the three years. The course is split 50/50 practical and theory, so it's a great mix of hands on work and head in book work!
This year I've taken four written exams, one practical exam and written three essays, as well as two placements and keeping up with portfolio work. If anyone ever says being a student nurse is easy, trust me it's a lot of work.
Student nurses tend to study a bit longer than other degrees, I will be in uni until the beginning of July, where as most courses will have finished much earlier than that. I hate the massive summers that you get in college/uni so less time off works perfectly for me. I say that like I get no time off, I still get around 9 weeks, but I do go back slightly earlier than most courses around the beginning of September.
The best thing about being a student nurse is without a doubt placements. I love being out with the patients, cos after all that is what nursing is about - being with people. It's so nice knowing you make a difference to people's lives even if it's the tiniest thing, like just talking to them - sometimes that's all people need. It's amazing how interested patients are about student nurses, and most people love the idea of having a student nurse observe or give a hand to the nurse.
If you are looking into nursing, I hope this gives you a little insight to the degree and the kind of thing you will do whilst training. I'm not saying every course will be exactly the same but I'm pretty sure it's a requirement from the NMC that all nursing courses are 50/50. If you are willing to work hard the course is so, so rewarding and I can't wait to qualify!